Today’s Topic: Bra-Shopping on eBay
By Gazonga Gal
I am being held hostage by my triple-Ds. You think big boobs are a blessing? Ha. Think again. While A-cups, Bs and even perky Cs can traipse around in public without support (and I don’t mean governmental), once you arrive at the D-zone, you’re relegated to a special fitting room in hell.
Times are tough. I don’t want—and frankly can’t afford—to pay department store prices for high-end lingerie. (What are they making Walcoal bras out of anyway? Gold thread and fairy dust?) Sure you can hit the slightly-imperfect and last-season/discontinued racks—I’d say, “no pun intended” but who am I kidding?—at T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s or Burlington Coat Factory, but just try to find something, hell anything, in a 34-DDD. Yes, it does happen. Once in a blue-gazonga’ed moon.
So, what’s a poor girl with big ’uns to do?
You guessed it: eBay.
Now, bra shopping is a lot like shoe shopping. Sometimes you really need to try on the merchandise. Unlike cooking, there’s no such thing as “a standard cup” when it comes to bras. One company’s DDD is another company’s DD—and that can make a world of d-d-difference when it comes to fit. If you’ve been living under a rock and missed it on Oprah, there are scads of gals walking around with their taters stuffed into wrong-sized tot-holders. The consequences of this fitting faux pas range from being sniggered at as a fashion victim to suffering health complications. You also need to be aware that changes in weight can affect bra size. If you gain or lose 10 pounds, you may go up or down in size accordingly.
But I’ve done my homework. I’ve found it’s worth the time invested and braving the haughty, better-than-thou stares of aggrieved saleswomen who know you’re not going to purchase anything—but are only marginally sure you’re not a shoplifter—to get yourself to a real lingerie department that offers a wide selection and try on a bunch of things.
Hint: Take a pen and paper with you and jot down the maker and style numbers of bras that work for you. Then, since you aren’t going to buy (unless there’s a substantial mark-down or a 50 percent-off sale), place your selections back on the hangers neatly, and as discreetly as you can, get the hell out of Dodge.
Of course, if you have the opportunity, I’d recommend getting a fitting. Yes there are women who actually fit bras for a living. Embarrassed by the thought? Don’t be. These gals have seen everything—and I do mean everything: from the micro-titted to FFFrankenboobies, mastectomies to—and I am not making this up—three on a match (yes, the Lord works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform), so when you pop out your pair (or trio) for their perusal, it will be strictly business.
Personally, I wouldn’t go in for a fitting if I weren’t prepared to buy at least one bra. I know, the point of this exercise was bra buying on the cheap, but think of it as a long-term investment. Maybe it’s just me, but I think it would be akin to being on a Kia budget and having the temerity to schedule a test drive for a Lamborghini. Big boobs, I got… the entitlement gene … not so much—but I digress….
So, anyhoo… Once you’ve graduated your course in Bras 101, it’s time to hit e-Bay. For the faint of heart, there is always the “Buy it Now” option, but such purchases are rarely of the deep discount variety. I prefer to take my chances with standard auctions. If you know the style number and maker of your ideal brassiere, type it into the search parameters along with your size. This will save you from endless page views of Victoria’s Secret seconds (unless of course, you are a VS girl, in which case, by all means, go for it).
What the hell do “NWT” and “NWOT” mean? “New With Tags” and “New Without Tags.” Either is fine, as is, “gently used,” unless you are creeped out by the prospect of wearing a garment that someone else has worn before—which, unless it’s panties, I am not…but again, I digress. As with any e-Bay auction, do check the seller feedback prior to placing a bid. Wrangling for refunds from fly-by-night bra salesmen/women is not fun.
And now ladies, place your bids, and may the best woman win. I feel obligated to tell you, though, than many old eBay hands—myself included—sometimes employ online services such as Auctionsniper.com to swoop in and up the ante just as the auction closes, snatching victory from competing bidders who are left sans bra and shell-shocked at the last possible second. I used to worry that sniping was bad karma, but then, I came to the conclusion that where there’s a Goddess 5056 Soft Cup Sports Bra on the line, all’s fair in love, war and bra shopping, especially when you’re a hard-to-find size like me.