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Selling on eBay? It's A Question Of Timing!

Aug 17, 2007
Do you sell on eBay? If so, have you ever wondered why some sellers seem to convert their auctions into sales more than others? Here's one reason why . . .

Let me just start this article out by telling you what I am not:

I'm not an internet marketing guru.
I'm not an internet millionaire.
I'm not into multi-level marketing.

I'm just a fairly ordinary guy - yet I make a steady top-up income from eBay. Now that's not to say you can't make a full-time living with eBay (you most certainly can!) but, for me, I enjoy trading at my level. I do have several other revenue streams as well, so eBay has to fit in with those.

The thing is - I like to be good at what I do. So, when I started on eBay I looked at several different ways of optimising my sales. These included tried and tested methods such as selling quality goods, being honest with my prospective customers and just plain playing fair. I'm in it for the long haul, you see.

One thing that that came to my notice was the time that auctions ended. There seemed to be no logic to it until I remembered that eBay is, of course, a world-wide business and that people world-wide use it. I'm talking time zones here. For the purposes of this article I'm going to use two seriously big 'time-areas' - the USA and Western Europe. The time difference between the West Coast of the USA and, say, Germany is ten hours. That's a big span - but what is the effect?

Simply, it means that when a German eBayer is getting ready for bed a San Franciscan has just finished lunch. No inherent problem there - unless the German is waiting on an auction finishing that our resident of San Francisco is running. Let's say it finishes at 8pm. PST. That's 4am in Germany. Our poor German guy has only a few options:

He can put in a bid and hope for the best.
He can use an auction snipe tool and hope for the best.
He can stay up half the night and get fired for being late the next day for work!

The point I'm trying to make is this. I figured out that the products I sell appeal to both US and EC customers - but with some variations. Product A is is favoured by US customers, product B by EC customers. So I now set my auction end time to fit in with a good timer for them. That's usually when they have had time to get home from work, chilled out for a while and are feeling more like firing up their laptop.

And do you know - it works. Since I adopted this simple strategy my auction failures - the ones that didn't sell - have dropped to less than 2% of all my listings. That's a massive improvement for a little bit of thought, I'd say - wouldn't you agree? It doesn't stop with my simple model, though.

Say you're selling computer games. What time would you expect your customers to be attentive? Or maybe you're into collecting and sell rare stamps - when would the best time be for that twopenny blue to end? Even if you have an eBay shop it is still important; unless you have products as Buy-It-Now's you still have the auction end time to consider. So when you next sell items, think of these points:

WHO am I selling to?
WHEN will they be at their computer?
WHERE are they in the world?

Just three little points - but they can make a lot of difference to your success and the money you make. Always consider them when listing your items and just watch the difference to your results!
About the Author
Steve Dempster writes informative articles for the web and is also a ghostwriter. To learn more about levering your eBay sales, take a look at A New Life 4U
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