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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
I was going to start selling on ebay but i'm wondering how to overcome the fact that I have no previous ebay history whatsoever. Any suggestions?
 

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sarafina said:
Hey guys,
I was going to start selling on ebay but i'm wondering how to overcome the fact that I have no previous ebay history whatsoever. Any suggestions?
create an acct and start selling.thats about ll you can do.

when i sell something to people i keep them inform night before shipping what ever i am selling i email them and let them no.then next moring after taking it to post office i email them again and tell them it has shipped.

i always get an email back saying "thanks for the update!"
then they leave good feedback.
 

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Hello,
That's no problem.You have to start from some where.Just give an accurate description of what you are selling with picture.Be competitive with price and the rest will take care of itself.You can also improve your feedback profile by buying from other sellers-give them a good feedback and you will get a good one back in return.Good luck.
 

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I disagree that it's no problem - there is a direct correlation between a person's feedback rating and the amount of money they receive for an item.

You do have to start somewhere, but don't fool yourself that it's not costing you money.

Most people start by buying on eBay to build up a profile, then switch over to selling. The type of feedback you have on your account (buyer vs. seller) does matter, but it's better than nothing.

You could also start by selling the useless household crap you have lieing around (since if you don't want it anymore anyway it's not going to matter as much how much you get for it) to build up your rating, before selling anything you care about. Some buyers will check what you've been selling and don't like it when you switch, but few people go to that much effort (unless they're buying a $3,000 diamond, etc.). If we're talking about a $12-15 t-shirt most people probably won't even check for buyer vs. seller feedback.

If you're going to start with a low (or even zero) rating, then start big. Open an eBay store immediately, make sure you run a lot of auctions and have a lot of inventory. If you look like a pre-existing business that is just opening in eBay, it will help. It also means you will build your feedback more rapidly. I buy a lot of things in the same field, so I become familiar with the sellers in that field - when a new seller comes along I tend to be leery, but if they rapidly build up from a zero to a thirty within a week or two, it builds a lot of trust.

I don't know how familiar you are with eBay, but new accounts have an icon that indicates they're less than 30 days old. That tends to be a warning sign to people. But on the other hand, if they have that icon and they have an unusually high feedback rating for being that old (i.e. 30+), it actually works in your favour - the low feedback rating is explained away by being new, and if you've got 30 feedback in less than 30 days you must be doing something right.

In short though, it's imperative you get over 100 as soon as you can, and the quicker you can get to 1000 the better. After that it doesn't matter much whether you're 1000 or 3000 or even 10,000 - just make sure you maintain a respectable percentage (99%+).
 

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Solmu is right on the money.

I'd buy and sell anthing before branding over to tshirts. Buying to start with....You can easily spend under $150 on tiny stuff from a few sellers to get your feedback jumpstarted over 100 in one swoop.

The selling dynamics really do change after you are over 100, and especially over 1000.
 

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Solmu said:
I disagree that it's no problem - there is a direct correlation between a person's feedback rating and the amount of money they receive for an item.

In short though, it's imperative you get over 100 as soon as you can, and the quicker you can get to 1000 the better. After that it doesn't matter much whether you're 1000 or 3000 or even 10,000 - just make sure you maintain a respectable percentage (99%+).
Sarafina,

I would disagree with the above.

I'm an active Ebay buyer and seller. It is not my experience at all that a seller's feedback rating has a lot to do with how much the item sells for. It may be the case that a seller with a zero or low feedback rating attracts less buyers, simply because buyers may have less confidence in a seller who has no track record (understandably), in which case they might decide not to bid at all. But those buyers who are willing to take a risk on a zero or low feedback seller are not going to pay any less for the item being auctioned. They're either prepared to buy or not prepared to...the price is unlikely to be a factor with inexpensive items where the financial risk is not significant (your Tshirts, for example, are unlikely to be a problem...I have no doubt that anyone willing to take a risk on a zero or low rating feedback seller will risk $10, $20, $30 or $40 or whatever on a Tshirt...I say this as an active Ebay buyer and seller).

That stuff about getting over 100 etc is just not true, and the 1000, 3000 and 10,000 claims are just ridiculous. It is far more important to have good, positive feedback than notching up hundreds of ratings. I wouldn't be so presumptuous as to put an actual figure on it, but I can say from my own experience that I have never had the slightest problem selling anything on account of not having thousands or even scores of feedback ratings. I know, too, as a buyer, that for an item I wanted that I thought was good value towards the auction close and was relatively inexpensive, I would not hesitate to bid and take on trust a seller with a score of, say, 10+ (yellow star) and excellent feedback comments. As a yellow star Ebayer (meaning I have a feedback rating of more than 10 but less than 100), I have had no problems selling any item I have listed, ranging from cheap household knick knacks for under $10 to guitar processing units, a Dimarzio pickup and various other musical items to $200. Tshirts will not be a problem for you.

I do think it is a good idea to get a little bit of Ebay experience buying and/or selling a bit of stuff you don't want (unwanted presents, etc), and acquiring a few good feedback comments. Once you've got a bit of a feedback rating, go for it with your tshirts. Post back here and let us know how you go. I'll be most surprised if your Ebay experience is other than mine, providing you always treat people courteously, communicate promptly when asked questions about items you're selling, pay promptly when buying, post promptly when selling, and leave appropriate feedback as soon as practical after a transaction is complete. Ebay is no different from other areas of life, where in most cases quality is far more important than quantity.

Good luck!
 

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I'm also a long time ebayer and aBay forum poster, and I agree with much of what you say Ross, but with a few big exceptions.

Ross B said:
I'm an active Ebay buyer and seller. It is not my experience at all that a seller's feedback rating has a lot to do with how much the item sells for. It may be the case that a seller with a zero or low feedback rating attracts less buyers,
I would agree with this up to a point. I think it's less true over a certain value (say $100), People *are* willing to risk a low feedback seller on a low value item far more than for a $1000 stereo. If they price goes too high, a secondary caution comes into play for many buyers.


Ross B said:
That stuff about getting over 100 etc is just not true, and the 1000, 3000 and 10,000 claims are just ridiculous. It is far more important to have good, positive feedback than notching up hundreds of ratings.
I agree that solid positive feedback is critical. But there's endless research that the higher the feedback, the higher the sell-through rate. Big numbers stick out. This is especially true with something with such a variable quality as tshirts. Big numbers inspire more confidence. Sure, it may be in only 10% of buyers, but when you're selling 60 units a day, those numbers add up.
 

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Ross B said:
I'm an active Ebay buyer and seller. [snip] As a yellow star Ebayer (meaning I have a feedback rating of more than 10 but less than 100)
Yellow star = 10-49 = newbie. Active eBayers don't have less than fifty feedback.

We're not talking about a few hobby sales here and there, we're talking about business level volume. Where small differences (i.e. 10% on final sales) can equal large amounts of money. If you don't even have over a hundred feedback, how can you know what difference it makes? You said yourself lower feedback means less buyers. Strangely enough, less buyers means less money.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thank you guys very much for all your advice. I need 10 feedback before I can even open a store so I plan to buy and sell alot of smaller items as monkey suggested. That will also give me some good experience navigating the workings of ebay.

Do you think i'm better off buying and selling random trinkets to get to 100 asap OR after 10 feedback and the capability to launch a store aggressively, take that route right away?
 

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It may take you awhile to sell t****s on ebay, lots of compitition.. I know I am there now also.. .. Unless they are really cheap. Cost is a good way to do it plus shipping. maybe a few cents extra for yourself on shipping. Then it cost nothing and you might make 50 cents but the adverting is free then. Also include an about me page because you can place a link to your website there. if you don't have a website then you can use mine..
 

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sarafina said:
I need 10 feedback before I can even open a store
I think this is one of those things that varies depending on which eBay you're on (i.e. .com, .com.au, .co.uk, etc.). Sometimes it's frustrating that they don't have a universal policy.

You used to not even be able to add a 'Buy It Now' to auctions until you were a 10 (I think this has changed now).

sarafina said:
Do you think i'm better off buying and selling random trinkets to get to 100 asap OR after 10 feedback and the capability to launch a store aggressively, take that route right away?
If you have the resources to launch aggressively (which means time more than anything), it's probably the way to go - that way you can start branding yourself as a t-shirt seller pretty much from the start. It also means you don't get someone leaving you negative feedback for the rusty old rake you sold them because they thought it was a Georgian antique. Do bear in mind it is a risk though - insertion fees add up quite horribly if you're not making any sales. I remember a new member here a while ago linked to their eBay store - they'd been open a few months and made about two sales, it looked pretty pathetic and I felt extremely sorry for them. Their shirts were pretty nice, but just not being seen.

As badalou said, if you have a website then link to it in your About Me page. Have something in common between your username and your website's name. Some buyers won't even check the About Me page, some will - those who do will probably feel better about your company if they know you've been doing this elsewhere (and those who aren't sure whether or not to trust you will probably read your About Me page rather than just leave). If you don't have a website you can link to, just write a nice spiel about your business and include a photo or two.
 

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Hello,
i started selling actively on ebay since oct.'02 .When i started i had no feedback,not a single one.The first item i listed was a gray 3X sweat pant for 6.00- with no picture.I sold it within the end of auction.Currently, i have over 465 feedbacks 98.9% positive.My advice to you is go for it ,start from some where.If you have accurate description and a competitive price with picture of your item,you will eventually get a bid.If you are not confortable with not having a feedback then buy some cheap items from other dealers on e-bay to build up your feedback.However,i dont think that having no feedback should stop you from listing your items.Good luck
 

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Solmu said:
Yellow star = 10-49 = newbie. Active eBayers don't have less than fifty feedback.
Goodness. I was wrong about yellow star = 10-100. It is 10-49, as Solmu has kindly pointed out. Just to be perfectly clear, I've got a feedback rating of 33, all extremely positive, and I regularly buy and sell on Ebay. I have been doing so for over a year, and was an occasional buyer/seller going back a year before that. As such, I don't consider myself a newbie. I do consider myself an active Ebayer. And in this capacity I offered observations in good faith based on my experience, which I hope and think are valid. If anyone out there is a Powerseller with thousands of positive feedback ratings, and they offer advice, listen to them over me, by all means. People proferring theoretical claims based on their assumptions and not much else are perhaps a little less credible.

Sarafina, I say again - go for it. Take notice of the people who speak from experience, like imageman and badalou. If imageman could start with a low Ebay rating and sell from the word go, so can you. The only word of caution I would offer is not to expect too much too soon. Once you have a bit of good feedback, that should not be an issue of any significance, but getting noticedis a challenge. There are so many Tshirt sellers on Ebay, as you are probably aware. If you have an excellent product, I am still romantic enough to believe that eventually you will reap what you have sown, but as with anything worthwhile, it's a matter of self-belief and persistence. Looking forward to a post from you announcing your first sale! All the best to you!
 

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Sarafina,

I'd also advise using www.terapeak.com. You can get a free month, then cancel, so it costs you nothing. It's a research analysis tool. Go to Seller Tools, and search for tshirts in the category option or look at a biggish seller, like borderdogstshirts.

You can work out how you should be schedualing your auctions for maximum profits.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Thank you all for the advice. Its alot to take in but it'll prepare me that much more for what I need to do. Thanks for the terapeak monkey. I was looking for something of this nature.

One last thing: Inventory. My target market is probably the same as borderdogs so what size ratios and units would be good to start off? The tshirts are screenprinted and I wanted to get 100 units 12-15 designs (still undecided) but i'm not sure. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I'll keep you guys posted.
 

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I have had great results with eBay. I recommend just starting out selling stuff you don't use or have outgrown. I started out that way and sold some items for just a couple bucks but I learned how to list, watch and then ship the item. Read all you can on the ebay forums and ask questions with the "community". I also bought two books on how to run an eBay business. You will discover when to sell items, for how much and the ins and outs of shipping. There is a lot of trial an error but once you get the hang of it posting items for sale becomes easy as it is all repeatative.
Suggestions:

1. take clear pictures (the more the better). If you are selling clothes use a model or mannequin. I also bought white poster boards as a back drop. Learn to use a photo touch up program whether it is ebay's or Photoshop.

2. clear descriptions to avoid returns. color, material, measurements and condition

3. Learn basic HTML so you can post pictures for free. You can find this on 3schools.com. SIgn up for Photobucket or something similar to store your photos.

4. Buy mailer envelopes in small and large sizes. You will save a lot of money this way

5. Make sure your product is something someone wants. Take advantage of ADVANCED SEARCH and see what has sold and for how much. You would be amazed at what is selling.

I hope this info helps. Also one last thing. Look at your sales reports if your expenses are more than what is coming in you need to stop and find a new product. It is easy to get carried away and keep relisting items for auction.
 

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Hey Saari, I tried that link, but it didn't go anywhere... how does that work with the pictures? I've seen it done, can you explain more? What does Ebay think of it, any idea or feedback from the community? Thanks alot.. Kelly
 

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if you know html you can embed any image directly into your listing. You should be hosting your images on a free hosting site as ebay gives you a small amount of free space, but then they charge you.

the tag for images is very simple < img src=xxx> where xxx is the exact URL to your image, including the http://. Hope this helps:)

oh, another quick tip be sure to save your image at 72 dpi, and keep it smaller than say 500 x 500 or so, that way it wont take over the page and be annoying:)

This tip will be more useful now that eBay has Capped their use of images in the free image input area to one:( I was highly displeased that many of my store listings which had lots of images in them were reduced to one without any notice from ebay... grrrrr!
 
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actually site it is W3Schools Online Web Tutorials. you should go through the HTML tutorial. The direct link to insert photos into your auction is
HTML Images

By the way all my ebay auction still have my pics. I have 2-4 pics on each listing. take a look. Just google DesignIncluded. I got scared there for a minute.

I hope that helps,

Hey Saari, I tried that link, but it didn't go anywhere... how does that work with the pictures? I've seen it done, can you explain more? What does Ebay think of it, any idea or feedback from the community? Thanks alot.. Kelly
 
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