Busy Times on Ebay, Slow Times, and When the Best Time is to Schedule an Auction

There are certain times of day that are great for listing items on Ebay. There are even certain days of the week that usually result in more traffic and bids. What days would those be?

First, you have to think like a buyer. Are buyers really going to be sitting on the computer at 4:30 am on a Tuesday morning, waiting for your item to end? Probably not. While there could be buyers at those odd hours, most people are going to be asleep. If your target market is the United States, then you should be targeting the Eastern time zone, Central, Mountain, and West Coast. That’s a difference of three hours that you have to keep into consideration if you’d like to fully tap into those west coast buyers. For example, if you end an auction at 8pm on a Thursday, you could be missing out on buyers. Why? A good portion of your buyers on the west coast will be eating dinner, stuck in rush hour traffic on their way home from work, or tending to their kids. If you bumped your auction end time to 9:45pm, you’ll still have the majority of east coast buyers, but also the west coast buyers, where it’s 6:45 (enough time for most people to get home, and hopefully eat some dinner too).

The Slowest and Busiest Days of the Week on Ebay

Generally, there are certain slow days and busy days on Ebay, except during the holiday season, when almost every day is busy. For the rest of the year, Ebay traffic levels are at their highest during Sunday night. Saturday nights and Friday nights are the least busy, because no one’s home or on the computer. Sunday night, no one has any obligations. Everyone is home, getting their last few hours of rest in before the work week begins. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights are also good nights to list items, but skip Friday and Saturday for the most part.

Photo right: watch photo by Scott Feldstein on flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

There are some exceptions to the rule about Sunday being the busiest day of the week on Ebay. If Monday is a holiday, you’ll see traffic levels still stay low on Sunday night. If there’s an event on Sunday night, like the Super Bowl, then you’ll see traffic levels also be very low. Another interesting fact? Sometimes what’s on TV impacts the traffic levels of Ebay, like a major show finale, sports events, and political debates. Slow economic news, current events, or storms can also affect traffic levels immensely, so keep an eye on the news.

To take the most advantage of these peak times, experiment with what works best by scheduling Ebay auctions. Schedule some of your products to end during the peak times listed, as well as a few other key nights. Don’t be afraid to try listings during weekdays as well. Fixed price items give buyers the option to buy your item at any time of day. Over time, you’ll notice which times of day seem to be the busiest for the niche that you are selling.

You can also boost bidding activity using these other rules of thumb:

  • Longer auctions get more bids than shorter ones. Seven or ten day auctions are ideal, so consider starting them on Thursday as a ten day, or Sunday as a seven day auction.
  • Always check to see what holidays are coming up in the upcoming week. Those Monday holidays like Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Memorial Day can wreck havoc on Sunday night listings.
  • Mon-Thursday nights also tend to have high levels of bidding activity between 8pm and 10pm.
  • Friday and Saturday are the slowest nights on Ebay.
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