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The best ways to bag a bargain online

Laura Peppas

When I was in high school, I used to live for the end of season clearance shopping sales.

It was the few times a year when clothing and shoes were reasonably priced, and you could get away with buying an outfit or two without worrying about going hungry until pay day.

For the rest of the year, of course, buyers had to put up with paying full price – and that was that.

Thankfully, that’s all changed in a big way, thanks to the rise of online shopping and in particular, bidding sites such as eBay and Canberra’s own Allbids.com.au, which encourages buyers to set the price, as opposed to the price being set for them.

Allbids CEO Rob Evans says the shift in shopping trends has meant consumers have become accustomed to not paying full price.

“Now every day is a sale and not only that, it’s become ‘cool’ to not pay full price,” Rob says.

“People actually sit around talking about how much money they didn’t spend. That is a big shift from when people used to gloat about a price tag. There’s a deep sense of accomplishment when you win [an auction] and see just how much you saved both in time and money.”

This month Allbids will be launching an exclusive designer shoe auction, with over 2,500 shoes in 400 styles available and brands such as Tony Bianco, Guess and Birkenstock starting at bids from just $1. [Insert heavy breathing.]

The shoe auction, to run for two months, will be the first among many fashion auctions for the website, which will include some of the biggest labels for men’s and women’s clothing in the country. Customers are encouraged to pre-register to the auction to be notified when it’s about to kick off.

But what happens if you’re relatively new to bidding sites, and the thought of it is all a bit…overwhelming?

To help, I grilled Rob to suss out the five best ways to bag a bargain.

Before the sale, the HerCanberra team were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of a few of the shoes that will be available during the designer shoe auction. Here is Amanda in the x

The HerCanberra team had a sneak preview of a few of the shoes that will be available during the shoe auction (the things we have to do!) Here is Amanda in the Spurr Basics ‘Amethyst’ shoe in snake.

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Spurr Basics ‘Amethyst’ shoe in snake.

  1. Know your highest price and stick to it.

“It’s the best way to avoid buyers remorse,” Rob says. “At the end of the day, we want people walking away having had an exciting and rewarding shopping experience. [Because consumers set the price], it means they can grab designer wear at a price that suits their budget, not feel forced to push their coin beyond what they can manage.”

  1. Do your research beforehand.

To minimise the “overwhelm” factor, take time before an auction to make a list of items you want or need and do your research on the brands, and sizes, beforehand, as some sizes differ from brand to brand. It’s always good to have a list of your measurements handy!

Molly bag 1234

Molly wears Nude Footwear ‘Phar Lap’ shoe in heather and Fiorelli bag in fuschia

Molly upclose 123

Nude Footwear ‘Phar Lap’ shoe in heather.

  1. Keep an eye on the deadline.

The website has a ‘closing today’ section on its home page and will notify you by email once an auction deadline is looming on a product you’ve made a bid on. At Allbids, you can also sign up for SMS reminders, which will tell you if you’ve been outbid.

  1. Don’t be worried if you miss out the first time.

For their shoe auction, Allbids will release around 900 pairs of shoes for the first auction and then more over the following three to four weeks, so people will have another chance to grab a designer bargain if they miss out the first time.

Laura shoes 1234

Laura wears Spurr ‘Samantha Bow’ heel in black and Spurr party clutch in hot pink.

Spurr Samantha Bow heel in black.

Spurr ‘Samantha Bow’ heel in black.

  1. Still not sure? Come in to the store.

The Allbids warehouse is located in Fyshwick, where costumers can have face-to-face interactions with the staff. “It’s a point of difference people really appreciate and value,” Rob says. “People aren’t just a number on a computer screen for us. We build relationships with our clients from all across inland New South Wales and the Riverina. We love it and so do our customers.”

Bea bag 12345

Beatrice wears Dorothy Perkins ‘Editha’ shoe in glitter dogtooth and Kardashian Kollection bag in black stripe.

Up close shoes123

Dorothy Perkins ‘Editha’ shoe in glitter dogtooth.


the essentials  

What: Allbids designer shoe auction
Where: Customers are invited to pre-register for the shoe auction at allbids.com.au/shoe-auction/sneakpeek/
(Warehouse is located at 7 Wiluna Street, Fyshwick)
When: Date of the auction is to be advised – pre-register here to be given 24 hours notice before the auction kicks off!


Photography by Martin Ollman.

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Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra's wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she's not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea. More about the Author

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