Updated for 2016!
When I set foot in a Disney World gift shop, I immediately wonder if I could have found a better price on eBay. There are many items you’ll have a hard time locating anywhere but in a Disney gift shop. There are many items, however, that I know I can find on Ebay, just possibly not at a price I think is a deal. Shopping online isn’t nearly as much fun as retail shopping on vacation, but it can save you a lot of money.
Just as you have to know your prices when you shop in grocery stores or Wal-mart for true deals and actual sale prices, it’s the same thing with shopping on eBay. While you can often find amazing deals, you really need to know your prices pre-bid, or you could wind up paying way more than you would pay on vacation.
What are some items you should avoid or be careful purchasing on Ebay?
1. Picture Frames
Sample Ebay listing: Walt Disney World 2014 Sorcerer Mickey Mouse 4 X 6 Resin Photo Frame
This picture frame would probably be around the $25 mark in a gift shop. Resin and wood frames are generally $20 to $30. This particular auction was a BUY IT NOW price of $24.95 plus $9.00 shipping. That’s more than you would pay on vacation. There are often a large number of picture frame auctions going on, most of which cost more than Disney retail. The most I have ever paid for a Disney frame on Ebay is $17 and the least was $10.
Unless you just need a certain Disney picture frame right this minute, watch your auction prices.
Suggestion: If you can find picture frames under $20, preferably under $15 including shipping, then you found a deal.
2. Resort Toiletries
Sample Ebay Listing: Lot H2o Disney World Park Resort Toiletries (Soap, Shampoo, Conditioner, Shower Gel, Body Lotion.)
There is a plethora of toiletry auctions on eBay, probably because people know how popular these little resort soaps and shampoos can be. These six items were listed for $10.99 on a BUY IT NOW auction with free shipping. But hello, shampoo is FREE at the resorts. Or it’s included in the price of your room, which means you aren’t paying an additional price. Do you really need a walk down a soapy memory lane at this price?
Sample Ebay Listing: Vintage Mickey Mouse Travel Bottle Conditioning Shampoo from Walt Disney World
This solo bottle of shampoo was listed at $9.99 plus $3.99 for shipping. I am almost speechless. Again, shampoo is FREE at the resorts, but not this particular type of shampoo anymore, because Disney Resorts now provide H2O bath and body products to their guests.
I’m not sure I would ever order resort toiletries from eBay, ever. Unless you are buying these vintage bottles as just that, vintage items for your shampoo bottle collection, then goodness, steer clear of these high-priced auctions.
Suggestion: Retailer T.J. Maxx often stocks H2O products at slashed prices. I have purchased several $15 H2O lotions and toners for $4.99 each. T. J. Maxx doesn’t always have the same items in stock, but H2O makes a quality product. Were they the same toiletries sold at the gift shops with the same “Disney” scent? No, but when you compare those prices with most auctions, I can live with it.
3. Trading Pins
Sample Ebay Listing: Disney Trading Pins-Lot of 50-No Duplicates-Fre
These pins were listed at $24.25 on a BUY IT NOW auction with free shipping, and from this company, there had been 2019 sets sold.
Lets’s take a look at prices for 100% authentic trading pins on the Disney Store.com as of July 2014.
- 11 Epcot World Showcase pins on a card retails for $54.95 before shipping.
- 5 randomly selected pins out of 16 in the Ear Hat Mystery Series series retails for $26.95 before shipping.
- One Mickey Mouse and Friends Happy Birthday pin retails for $9.95 before shipping.
- 7 Star Wars Emblem pins retail for $34.95 before shipping.
So at just $.50 a pin, the Ebay auction appears to be a tremendous deal. But let’s take a look at the wording on the auction.
You are buying a random assortment of 50 Disney Trading Pins which may include HM-LE-Rack-Cast pins with no duplicates. Each pin has the official Disney Logo on the back and comes with the rubber Mickey Ear backing. Each pin is 100% tradeable at all Disney Parks and with Cast Members. The pins in the picture are samples and you may or may not receive some of the pins in the picture. If you win more than one lot you may receive doubles.
The pins you are purchasing are “used” and may have minor scratches, bent or wobbly posts, color imperfections, rough edges or a missing part such as a strap, dangle, etc. Some of the pins are considered factory seconds and are recommended for trading at the Disney Parks and with Cast Members and may not be suitable for a personal collection.
Be careful about the pins you purchase on Ebay, as many can be called “scrappers.” Pixiedustsavings.com reports that a scrapper is a pin made during an official run that was meant to be discarded or destroyed (thus scrapped) for not meeting quality control standards. It can also refer to someone getting an old pin mold and remaking the pin. They describe how probably over 75% of pins on Cast Members lanyards are scrappers.
Use this Pixiedustsavings.com link HERE for instructions on how to spot scrappers. I read the article and viewed the photo comparisons, which unfortunately made me realize I couldn’t spot a fake pin in the parks. The Ebay lots of 50 and 100 pins for $1.00 each are too good to be true and will most assuredly be scrappers. When you find authentic pin traders in the parks, they will not trade scrapper pins, which can be confusing for many of the small children you probably bought the pins for.
Suggestion: If you are making picture frames or bulletin boards using pins to keep in your home, these pins would be a good deal, and it would actually take the scrappers out of circulation. But if you or your children want to trade for any authentic Disney trading pins, these super cheap scrapper pins are definitely not the route to go.
4. Alex and Ani Bracelets
Alex and Ani are an affordable souvenir jewelry item introduced to the Disney World and Disneyland parks within the last several years. Alex and Ani are an American company producing products “infused with positive energy.” The ancients referred to this precious energy as chi and prana, while modern science simply calls “vital force.” The Alex and Ani company believe positive energy is the natural energy that supports life.
Sample Ebay Listing: Disney World Parks Alex and Ani Minnie Ears Hat GOLD Charm Bracelet Bangle NEW
By gold, they are inferring a gold color, not actual 14k gold by the way. This Minnie Mouse bracelet was listed for $55.95 on a Buy Me Now auction with $2.50 for shipping. The regular pre-tax price of these bracelets at the Disney parks starts around $31.95 and goes up to $39.95. You can pay the same thing at the Disney Store.com, and if you purchase over $75 in merchandise, you usually get the shipping for free.
Unless you just NEED an Alex and Ani Disney bracelet jingling on your wrist immediately, or for a gift, then the bracelets on Ebay are not a deal. I have yet to even see an auction start under about $45.00.
Suggestion: For better prices, you want to pick up these bracelets in the parks or order from the Disney Store.com. To see many more styles of Alex and Ani Disney bracelets with prices, use this link:
5. Sterling Silver Charms
Sample Ebay Listing: DISNEY 3-D CINDERELLA CARRAIGE SOLID STERLING SILVER DANGLE CHARM *NEW* *GENUINE
This charm was a BUY IT NOW item for $69.99 with free shipping. There are a lot of “vintage” charms found on Ebay. Make sure you read the auction closely; “silver” is not the same thing as sterling silver.
I actually have this particular charm in sterling silver, and I paid $7.00 for it including shipping. It was an amazing deal then, and it seems even more fabulous now compared to almost $70.00 for this auction.
Suggestion: Sterling silver charms are $20 and up at the parks, so your Ebay goal is to have it delivered to your house for less than this. $10 is not impossible, although a purchase price around $15 is more realistic.
To see more about Disney sterling silver charm bracelets, use this link:
6. Theme Park Tickets
Sample Ebay Listing: (2) Walt Disney World One-Day One Park Tickets (Read Description Before Buying!)
These two tickets were on a BUY IT NOW auction for $69 with no shipping, and the seller had 0 feedback. Zero. They tell you at the bottom of the auction, “We are a discount travel and attraction tickets vendor that works directly with the resorts and travel clubs that we represent.” Now these prices appear to be a steal, until you read the fine print, and there is a lot of it.
- Must attend an approximately 120 minute, no obligation resort presentation. You will learn about a unique opportunity where you can become a member and enjoy great deals on future vacations, cruises, etc. You are under NO OBLIGATION to purchase anything. At the conclusion of the tour you will receive your tickets just for attending.
- Married or romantically involved cohabiting couples must be traveling and attend the presentation together. Single women that meet all other qualifications are also eligible.
- Both parties must be at least 25 years of age.
- Upon arrival each person must present a valid government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license, passport, military ID, etc. If addresses do not match on your ID’s then you must bring along some type of proof of same residence (utility bill, bank statement, lease, marriage license, etc.)
- One person must also present a valid MAJOR credit card. This card must be a MAJOR credit card, it cannot say debit or check, and cannot be a prepaid card. Your credit card will NOT be scanned or charged, this is just to satisfy the resort’s qualifications for this promotion. If you do not own a major credit card then you do not qualify for this offer.
- Must be gainfully employed with a minimum yearly combined income of $50,000 before taxes. Disability, SSI, and child support do not count towards the income requirement.
Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you shopping on Ebay, but only for certain items.
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Disney’s Cheapskate Princess