The Best Time to End eBay Listings

eBay time to end listings
Is there an optimal time to end eBay listings?. Getty Images

Over the years, there has been much speculation about the best time to end eBay listings. When eBay first started in 1996, it was an auction only site, accessible by dial-up internet, in the USA only. Things were very different then. Today we live in a world of mobile devices, sniping tools, eBay buyers all over the world, and a variety of eBay listing types. Is there a best time to start or end eBay listings?

Historically, eBay sellers claim that Sunday night is the best time to end listings. But is that still true? Let's look at the variables that affect when items sell and you can come to your own conclusion

eBay has 162 Million Global Active Users

The eBay pool of buyers has grown by leaps and bounds since 1996. eBay buyers are in over 50 countries worldwide and all time zones. So "Sunday night" is relative to where one lives and could be at virtually any time of day. And Sunday night in the USA is Monday morning in Australia. There are just too many buyers in too many time zones to pinpoint a best time to sell.

eBay Listing Types Have Evolved

When eBay first started, 7-day auctions were the only option. Many sellers listed their items on Sunday evenings because they worked full time and had the time on Sunday to work on their eBay businesses. Since auctions ran for 7-days, the listings ended on the following Sunday.

So the "Sunday is the best time to end a listing" theory sprung out of that routine. More listings sold because more listings ended because that is when sellers had time to list. Furthermore, since dial-up was the most prevalent form of internet connection, and a person had to be sitting at a computer to bid, sellers avoided having listings end on nights with popular TV shows.

Veteran sellers will remember making sure never to have listings end on Tuesday nights because millions of Americans would be watching American Idol, not at their computers bidding on eBay auctions.

Today, eBay offers fixed price listings with buy it now and Best Offer. Buyers can log on to eBay and purchase or make offers on items 24 hours a day. There is no reason to wait until a Sunday night to buy something. And for those sellers still running auctions, unless your item is truly unique, rare, or collectible, rest assured there is another one like it on eBay that is available right now. The buyer doesn't have to wait for an auction to end, they can buy it right now or submit an offer. The item can be in the mail to them on the same day.

Mobile Devices and Auction Sniping Make Buying Possible 24/7

Again, technology has evolved to where buyers don't need to be in front of a computer to win an auction or buy on eBay. According to eBay reports, approximately 40% of sales occur on mobile devices. Buyers can purchase items on eBay from virtually anywhere at any time. Additionally, sniping tools make it possible to win auctions without actually being logged on to eBay. A sniping tool is an application that integrates with eBay and bids on the auction in the last few minutes of the auction.

Buyers can win auctions from anywhere, at any time, even when they are asleep. Bidding is automated.

eBay Listing Specials Often Flood the Market

You know those listing specials eBay offers? Like 1,000 free listings for a 7-day period? Those actually work against you when doing auctions. Here is what happens. Sellers often wait to list their items until eBay offers a free auction listing special. Then, the eBay marketplace is flooded with listings because sellers are taking advantage of the free special. There are exponentially more listings on eBay during the specials. Which means more unsold listings.

There is No Best Time to End eBay Listings

Unfortunately, due to the reasons listed above, there is no best time to end eBay listings. We live in a global economy where commerce happens round the clock, on mobile devices, and in all time zones. Anyone who claims there is a "best time" to end listings cannot possibly prove it as there are just too many variables to consider. The best time to list eBay items is now, don't wait, and don't spend valuable time trying to crack the eBay code. People around the world are waiting to buy your items.