Admittedly, I made my first purchases out on the fringe of the community from two separate sellers on eBay (I know cringe!) but this was back in something like 2007. I was already super paranoid about shopping online and buying from people I didn't know so i tried to uncover as much as I could about ratings and tags. We didn't really have the resources we have now with Lolibrary, nor the now far gone HelloLace, and without understanding LJ yet I had gone it alone, but in the end they were very good purchases. It wasn't until I had paid that I decided to jump into the livejournal community.
I tried to read as many rules as I could, group descriptions and the like, but there were more things to check out on LJ then. Every few hours someone would create new content and hide it away behind cuts (which I would fail at nearly every turn to work properly!). It was truly hoping on that particular platform and in my nervousness I stayed to the sidelines with maybe a comment here or there and joined as many relavent comma as possible, including the sales comm.
As for my first purchases, they were easy enough. Since they were both from eBay I knew vaguely how to work it and knew I could get some protection from it. I even made offers on both pieces, which were accepted, and I had super speedy delivery times for both. For some reason I knew more about checking authentication on brand pieces then navigating a community that I only discovered within weeks of each other. To be completely honest though, I would not have changed my experiences very much with the exception of discovering the lolita community earlier on LJ and getting the courage to post sooner.
So this is simply one of a few reactions to this week's topic, I feel good to have even gotten that much out on it and hope you enjoyed my little blurb. If you want to check out more you can see others who participated in the links below but that's it for this week's Lolita Blog Carnival!