Now, it's not that I don't sometimes make rash "I don't care how much it is! Just take my money!" decisions sometimes, but I at least like to pretend that when it comes to Lolita, I'm a pretty good bargain hunter.
Know what you want to buy. Having a little list of things you would like to own, or your wardrobe is missing, is essential to finding a bargain. After all, if you start picking up stuff just because it's cheap, with no real interest in wearing it, you might as well just be throwing that money away. I should know! That's how I got into the mess of having a huge wardrobe but absolutely nothing to wear!
Know what their typical prices are. Window shop, a lot! Search around for older sales to see how much people have bought the piece you would like for. Try not to focus how much people are attempting to sell the piece for, but instead how much people are actually spending on it. Eventually you'll learn to know when a good deal comes along, and when you should just pass and wait for it to pop up again for a cheaper price.
Haggling, trades, and payment plans. These things can be awesome for finding something for a really good price, or with an affordable payment plan, however, you really have to respect the seller's terms of sale or you might risk offending them, I cannot stress this enough. Generally, as a rule of thumb, I try not to ask if sellers are willing to lower their price or accept trades unless they specifically say that they are interested in either. I also do not ask for any sort of massive price reduction. There's no real rule about how much you should ask for a reduction if you're haggling over Lolita clothes, but it's often considered a bit rude to ask for a reduction of more than 15% to 20%, and you should always phrase it in a polite way, such as "would you consider $____" rather than something something that sounds demanding, such as saying "I'll give you $____" It usually doesn't hurt to ask if someone will accept a payment plan, but I will let them know straight away that I would like to pay on a payment plan, and for how long, because it's rude to spring it on someone after they've agreed to sell the item to you. I also try to keep payment plans as short as possible and aim for no longer than a month. I also try not to ask for both a reduction and a payment plan, especially because a seller is most likely to just pass on your offer completely and wait to see if someone is willing to pay them their asking price in one payment. It's not a good deal if someone buys it out from under you because you were being too cheap!
Search for older sales posts. If you are looking for a good deal, your best bet would be to find it in older sales posts, generally about 5 days to a month old. Any newer than that, and people are still probably buying stuff from the post, any older than that and the seller might have just decided to keep the items. If you want to offer a lower price on an item (again, only if it is an appropriate price and the buyer is stating that they are accepting lower prices) people tend to be more willing to lower their price after their post stops catching people's attention. I know that when I sell stuff, if someone makes me an offer a week or so later, I'm always just glad to get rid of the piece by then!
Be willing to compromise condition. You can find good deals if you're willing to compromise the condition. Many people offer huge price cuts on second-hand items because there is a snag in the lace, a few tiny spots that may or may not come out with a hand washing, is missing a detachable bow or waist ties, or has a snapped elastic. If you know how to fix these things, or don't mind the sometimes microscopic drops of mystery stain that some items are sold with, you can usually find some great deals on some pieces. Not all of these things are defects too! It's generally considered that modifying a piece will lower the value, and I actually have gotten a few great deals on skirts that I wouldn't otherwise fit, but who's waistbands had been modified to go an inch or two bigger!
Patience, patience, patience! Sometimes it can take months for certain items to pop up again on the sales comm! While this is sort of a downer for those that really want something now, it's also something of a blessing in disguise. I find that the waiting and the hunting for a particular piece really makes me reconsider if I want it in the first place. If I'm totally over something after not being able to find it for a month, I just take it off my wish list. When you actually have to work for pieces (and I don't just mean saving up the money to buy them!) you really start to learn exactly what pieces you truly love and will appreciate owning, rather than which ones are just sort of a current obsession. There's absolutely no shame in realizing your latest oh-gosh-I'm-just-going-to-die-if-I-can't-own-this dream dress was just part of a month long obsession you had with pancakes or unicorns, or pancakes shaped like unicorns. We all go through those sorts of obsessions, especially in Lolita, when really cool things are constantly being released!
I have found a good lolita shop, which is ocrun.com. Once you register this website, you will get 5% coupon. The delivery time is only 8-10 working days. Good luck to you.