a few months ago, i was really happy to have found this j. crew tie neck dot top on the jca weekly selling thread. it was new with tags and below retail. i've bought and sold on jca a few times, and have been very pleased with my experiences there. the marketplace sub-forum at the alterations needed forum has also been a good place to find items sold out on a retailer's site. ebay is another good place, of course.
as with any online buying/exchanging forum, though, care and caution are key. the first time i had a transaction go completely south on ebay, it consumed so much of my time and energy. i learned however, to document things better from that point. alexis at jca wrote an excellent post about protecting yourself as much as you can in these transactions (see also gigi's post). research the item for authenticity and possible damage that could be undisclosed in the original listing. whether it is a high priced item or not, it's your hard earned money at stake. so, if you have any concerns or the seller has not provided pictures, ask for photographs of the item they are going to send to you. clear and timely communication is important on both sides. i'm sure it isn't news to many that you should not wire money or use cheques. paypal is reliable and secure. it also protects you in the event there are issues. do you have any other tips? please share!
outfit: blouse: j. crew dot bow top, via jca, similar here, here; blazer: j. crew schoolboy blazer, here, similar here; pants: j. crew, old; shoes: zara, old; bracelet: spike the punch, rainey bracelet, here