10 Tips for Closing More Auctions on eBay – Part 2

In: Tips

29 Apr 2009

Here it is – part 2 of the tips for closing more auctions on eBay:

Tip #1: Make the Buyer Pay

Stipulate in your listing that the buyer pays all shipping and handling costs (and you might even want to detail these costs ahead of time in your listing). Also, make sure that the buyer pays for any “extras” that might be added after the sale. If the buyer wants insurance, the buyer pays for it. If the buyer wants to use an escrow service, the buyer pays for it. If the buyer wants expedited shipping, the buyer pays for it. See the trend?

Tip #2: Go Long…

When it comes time to choose the length for your auction, go for the 7- or 10-day option. The longer your item is up for auction, the more potential bidders who will see itand the more potential bidders, the better your chances of selling the item for a higher price. Don’t cheat yourself out of potential sales by choosing a shorter auction.

Tip #3: …Or Create a Short-Term Frenzy

On the other hand, if you have something really hot, create a bidding frenzy by choosing a very short auction length. If you do this, play it up in your item’s title: 3 Days Only! works pretty well.

Tip #4: There’s No Reason to Reserve

I don’t know of a single bidder who likes reserve price auctions. Why use something that scares some bidders away? (Remember, many beginning users don’t understand reserve price auctions, and thus don’t bid in them.) Set a realistic minimum, and get on with it.

Tip #5: Single Items Are Best…

If you’re looking for the highest total dollar, don’t group items together. Multiple-item lots seldom bring as much money as multiple items sold individually.

Tip #6: …Although You Can Unload Some Dogs in a Pack

On the other hand, if you have a lot of things to sell, selling in lots can reduce your personal overhead, as well as help you unload some less attractive items that you probably couldn’t sell individually. (Plus, you get hit for only a single insertion fee!)

Tip #7: Don’t Compete Against Yourself

If five people are looking to buy footstools today, don’t give them five choices all from one person (you). If you have five footstools to sell, don’t sell them all at once. Sell one this week, one next week, and one the week after that. Spread it out to create an illusion of scarcity, and you’ll generate more total revenue.

Tip #8: Start and End in Prime Time

When you start your auction is importantbecause that affects when your auction ends. If you start a seven-day auction at 6:00 p.m. on a Saturday, it will end exactly seven days later, at 6:00 p.m. the following Saturday.

Why is it important when your auction ends? Because some of the most intense bidding takes place in the final few minutes of your auction, from snipers trying to steal the high bid at the last possible moment. To take advantage of last-minute bidders, your auction needs to end when the most possible bidders are online.

If you end your auction at 3:00 in the morning, everyone will be asleep and you’ll lose out on any last-minute bids. Instead, try to end your auction during early evening hours, when the most users are online.

Remember, though, that you’re dealing with a three-hour time-zone gap between the East and the West coasts. So, if you time your auction to end at 7:00 p.m. EST, you’re ending at 4:00 p.m. PSTwhen most potential bidders are still at work. Conversely, if you choose to end at 9:00 p.m. PST, you just hit midnight in New Yorkand many potential bidders are already fast asleep.

The best times to endand thus to startyour auction are between 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. EST, or between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. PST. (Figure the in-between time zones yourself!) That way you’ll catch the most potential bidders online for the final minutes of your auctionand possibly generate a bidding frenzy that will garner a higher price for your merchandise!

Note, however, that the best time to end an auction can be influenced by the type of item you’re selling. For example, if you’re selling an item that appeals to grade-school or high-school kids, try ending your auction in the late afternoon, after the kids get home from school and before they head off for dinner. Items with appeal to housewives do well with a late morning or early afternoon end time. And business items sell best when they end during normal business hours.

Tip #9: End on a Sunday

When you end your auction on a Sunday, you get one full Saturday and two Sundays (the starting Sunday and the ending one) for a seven-day item listing. Sunday is a great day to end auctions because almost everybody is homeno one is out partying, or stuck at work or in school. End your auction on a Sunday evening, and you’re likely to get more bidsand higher prices.

There are exceptions, however.

As with the time you end your auction, your ending day might also be influenced by the type of item you’re selling. If you’re selling an item of interest to college students, for example, you might be better ending on a night during the week, because a lot of students travel home for the weekend; you’ll catch them in the dorms on a Wednesday or Thursday night. Items targeted at churchgoers might also be better ending during the week so that you don’t catch bidders when they’re at Sunday evening church services.

Tip #10: Don’t End on a Friday or Saturday Night

If Sunday is normally the best night of the week to end your auction, what’s the worst night?

Friday and Saturday are probably the worst nights to end most auctions, because a lot of eBay users are out partying on these non-school nights. End an auction for any item (especially youth-oriented items) on a Friday or Saturday night, and you eliminate a large number of potential buyers.

You should also try not to end your auction right in the middle of a hit television series or any blockbuster sporting events or award showssome potential bidders might find it difficult to tear themselves away from the old boob tube.

1 Response to 10 Tips for Closing More Auctions on eBay – Part 2



May 1st, 2009 at 8:14 pm

I don’t think #s 8-10 are not as important as they used to be (still, worth doing) because eBay now shows “best match” rather than “items ending soonest” by default. Because of this, unless someone changes that setting to “items ending soonest”(probably 80% of eBay searchers do not do this), your item may not be seen even when it is about to end.

Another newer implementation that screws the smaller sellers.

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