Bidding programs have taken some of guesswork out of choosing an eBay auction ending time. Bidders who want to buy your items can bid any time with these programs. But there are enough eBay members who bid live to still make a difference in when your auction closes. The more people online who are interested in your type of item, the more bids you are likely to garner. A number of variables can affect this decision, depending on just what you are attempting to sell.
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Time of Day
Sellers on eBay have a choice between shipping only to the United States or selling to customers worldwide. If you only sell to U.S. bidders, time your auction closings for hours when most people will be home, like after dinner. Between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. EST is early enough for East Coast bidders to find your auctions, but not early enough to cut out the West Coast bidders. Experiment with two or three hours of lunchtime closings to catch people online on their lunch breaks.
Day of the Week
It's been said that the worst time to close an auction is on Tuesday afternoon. This may or may not be true, but the sentiment behind it illustrates general thinking behind midweek auctions. People will bid every day of the week, but more people have free time to browse online on their days off, and many people have days off on Saturday and Sunday. Close your auctions on Friday night through Sunday night for the best chance at multiple bidders.
The Day of the Year
Keep up to date with lesser-known holidays, sporting events and cultural happenings. If it seems like everyone in the country is going to be tuning in for the American Idol finals or the NBA playoffs, avoid those times for your auction endings. One exception to the rule is sometimes during sporting events. Play on the stereotypes when listing items traditionally purchased by women. While the Superbowl is big with many people, women tend to go online and shop while men watch lesser playoff games. If you're selling lingerie, clothing, craft supplies or women's clothing and accessories, the odds are good for a lot of bidders during football weekends.
The Item You are Selling
Take a careful look at what you are selling before beginning an auction. If you have a collection of geek T-shirts to get rid of, set your auctions to close about a week before ComicCon and DragonCon weekends. Sell DVDs right before Oscar night. Place auctions for formal dresses six weeks before prom season starts. Most of all, save your rare and big ticket items for November. Items have been known to sell for many times the price because two people got into a bidding war for the perfect holiday gift.