The time of day that you list your auction items is crucial to your online success. When you consider that your auctions will end at the same time of day as you list them. So if you list your auctions at 3:00 in the morning, because you are a night owl and that’s when you like to work, keep in mind they will also end at 3:00 in the morning when fewer people will be awake and bidding on your items.
Since most of the bidding on an auction occurs in the last few minutes of the auction this could really hurt the final price your auctions receive. So it’s important to have your auctions start and end at the times when your buyers are likely to be awake and bidding. Ending date and time are the most important times to control for. Starting time and date are the same as end date and times for seven day auctions. But if you use any of eBay’s other auction durations, like 3 day or 5 day then start your auctions on a day that will cause them to end when most of your buyers are likely to be bidding.
For instance, I used to auction children’s clothes in 25 piece lots and I found that most of the people who shopped with me were mothers. My best time to list was about 8:00pm, on Sunday evening. When running seven day auctions that meant that they would also end at that time the following Sunday. That gave me two opportunities to connect with my buyers, at the start, and at the end of the auction.
Duration: Although seven day auction are the norm there are times that one of the other durations that eBay offers may be right for you. eBay offers you the option of 1 day, 3 day, 5 day, 7 day, and 10 day auction durations. eBay charges a small fee of 10 cents for auctions that are 10 day’s duration. With the 10 day duration you get the most time in front of your prospective buyer for a minimal extra cost. This may work well for an item that may be a slow mover. But some buyers may not want to wait 10 days to have the auction close and may look elsewhere, on or off eBay, to get the item quicker.
You may think that a 3 day auction is too short a duration to get much action but I have had very good success with 3 day auctions that I started on Thursday and had the auction end on Sunday in the evening. In most cases, I experienced no drop-off in price when I moved to the 3 day duration. And I was able to move a lot more of the items I was selling without flooding the market, by running auctions for the same item, closer together than the 7 day duration allows for. Buyers also perceive that there is a reason to move on the item quickly when the auction is of short duration. And tend to commit with a bid quicker, if the item is something that they want.
Start & End Times: eBay says that 4:00pm – 7:00pm (pst) are the busiest times on the site. That is afternoon and evening hours for all of the time zones in the US. If you find that your customers are from other parts of the world then you need to adjust your times accordingly.Keep in mind that if your auction starts at 1:27pm it will end at 1:27pm regardless of the duration of the auction in days.
Day of the Week: As I already mentioned Sundays were the best day of the week for me to end my auctions, when I sold children’s clothes. But that was not true when I sold gothic clothing. Mostly young people buy gothic clothing, I found, and the best times to end were on a Friday night around midnight. When they would be looking to get new clothes but the malls were closed. So it is important to become familiar with your customer’s buying habits. A lot of this comes with experience, but there are also tools that can help you do the research. Terapeak has a suite of really good tools. Their packages cost between $7.95 and $16.95 but they do offer a 14 day free trial. Andale, also offers tools that help you research best times, days and items to list.
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