Selling things on eBay can be one of the more profitable ways of getting rid of unwanted items, but to be a really successful eBay seller you need to plan your eBay sales carefully. Good eBay timing is one of the more important elements in successful internet selling. Before making an eBay auction listing sellers need to consider:
- The best time of year to list the item.
- When to end the auction.
- How long to run the auction.
- What other similar items are on sale.
The Best Time of Year to List an Item
Selling Christmas trees in January is rarely profitable, and many other specifically seasonal items will sell far better at certain times of the year. Even when selling an item with a year-round appeal it’s generally best to avoid Bank Holidays when there’s a marked fall-off in internet activity. This also applies to a lesser extent to school holidays, although some children’s goods may actually sell well then.
When to End an Auction
Paradoxically, it’s best to decide when to finish the auction first, then work backward. Some eBay sellers maintain that it doesn’t matter at what time or on what day sellers finish an auction, as eBay’s proxy buying system will enable buyers to register a bid even when they can’t log in.
However, not all potential buyers will use this system, and even those who do may be tempted to go beyond their original ceiling in the final feeding frenzy before an auction ends.
It’s therefore a matter of deciding when most potential buyers for a particular item are likely to be logged in – weekday or weekend, daytime or evening, and early or late. Sunday afternoon or evening is considered a good time to end an auction by most sellers, as a standard week-long auction will give exposure over part of two weekends, and end the bidding at a time when most people are free.
However, there are always exceptions, and if, for example, target buyers are likely to include many weekend commuters Friday and Sunday evenings are best avoided.
How Long to Run an Auction
The most popular auction timing is for one week, the standard auction period, If sellers decide on this, then the end day and time will determine when the eBay auction listing should start. This is normally long enough to expose the item to the majority of potential buyers.
A longer auction risks losing buyer interest, or the possibility of some other eBay seller creaming of buyers with a short sharp sale ahead of a seller’s finish. However, with an unusual or particularly valuable item an auction extending over two weekends, say ten days following a Thursday listing, maybe worth considering.
A good eBay reputation built on positive feedback is vital for an eBay seller. These tips will help sellers build a high feedback score and avoid negative feedback.
What Else is on Sale
Before finally launching an eBay listing, it’s always wise to do a final check for other similar items on sale. If there are other similar items attracting little interest, it may be worth delaying a listing until there’s less competition.
On the other hand, if two or three similar items are attracting strong interest, it’s worth considering listing an auction to end just after the last, or possibly second last, competing item to pick up the unsuccessful bidders who may bid more when they know this is their last chance.