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When Should My Auctions End?

Auctions still work very well on eBay for some categories, and many sellers still enjoy success using the auction format. But just when is the best time to have your eBay auction end? Choosing a good ending time can seriously increase the exposure of your listing, in the same way that having a poorly thought out ending time can lose you money.

The popular answer you would get from many eBay sellers would be Sunday evening. Many find that having an auction run for ten days, starting on a Thursday night is the optimum way to run an eBay auction. Doing this gives you two full weekends for potential bidders to find your item, and is certainly a tried and tested method for getting good exposure on your auctions. So you should put all your items to end on a Sunday evening? No, you shouldn't.

With some thought, you can maximise your auction profits in a number of ways. Think about what you're selling. For example, if you were selling a football shirt, would you have your auction ending when most football fans would be either watching television, or at the match? There'd be no point, because you wouldn't get many bidders. Is the item the latest 'must have' gadget? If it is, consider a short auction, as people want it right now, not in another ten days time. Weekday afternoons are also good times to have auctions ending, as a lot of people look at eBay while they're at work, or busy mums sometimes look for bargains before doing the school run. For games sellers, I've found that weekdays at around 10 PM is a good time to have auctions ending.

The key here is to think about who might be bidding on the item. What type of person would it appeal to in general? Once you've figured that out, think about when they will be on eBay, and more importantly, when they won't be around to bid on your item. In a nutshell - try to estimate when your target audience will be online, looking for the item, and ready to bid on it. Is there a big event on TV? Is it a holiday day? Have you listed it on If you have, then have you made allowance for the time difference between the UK and USA?

Research is also important. Take a look at similar completed items. When did they end? Did they sell? Which ending time seemed to get the most hits, bids and the best price? If you have an eBay shop, take a look at your stats. You should have access to Sales Reports and Traffic Reports. Both of these services are free for the basic level if you have a shop, although you need to subscribe to them. While not perfect, these reports can give a good indication as to which of your auctions performed well and which didn't.

Of course if the item is low value, and you're not expecting a huge amount for it, then also consider that your time may well be spent better concentrating on high profit items. And one final point - many eBay buyers now use Sniping Software to automatically bid for them when they're not around, which can make your ending time totally irrelevant!
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