How Long Should Your eBay Auctions Run?
7 of 11 in Series: The Essentials of Listing an Item on eBay
When you sell an item on eBay, you can choose how long you want the auction to last. eBay lets you hold auctions for one, three, five, seven, or ten days. You have to evaluate your item and decide which auction length is best:
One-day auction: Did you just get a load of an item that sells as fast as you post it on the site? Although a Buy It Now feature on any auction can bring great results, it works only if the item is hot! hot! hot! If people are bidding the item up — and they really gotta have it — you may do best by starting the bidding really low and listing the item with a one-day format.
When you list in a one-day format, your listing goes right to the top of the listings Ending Soonest list. Most savvy shoppers view their searches by listings ending first (rather than the eBay default of Best Match). With a one-day format, you can pretty much choose the time of day your item will be at the top.
Three-day auction: If the item’s price will shoot up right after you post it, a three-day auction works just fine. And it’s great for those last-minute holiday shoppers looking for hard-to-find items.
A three-day auction is good for the same reasons that a one-day auction is good — only it’s better for the faint of heart and nervous Nellies because it gives your item more time to sell.
Five-day auction: A five-day auction gives you two days more than a three-day auction and two days less than a seven-day auction. That’s about the size of it. If you just want an extended weekend auction or your item is a hot one, use it. Five-day auctions are useful during holiday rushes, when gift buying is the main reason for bidding.
Seven-day auction: Tried-and-true advertising theory says that the longer you advertise your item, the more people will see it. On eBay, this means that you have more opportunities for people to bid on it. The seven-day auction is a staple for the bulk of eBay vendors. Seven days is long enough to cover weekend browsers and short enough to keep the auction interesting.
Ten-day auction: Many veteran eBay sellers swear by the ten-day auction. Sure, eBay charges you an extra $.40 for the privilege, but the extra three days of exposure (it can encompass two weekends) can easily net you more than your extra cost in profits.
A ten-day auction is good for special collectibles or an expensive item that normally doesn’t get listed on the site by the hundred. Putting up a ten-day auction (start Friday night so you get exposure over two weekends) is a near-perfect way to attract bidders.
The specific day you close your auction can also be important. eBay is full of weekend browsers, so including a weekend of browsing in your auction time is a definite plus. Often, auctions that end late Sunday afternoon through Monday close with high bids.