Feedback - How to get more of it!

So one of the biggest hurtles as a new reseller is feedback. If you are a new seller on eBay, not too many buyers are willing to purchase from 0 feedback account. Most eBay OGs will tell you the best way to up your feedback is to become a buyer first then, after about ten or so positive feedback, your selling will be easier. That’s genuinely good advice, but seller feedback and buyer feedback are different. Once you get that initial feedback, making the switch to primarily a seller account, many get frustrated that their feedback is reduced to a trickle.

There are a few reasons why receiving feedback as a buyer is easier than as a seller. Most large established sellers have feedback set to auto, meaning that as soon as you pay, they auto rate you. This is to save them time, because they are selling a lot of items everyday. In addition, you cannot leave buyers negative feedback, so many sellers just view this as something easily automated, since the them “it doens’t really matter”. As an established seller this mindset makes sense, but if you are new to eBay and trying to grow your resell business, I would actually recommend against this.

Picture of my Thank You card before wrapping and shipping out a Rae Dunn Mug.

Picture of my Thank You card before wrapping and shipping out a Rae Dunn Mug.

My feedback return fluctuates between 42-48%. Since eBay doesn’t release these metrics, I’ll have to go off of a general consensus in the reselling community that typical feedback return is 20-25%. I attribute my higher than average return to consistently doing two things:

I put a Thank You business card in every item.

I wait until the item is delivered to leave the buyer feedback.

To be honest, the business cards are from my other side hustle and I had over 1000 of them, so this was a way to upcycle and show a person is behind the eBay account, and not a big company. I believe this adds a more personal touch that buyers appreciate. By waiting until the item is delivered, giving feedback is a gentle push, while the purchase is fresh in their mind, to return the feedback favor.

As far as my other selling platforms, I have a 89% on Mercari and a 43% on Etsy. On Mercari, in order to receive your funds you have to have the buyer review you. If they haven’t three days after receiving the item, Mercari will auto positive review you, which is how I calculated the 89%. Technically 100%, but I don’t count the auto feedback.

One of my summer seasonal polymailers.

One of my summer seasonal polymailers.

If possible, I would also recommend upping your packaging game. All my clothes are put in a clear plastic polymailer with the Thank You card, and then in a seasonally relevant polymailer for final shipping. Careful packing for breakable items is a must, but instead of just wrapping in a blank paper before putting it in bubble wrap, put one piece of colorful tissue over the blank white for a bit of flare, while not having to worry about the color transferring on the item.

Note: Do not wrap things in newspaper. One, it’s cheap looking, and two, if your package gets wet at all or is transported to a humid area the new print can transfer onto the item, essentially ruining it.

I would recommend not messaging your buyers about leaving you feedback. No one likes a pushy salesperson. If you are selling quality items and take care in your packaging, buyers will leave you feedback. Try some of my recommendations, and let me know if they work for you!

Bailey's Yum Collection 1996 Tea Cups

A few years ago I had a meeting in Richmond, VA, and since it was a long distance from where I lived I headed up early in case of traffic. Miraculously there was no traffic, so I arrived at the meeting location with over an hour to spare. Not wanting to sit in my car for a hour, I saw there was a small thrift store across the street. I walked in, and I remember it being set up a lot differently than the big thrift stores for which I was accustomed (GoodWill, DAV, CHKD). I wandered around for a little while, not really seeing anything interesting, when I spotted the most ridiculous pair of tea cups winking at me from the shelf.

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Literally winking at me.

I picked them up and at three dollars for the pair I thought they would be fun pieces to have around the office. I wasn’t reselling at the time, so I purchased them and they sat and were used every now and again in my office break room.

Fast forward a few years to now, where I found this Crazy Lamp Lady on YouTube. I’ve been reselling clothes off and on on eBay for over a decade, but she seemed to be very successful on Etsy with hard goods. I’m a business person, so diversifying revenue streams and branching out on a different platform with a different set of wares appealed to me. Since I specialized in clothes and I wasn’t going to get to the thrift stores again until the weekend, I thought to myself, “how was I going to fill out my new Etsy store?”

Then I remembered the winking cups.

There they were still smiling and winking in my office break room, so for a lark, I started researching them to see if I could find out any more about them. I typed in Bailey’s tea cups into the oracle (Google), and it turns out they are part of a much larger full serving tea set that was a limited edition release in 1996. The full service set had well over twenty pieces, which I didn’t have, so then I looked on eBay to see if a single pair of cups would be worth more than my original $3 price tag.

I saw multiple comps on eBay, so I decided to list them on my new Etsy shop on April 2, 2019. They were my first sale and sold for $24.00 with free shipping the next day on April 3, 2019. After Etsy fees of $2.43, shipping of $11.20 to Washington state, and my original purchase price of $3.18 (with tax), I made $7.19 on my first sale on Etsy!

Don’t worry, my assistants still have plenty of less valuable mugs to drink out of still in the break room.

Jasco Ceramic Mallard Duck Lint Remover Brush

I am fortunate to have multiple thrift stores not only near where I live, but also near where I work. Where I work happens to have the perfect juxtaposition for resell thrift: affluence, retirement communities, outlet mall, and yuppie/hipster college town. Finding high end brands thrifting here is common,many new with tags. Finding vintage items and antiques is common, because of a loved one doesn’t want to deal with the estate of their passed relative. Best of all, having a glut of mall brands is low, due to the college kids picking them up for their own wardrobe. A perfect reseller storm of conditions. It’s for this reason I make it a point to go thrifting at least twice a week, during lunch or after work, once on Monday, and another time midweek.

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It was on one of these midweek trips I found this little ducky. At first, I thought it was just a well loved ceramic with a sizable felted bottom to protect both the ceramic duck and any surface it rested on from scratching each other. However, once I picked it up and felt the texture of the bottom, I knew that was not the case. It felt almost like a hairbrush. I decided at half off of $2.25 ($1.25 with discount and sales tax), it was worth picking up and doing a little research.

At first I reverse image searched on Google, and that was no help. As pretty as mallard ducks are, live birds were not going to help me identify my ceramic ducky’s purpose. Then I did a reverse image look up on eBay. Lo and behold, I found a ton of similar fuzzy bottomed duckies on eBay. My $1.18 duck, was a vintage Jasco Ceramic Mallard Duck Lint Remover Brush from the 1980s. Given the muted colors, the brush material and the trim on the wood that fit the time frame perfectly. I also saw they went for around $14-$15 with free shipping on eBay.

So that’s what I list it for, but on Etsy.

I listed it on Etsy, because there were so many listings on eBay I thought mine might get lost. Since it was a vintage piece, I could list it on Etsy and did. It was a good choice, as it sold six days after listing it for $14 with free shipping. At $14 sale price, I paid $1.41 in Etsy fees, $4.33 to ship it all the way to Washington state, first class USPS, and my original price of $1.25, I made $7.01 off a $1.25 ducky I found on my lunch break at GoodWill.