Best and Worst Days to End Your Auction

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Choosing the time to post your auction and the duration of it are two of the most important aspects of selling on eBay. You want to make sure your item not only is posted at the best time, but stays up long enough for people to see it and bid. In this guide you’ll learn the best days to end an auction, your options for duration, and which to use for your item.

Best and Worst Days to End Your Auction

Traditionally, the best and worst days to end an auction are:

Monday Excellent
Tuesday Good
Wednesday Fair
Thursday Good
Friday Poor
Saturday Fair
Sunday Excellent

Sunday and Monday evening between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Pacific time) are statistically the highest periods of activity on eBay and have the highest sell-through rate. Monday during lunch hour is also excellent.

These are general statistics, and all products are different. But in general, people do best ending their listings on Monday, as buyers who were searching over the weekend don’t forget about the auction. This also catches all the people who are surfing from work, and even business owners, depending on the item you’re selling.

However, savvy buyers avoid these high-traffic times, so it’s important to consider your buyer to determine when your target buyer will likely be on the computer.

Duration

Your options are 1, 3, 5, 7, or 10 days for auctions, and 3, 5, 7, 10, or 30 days for fixed-price listings. You also have a Good ’Til Cancelled option for fixed-price listings. This automatically renews your listing every 30 days until all of the items are sold.

One-day auctions should only be used when you’re selling a time-sensitive item, such as tickets for an upcoming event, or a gift item in the last 10 days before Christmas.

Three-day auctions don’t always catch as many bidders, but if you’re selling a lot of items, they will help you turn your inventory much quicker.

Five- and seven-day auctions are your best bets if you’re not running a business.

Seven- and ten-day listings are best if you’re selling a single item at a fixed price, to make sure we reach all the business buyers and teachers who may be looking midweek as well as on the weekend.

Thirty-day auctions are best if you’re selling multiple quantities of an item. You will pay more in the listing upgrade fees for a 30-day listing, but once you’ve gotten your first sale, subsequent ones come a lot easier. You may as well get your money’s worth and use the 30-day option.

Scheduled Start

This is one of those options that eBay charges for, but the charge is so little that it’s worth it almost every time. For only 10¢, your auction will be listed for you at whatever day and time you set.

Think about it: your research shows that Thursday afternoon between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. is the best time to launch your auction. But then you get stuck in rush-hour traffic and don’t get back home until after 8:30 p.m. Do you list it anyway at a nonoptimal time or wait another week? Unless you are sitting at your computer all day every day and never forget any appointments, this option is strongly recommended.

Your end day is more critical than your start day. It’s really easy to work out your start day if you’re using a seven-day auction, but if it’s a three- or five-day auction, sometimes it can get confusing. Does it include the day you list, or is the following day the first day of the duration?

Here’s a table to show you exactly which day your auction will end for each start day of the week.

Auction Duration (in Days)
List Day 1 3 5 7 10
Monday Tues. Thurs. Sat. Mon. Thurs.
Tuesday Wed. Fri. Sun. Tues. Fri.
Wednesday Thurs. Sat. Mon. Wed. Sat.
Thursday Fri. Sun. Tues. Thurs. Sun.
Friday Sat. Mon. Wed. Fri. Mon.
Saturday Sun. Tues. Thurs. Sat. Tues.
Sunday Mon. Wed. Fri. Sun. Wed.

One important thing to remember is that the times are all “eBay time,” which is Pacific time, not your local time.
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