Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why I Love Ebey, Part 9

OMG, the spelling. Having done time as a copyeditor, I take a word geek's twisted (and very sad) pleasure in the booboos that make their way into the titles and sales descriptions. Even with Google a few keystrokes away, even with scans showing the actual labels properly spelled, even with eBay's logarithms working full tilt to right the wrongs of the actual or occasional dyslexics manning the keyboards on the vendors' side of the showroom, you still get your Dries Von Notens, Calvin Kliens, Ferragammos, and more, items that typically go down for far below market value, because buyers who keyword correctly could not possibly find them.

Shoe legend "Roger Vivien" is understandable, for, on the insole of the shoe, the scripty "r" of the surname could easily be misread as an "n". A similar misread on the seller's part got me a gorgeous silk Krizia dress for very little money at all, because the vendor didn't recognize the brand and thought the decorative K was simply that, decoration. The dress was sold as Rizia, I was the only bidder that bothered to show up. (Tip: keyword "vintage," "silk," and "made in Italy" and you won't need the designers' names at all).

If you're the sort that likes fishing around for bargains, try casting around with some badly spelled names. But do be sure that they're spelled right on the label, because if it's wrong there, it's a whole other story.


  1. It's funny isn't it - how all those school spelling tests of yore actually pay off today on Ebay - who'd have thunk it? Also having 'done time' in proofing, I have to admit I've taken advantage of poor spelling sellers. Trouble is that the more we text the more abbreviated words become the lingua franca. Are we are rapidly heading back to Neanderthal grunts? Oo-er that's another blog post!

  2. And even better - those sellers who don't know what treasure they have and mis-describe and tag it with desperate but wrong key words. Just bought a lovely 1960s tennis dress (Oh Wimbledon summers of my youth!)at rock bottom price because the seller had no idea what it was. (Do come over to Frock Me! Chelsea on 23 May if you can - I am now in the main hall and lots to show you!)

  3. A few years back a friend of mine got a 1940s Adrian suit on a $40 buy-it-now. The seller had it listed as "Gdhian." And I've bought a few Tina "Lesser" items.

    I've seen Emilio (Pucci) interpreted a dozen different ways!