What is the optimum duration for an eBay auction?

On eBay, you conduct your auction for a certain period of time. Currently, the options are 1, 3, 5, 7 or 10 days.

But which duration is best for your auction?

In this article, I will give you some hints to help you answer the question.

You might wonder why you would ever want less than the maximum exposure, ie 10 days? Surely it would give the bidders more opportunities to conduct their auction the longest, and therefore a higher selling price would lead to this? Certainly, eBay.com seems to think so, as they currently charge a fee of $0.20 for the privilege of conducting a 10-day auction.

However, if you have a very popular item or need to sell many identical items, it may be worth having a shorter auction period. It is also worth looking very carefully at the end point of your auction. When you do a fixed-price auction, you can also use a little trick to get extra attention.

So let’s check the items that need to be taken into account when setting your auction duration.

a) start/end of auction day

In my experience, the weekend is by far the busiest viewing time on eBay for most categories. I would estimate that around 50% of the calls to my auctions take place on Saturday and Sunday. When determining the auction duration, the weekend summit could therefore be important for your success.

If you can finish an auction on Sunday night, take advantage of those who wait until the end of the auction to bid, as well as the improved traffic numbers that will be displayed on the weekend.

That means if you publish an auction on Tuesday night, a 5-day auction could be good.

However, the weekend is the busiest for most categories, some could benefit from a closing date during the week. Items in this category include those in which goods are offered to commercial users.

If your article is aimed at businesses, you want people to bid for your article at work. In these cases, make sure your auction covers working days and is completed during working hours. It was also found that office equipment and accessories sell well in the morning.

Be aware of the time when you publish your auction as this is the exact time it will end a number of days in advance. There may be a big difference between an auction that ends at 10 am on Sunday night and 10 am on Sunday morning. If you can call your auction the former, you could benefit significantly from these additional weekend viewers. (See the time zone section later.)

B) known popularity of the article

If you know that your item is very popular and your past experience shows that you always sell at or more than the desired price even outside normal peak times, a 1-or 3-day auction might be appropriate. The advantage of a 1-or 3-Day sale is that you can sell more items faster.

c) awareness of eBay sort facilities after searching

If the eBay search is used by an eBayer, it returns auction titles by default in the order of how long auctions are still running. Auctions that have minutes or seconds to run will be displayed first in the returned list. Auctions that have 9 + days to run will be at the end. And the list can run on many, many pages.

Experience has shown that eBayers tend to look at only one or two pages in returned lists. This means that it is important that you bring your auction to these first two pages at some point in your life – another reason why a 1-or 3-day auction is better than a 7-or 10-day auction.

Also, note that a high proportion of bidding activity takes place towards the end of an auction. This is natural. Buyers are looking for bargains. If you can make a bid at the end of the auction, you may get the item at a good price, and others may not have time to exceed your bid. (Buyers may also use “sniping” software designed to make a bid at the latest possible time at auctions that are of interest to them.)

However, the seeker can easily rearrange the returned tracklist. A popular option is to rearrange the list in the “re-listed” order. At the top of the list, auctions that have been added to eBay are now displayed. For this reason, there is sometimes a look at the bidding activity at the beginning of an auction as well as at the end.

d) time zones

eBay Standard is to start your auction from the time you submit. As you know, this means that it ends exactly at this time, the number of days you select as duration. However, if you offer your item internationally, you should consider the time zone you are aiming for in relation to the destination point of the auction.

In the US, for example, half of all eBay members are in the Eastern Time Zone. So an auction that ends at 10 pm Pacific Time is fine for eBay members on the West Coast, but on the East Coast, this is 1 am! This effectively means you lose around 50% of potential bidders at a critical point in your auction.

eBay offers an option that allows you to schedule your auction so that it starts at a certain time (and another day). In fact, you can set your auction so that it starts at any time and up to 21 days in advance. This means that you can start your auction according to the time you believe it will attract the most viewers. A small fee will be charged for the use of this function.

This is a useful feature if you want to create your listings in advance and then gradually publish them on eBay.

e) fixed price auctions-individual items

I mentioned a little trick earlier. Well, here it is. With a fixed-price auction for a single item, you can dynamically manage your auction duration. You need to closely monitor your auctions, i.e. all day, to apply this technique.

When bidders conduct a search on eBay, they know that the auctions with the least amount of time remaining will appear at the top of the returned list. So it is beneficial to keep the remaining time on your auction as short as possible. This way you get four bites of this cherry for a single listing fee.

1. start your fixed price single item auction with a 1-day duration. Wait until someone buys.

2. If the auction has a little more than 12 hours of time, go to the auction and revise the auction duration to 3 days. Yes, you can do this – as long as there are at least 12 hours left. Wait until someone buys.

3. If the auction has a little more than 12 hours of time, go to the auction and revise the auction duration to 5 days. Wait until someone buys.

4. If the auction has a little more than 12 hours of time, go to the auction and revise the auction duration to 7 days. Wait until someone buys.

5. If the auction has a little more than 12 hours of time, go to the auction and revise the auction duration to 10 days. (Do not forget, this will cost you a small fee on eBay.com) wait for someone to buy.

6. The auction ends of course.

This may look complicated, but it’s not really when you get the hang of it. Of course, at any time during the above process, someone can buy your item and your auction closes automatically. If you want to sell another article of the same or similar article, you can list it again.

F) fixed price auctions – several items

At a fixed-price auction for several items, I would recommend setting the auction duration to a maximum of 10 days or 7 days if you are not willing to pay the additional fee for eBay.com.

If you have several items, it is not advisable to use the Trick described above for auctions with fixed prices for individual items. This is because once you receive a bid (in which case it would be a fixed price sale), you will not be able to change the auction duration, although many of the several items may still be for sale.

If you sell all your items within the 7 or 10 days you have chosen, the auction closes automatically anyway.