Ask a dozen different veterans of the eBay auction site, and they’ll tell you several dozen different ways to do things to increase your sales. Some sellers believe you have to have short auctions to get the most buck from your bang, other sellers will tell to go long to give items a chance to go even higher! End on a Sunday night might be the recommended advice from one, ending on a Friday from another. It really comes down to experimenting, and seeing what works best with the particular items you’re selling.
And much of it revolves around common sense. If you’re listing baseball cards for example don’t run auctions that will close in the middle of the fifth game of the World Series! Likewise, teens aren’t typically aren’t up at 6am to do last minute bidding on pop music CDs or video games. Consider your audience, and also think nationally, even internationally. If you’re in California it might seem ideal to have an auction end at 11pm, but that’s 2am on the East Coast. That could work; it might not.
“A good way that I have found to increase my online sales is to stagger the listing times for each of the major time zones,” says longtime eBayer Tom Buck, who often has one item close when it is 8pm on the East Coast, but the next close when it is 8pm in the Central Time Zone. He adds the listing can be cross referenced by potential buyers in the “seller’s other items” link, so that if a potential buyer misses an item at 8pm, he or she could try for another item an hour later. “Another way is to employ the same technique but space the listings one day apart on a seven day auction. If you time it properly it will give your listings fourteen days of collective coverage.”
All sellers will agree that there are numerous things you should always do, and these include a good solid description of the item for sale, and be sure to address any flaws or defects (otherwise you might have an unhappy buyer who looks for you to refund the money). Likewise, a photo certainly tells a thousand words, so try to include at least one clear photo. If you don’t have a good digital camera, buy one on eBay already! And make sure to spell out return conditions, how you’ll ship the item and payment terms. eBay, as well as many other auction sites, doesn’t allow bank transfers or money wires, so don’t even offer these as these could make potential buyers think you’re running a scam – or could get your auction canceled!
And remember that communication is key. Don’t start an auction and then go on a three-week vacation. At the same time potential buyers need not be threatened with a hostile tone demanding unreasonably fast payment, or unnecessary threats of “negative feedback.” Leave the negative feedback for those who deserve it, but be sure to be prompt in leaving positive feedback too. Buyers do factor feedback, especially if you’re selling more common, rather than one of a kind items.