How do you go about building a convincing feedback profile from scratch? As it turns out, there is some elbow grease and almost inevitably a few scrapes involved. The following techniques together amount to a general strategy for building a strong eBay feedback profile that will support your sales efforts.
- Buy a few things that you need first. If your ultimate plan is to become an eBay seller, you'll eventually want lots of feedback as a seller (i.e. feedback from buyers). Even so, however, some feedback is always better than no feedback when you're listing your first few items, so shopping on eBay for common household goods of various kinds (ink pen refills, kitchen knives, coffee mugs, knitted mittons—anything cheap) is a good way to build a reasonably large positive feedback profile quickly. Such a profile will demonstrate to other eBayers that you are at least familiar enough with eBay to successfully shop and promptly pay for goods on eBay.
- Be prepared before you begin to sell. Don't list your first item for sale before you're ready. Have the item packed and ready to go, know where you local shipping facility is and when they are open. Be aware of holidays and the realities of shipping fragile items. Make sure that you won't be saddled with unexpected delays or complications that will lead you to have to contact your buyer with an apology—and possibly deserve a negative feedback rating.
- Start small with your sales. Don't try to sell any high-value items before your feedback profile has reached a size measured in dozens of feedback ratings—you're sure to lose money on the sale if you do, since high-value bids require, as a general rule, high-feedback sellers. Start small, even if you eventually plan to sell big-ticket items. Complete small selling transactions of the same kinds of goods mentioned above to demonstrate to potential bidders who survey your feedback profile that you are capable of completing a sale and shipping promptly.
- Solicit feedback for every transaction. As a beginning seller, your job is to assemble a large feedback profile as quickly as you can. To do this with the greatest possible efficiency, be sure to get feedback for every transaction you complete. Contact your trading partner to ask for feedback if a transaction has been completed with no feedback posted by them. Be sure to leave feedback for your trading partner as well, to encourage them to do so in return.
- Be extremely careful and conscientious in your trading. An early negative can be devastating for a seller, reducing feedback percentages drastically. A high-quality, trustworthy seller can sustain at most approximately one negative feedback rating for every ninety-nine positives, so sellers just starting out need to avoid negative feedback like the plague. Remember, especially early on, that the customer is always right—and tell your trading partner that you're determined to earn a positive from them as a seller who is just beginning.
There's no exact science for building an excellent feedback profile, but the general tenets for building an excellent feedback profile are also in many cases the best practices even experienced sellers can employ—being meticulous and conscientious, asking for feedback and earning positives with good customer service are the bedrock of any eBay business, just as they are the foundation of a good eBay start.