Tuesday, March 6, 2007

When is the best time to start an auction?

As many of you have noticed, I am sure, that your auctions get bid on at the last minute, it is a good idea to consider what time you want that last minute to be.

First of all, the time you start your auction is the time at which your auction will end. There is no way around this, other than to pay .10 cents per auction to Ebay to have it start at a specific time, or to use a third party service such as Auctiva.com.

Now when choosing a time and day it is important to consider what you are selling. If you are selling a book about the history of Long Beach California, or surfboards, or anything region specific, it is best to have that item end at an opportune time for that region to see it end.

For example, if you start your auction for surfboards at 6pm Tuesday on the east coast, it will end at 3pm pacific and 2pm in Hawaii. It is important to think about which region you are selling to and start your auction accordingly.

Personally, whenever I am listing items, I try to start the auction between 7pm and 8pm western time, so that it is accessible to bidders on the west coast, and not too late (10pm - 11pm) for bidders on the east coast. I also try to start my auctions on a Sunday night, though if you are considering having an auction run for ten days to get maximum exposure, you should probably start it on a Thursday night, so that it runs through two complete weekends, and ends on a Sunday evening.
Also, if you like the three day auctions, you should start them on a Thursday night, so they too will end on a Sunday.

General consensus among the internet commerce crowd seems to show that the most popular night for shopping is Sunday. The best nights to avoid, I believe, are Fridays and Saturdays, as many people have better things to do on Friday and Saturday evening.

Also, if you are posting multiple items that are the same, or very similar, it is best to spread them throughout the week. The less products ending on the same day, the more a demand is created, resulting in higher ending prices for your auction.

There is another philosophy on starting times, one which I do not yet subscribe to, but which seems semi-credible. This is the idea that you should have your auctions end early in the morning on Mondays. The idea is that if it ends early enough, people who are really interested in the item will give their max bid before they go to bed, in hope of winning it, instead of sniping in the morning. It seems like a nice idea, and is worth testing, but I am going to go with selling Sunday through Thursday nights for now.

Lastly, if you are selling office products, it is a good idea to have your items end on weekdays during office hours. Think about it. Just research your item, attempt to identify a market, and test a time at which you think the most buyers will be shopping.

Good luck with your listings, and please let me know if you have any other tips.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very nice. Thank you for the suggestions. Very informative.