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What Is The Best Time to Start an Auction on eBay

July 5th, 2007 by Skip McGrath

If you want to make more money on eBay, the better question to ask is when should my auctions end.

Deciding which day to start a listing depends on the auction duration you select. eBay offers 1, 3, 5,  7 and 10-day auctions.

Statistically auctions ending Sunday and Monday evening between 5PM-7PM Pacific Time (all eBay times are Pacific) get the most visibility and the highest number of bids. However, this is not true for all items and it pays to test and do some research.

Here is an example.  I am a fairly large dealer in Starbucks collectibles –mostly Starbucks City Mugs. (Here is a link to my listings if you are interested). For the past three years I have been ending my auctions mostly on Sunday and Monday evenings and doing pretty well.  Typically my Starbucks listings have a Sell Through Rate (STR) of over 70%. 

A few months ago I was playing around with the HammerTap3 Research tool researching some new items I had seen at a wholesale trade show.  On a whim I decided to plug in my Starbucks city mugs to see what it said about the best day and time to end an eBay auction.

To my surprise HammerTap came back and said the best day &time to end auctions was on Wednesdays between 3PM and 4PM.  I thought that was a little strange but decided to try it.  I guess HammerTap is pretty accurate because my STR jumped to over 80% and my final values went up by more than 15%.

Now the conventional wisdom would be to immediately change all of your listings to that time block –but this could be a mistake.  Once you know the best time and day to end an auction, the natural tendency would be to list all of your items at that time.  The problem is this could hurt you.  It is a question of supply and demand.  If you suddenly list lots of items at the most popular times you will increase the supply and essentially compete against yourself.

A better strategy is to list your best-selling or most profitable items during the peak time and then look for the next-best times to list the rest of your items.

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