I may be dating myself here, but I remember when eBay first came on the scene, before Jesus-toast and all that business - it was all DVD players (so hi-tech!), random pieces of equipment that people had actually previously owned, and the occasional old coat or pair of boots that would immediately get snatched up by an avid searcher. It was a peaceful time.
Then came the drop-shippers and wholesalers, polluting what was once a human-run marketplace and transforming it into a mega-shop for "maybe it's real, maybe it's not" merchandise. My first experience with the trials and tribulations that accompanied the apparel influx on eBay came by way of a pair of tights - yes, tights - with rhinestone tigers on them. Upon acquiring my mother's login, I promptly bid on the item, and later discovered that I'd won! I might have been 11 years old at the time. Little did I know that I had just charged my poor mother $100+ for over 100 pairs of said tights. It was maybe my most valuable e-Commerce lesson to date.
But I digress - the evolution of fashion and eBay is powerful. You can find seasons-old Dries Van Noten pumps you thought had scurried away forever. You will find glorious, rare vintage pieces from Issey Miyake that you never knew existed, but you've told your family you'll be buried in. You'll find a pair of 99¢ pumps that you know will fall apart in two weeks, but you don't care -- you need them.
eBay has finally wised up to the influx of fashion-hungry prowlers who are willing to sift through pages and pages of random, horrifying products to find that amazing dress and have released eBay Fashion. I've been playing around with this easily-accessible section of their website for a few days now and, I have to say, I'm impressed.
The abilities to shop by brand, size or color are not new, but the introduction of garment-specific search functions (sleeve length, hem length, etc.) allow a much more accurate set of results to be produced. Don't get me wrong -- there are still piles and piles of ridiculous garments in each set of results, but at least they're more accessible, right?
They've also introduced the popularized "boutique" idea, which pulls all the products matching your search criteria and present them in a very un-eBay form, resembling an actual online store. (Visit the Women's Clothing boutique for examples.)