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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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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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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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