As opposed to a place where you can learn that you need a petticoat with most skirts and what brands are good quality, this is a place where you can learn things that are usually only learned through time and experience (or a good friend who's a lolita), such as lolita "economy", makeup tips, where to buy, and other information that can be helpful to any lolita.
Hopefully you will be able to use this guide to help to become the best lolita that you can be! If you have any comments or suggestions, please send an email to email@example.com. Thanks for reading!
Hello, and welcome to the egl and lolita handbook.
Feel free to send a message with any ideas or suggestions for articles.
Welcome to the EGL Lolita Guide, a guide for all things lolita, from fashion to lifestyle, from brand to making your own stuff.
One of the best places to start purchasing a lolita wardrobe is egl_sales_comm. It is here that many members of the lolita community sell items that they no longer use or want, or don't fit them. You can get some good deals, and you'll be buying from fellow lolitas like yourself, so it wont be quite so intimidating. However, before you start buying or selling, there's some things that you should keep in mind.
Buying and Selling
Feedback: Although many people only consider this when buying, it's important to check feedback for all transactions.
Checking feedback can help to keep from getting scammed or having problems with a transaction. Many sellers who do a lot of business on the community will have a feedback post on their journal, where you can check. Almost everyone on the community who has bought or sold before will have a rating on the loligoth database, located at lgdbase.com . Keep in mind that one or two bad or neutral feedback when a person has several good feedback doesn't mean that they are a scammer. Sometimes there are unforseen problems, and not everyone is very understanding, although most people are.
And remember to leave feedback for your transactions! It helps everything to run smoothly!
Know your info: Know your measurements (bust and waist are most important). Most sellers will post the measurements of an item when they put it up for sale. Know if it will fit you before buying it. It's usually ok to ask additional questions about the sizing, but it's important to know what you can fit into. Most brands follow approxamately this sizing chart (keep in mind that this an approxomate, and you should check the measurements of all items before buying!):
No shirring- 34 inch max bust
Quarter shirred- 38 inch max bust
Half shirring- 42 inch max bust
Fully shirred- 52 inch max bust
Skirts- 24- 28 inch max waist, depending on brand/style
Be polite: When buying something, it's usually ok to haggle, but don't offer a ridiculous amount, as it can offend people. People usually have reasons for pricing an item as they do, so keep that it mind. If they say no trades, don't ask if they could possibly trade for x dress? They already said no trades. The same goes for offering something else if they have specific pieces that they will trade for. They most likely didn't add those notes about trading to exercise their fingers. Also, don't question their motive for selling, or make sarcastic comments about the price. If the price is too high, no one will buy it, and they will either lower the price or not sell it.
Know your payment options: Most girls on the sales comm will only take paypal. Some will take money orders, or will meet with you to do an exchange. If they don't say what type of payment they take, be sure to make sure your preferred form of payment is alright with them. When using paypal, you will often be asked to pay for any fees that come with the payment, and you should inform the seller if you plan to use an echeque, as they take longer to process.
Payment: If you cannot pay immediately, let the seller know and ask if they can do the hold until such time as you can pay. Some will, and some wont. If you don't ask and then don't pay for a while, it's possible that they may cancel the sale and sell it to another person who is interested because they may think you are a nonpaying buyer.
What to make sure to include in a sales post:
Variation (OP, JSK, Skirt etc.)
Payment Options that you accept
If shipping is included/ If fees are included
Link to feedback
Pricing: If you're not sure what to charge, you can research prices on auctions. This can help you get an idea. You can also look at closet child, or if any of this item has been sold on the community recently, and for how much. If it's an extremely popular item, you might want to have an auction, with your minimum amount as your starting bid.
Lolita is interesting in its economics in that each piece has a different value. Value is based on many things, such as condition, rarity, popularity and availability. For example, a basic Baby, the Stars Shine Bright shirred, bustle JSK will generally not go up in value, because they are easy to find, not very popular (in the case of wanting it terribly) and have been rereleased several times, which means that there is a large supply. On the other hand, if you bought an Angelic Pretty Carnival OP for retail and kept it in good condition, you could probably make a hefty profit were you to sell it.
Several prints that were released several years ago have become extremely popular to the point of going up in value to a huge degree; these include: Angelic Pretty's Twinkle Mermaid, Canival, Puppet Circus and Land of Sweets; Moi Meme Moitie's Cathedral and Iron Gate; Baby the Stars Shine Bright Fairy Tale Prints etc. Each print has a different amount of popularity and will go for a different price. One way to find out a good price for these is to watch auctions, as that is where many of these prints are getting sold.
New Prints are also often very popular. For example, the recently released Wonder Party was very popular and has gone for high prices on auction because it sold out very quickly. Chandalier is another print that sold out incredibly quickly and is now available on auction for prices high above retail.
Where to buy and how to get a good deal
There are several places where you can buy lolita clothing, and all have different price ranges.
egl_comm_sales- This community is a great place to start, as it is usually the easiest. This community is mostly made up of fellow lolitas who are selling items that didn't fit them, didn't suit them, or that they no longer wear. Lurking in this community is also a great way to get an idea of how much different things are worth, as the people selling are usually experienced in these items.
~Mostly everyone on this community uses paypal for payment. You'll want to sign up for an account before you start doing business on the community. It's really easy and one of the safest ways to do business on the internet.
~Be aware that you are doing business with regular girls like you, and they often can't go incredibly low on their prices. Most will be selling for what they paid, or even less if they have used it a bit. Usually they will only sell for more if it is a rare item that they can sell for a higher price without anyone having a problem with it; often times this will be in the form of an auction. If you think the price is too high, you can usually haggle, but be reasonable and nice- for a large item, usually $20 is the most that you can offer below the asking price without seeming rude, and for smaller items, usually $5 to $10 is acceptable. If the price seems rediculous to you, don't act rude about it. This will only make you look bad and make people less apt to buy or sell from you.
Auctions- The most popular sites for this are yahoojapan and mbok. Since these are in Japan, you will need to find a proxy to bid for you and then send you the items. Popular proxy services are celga, crescent shop and Mai Ozawa. They usually charge a fee, often 10-20% of your total. There are also some girls on egl who live in Japan and provide this service.
~Give your proxy service ample time to bid on something. They're people too, and might be working on something else.
~Be aware that the price you win the auction for is not the price you will pay. Keep in mind that you will have to pay the bank transfer fee, shipping from the seller to the proxy, EMS shipping to you, proxy fee and paypal fees. Don't bid if you cannot afford the items with these fees added on.
~The auctions are all in Japanese, and sometimes the picture is not exactly what you are getting. If you don't speak Japanese, run it through a translator (google translate usually give a fairly good translation) in order to make sure that you know what you're getting.
Directly from the Brand- This is one way to get things brand new and for retail. Brands that ship internationally are Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Metamorphose Temps de Fille, Mary Magdalene and Angelic Pretty (although AP has a limited catalogue available on their English site).
~Sometimes items will be sold out and they will not have updated the site.
~Be patient. There are usually only a few people to deal with English orders, so it sometimes takes a while.
Secondhand Shops- The most popular is Closet Child.
The same tips as the brands apply here.
One of the most amazing things about lolita, in addition to the community and imagination in the designs is the aftermarket- in few other fashions are you able to sell something that doesn't fit you or you no longer wear, often for what you paid, or possibly more! However, there are some things that you should know before you dive headfirst into buying lolita clothing.