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How To Build A Reputation As A Dominant eBay Seller

Aug 17, 2007
Your biggest obstacle to selling at the outset is going to be that you have no transaction history on eBay. Buyers have no reason to trust you. And the best indicator of whether or not they should trust you to deliver what you promise is your feedback rating.

This is how eBay describes feedback ratings:

"Feedback ratings are used to determine each member's feedback score. A positive rating adds 1 to the score, a negative rating decreases it by 1, and a neutral rating has no impact. The higher the feedback score, the more positive ratings they've received from members. However, a member can increase or decrease another member's score by only 1 no matter how many transactions they share."

There are two ways to quickly build feedback while you are establishing your new eBay business. One is to make purchases, and the other is to sell inexpensive things that bidders are willing to risk a couple of dollars on. You should achieve a feedback rating of no less than 25 before listing items in your specialty (unless you can sell some cheap items in that niche). Doing so will bring more bids and higher selling prices when you list those items.

When exploring eBay for bargains to build your feedback, you might think about picking up some business or success books. These are tax deductible for you as a business owner. One book that every business owner should read at least once a year is "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. You should be able to pick it up for five or six dollars, including shipping. Be wary of shipping costs while bidding, by the way.

Always decide the most you are willing to pay for an item prior to bidding, subtract the shipping cost, and bid no higher than the difference between those two figures. You might also look for some books about selling on eBay, or a recent edition of "Taxes for Dummies." If you haven't received feedback by the time you receive your item in the mail, first leave feedback for the seller, then send them an email informing them that you received the item, posted feedback for them, and ask them to post feedback for you as well.

Another quick way to build feedback is by bidding on penny auctions that have no shipping fees associated with them. These are usually placed by sellers trying to recruit bidders into a business opportunity. Listing these types of auctions is against eBay's policies, and many will be closed before the auction ends. However you should be able to gain at least a couple of feedbacks a week by bidding on them. Use the advance search feature to ferret them out. Search for the terms "no shipping","free shipping", "free auction" or something similar in the auction description, and only search auctions that are between one and three cents.

Sort the results to display the auctions ending soonest, and bid on the ones ending in the next couple of days. Make sure you don't win more than one from the same seller, as only the first feedback from each member will count in your rating.

We also mentioned selling some cheap items that bidders will be willing to risk a couple of bucks on. Small paperback books or other items around your house that are inexpensive to ship work well for this. Mark the shipping up by about a dollar more than it will actually cost to ship your item, and start the bidding at a penny. Even if the item only sells for a penny, you will probably break even on the auction after you pay your eBay and PayPal fees. Remember, this is about building feedback, and not about making money (yet).
About the Author
James Penn is an experienced eBay seller & has assisted many eBay sellers to help them make money on eBay. Discover many other ways that eBay auction templates will help explode your eBay sales & grab a selection of free eBay eBooks by signing up to his free eBay newsletter.
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