EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 137 - February 20, 2005 - ISSN 1528-6703     3 of 9

The Results are in: The Most Popular Day to End an eBay Auction

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One of the most popular pages we have on AuctionBytes is our calendar for checking the best days to end auctions.

I frequently get emails from people who want to know how we come up with the results for the calendar. From our annual survey of readers, essentially. Some people vehemently disagree with the results, particularly Sunday as the choice for best day.

To those people I reply, in my most mature tone, "Pfffffftttttttthhhhhhhhppppt"!

For the 6th consecutive time since we've run this survey, Sunday is the runaway favorite for ending eBay auctions. It's like guessing the outcome of the Tour de France for the past 6 years. What's interesting is how consistent the results have been since we've held this survey. Not only has Sunday been at least 3 times more popular than the second choice, but respondents have chosen the same TIME on Sunday in each of the last 6 surveys as well.

I'll break out the data by category, compare it to past results and also post some of the comments you left - well the clean ones, anyway. So without further ado, here are the results of our latest survey:

Best Day
It's nice to be able to scan back over 6 years of collected data and see a consistency in the results. (7.4% of the respondents chose "Doesn't Matter.")

Best Time
The most popular ending times are still between 6pm and 12midnight Pacific Standard Time (PST). 76% of all respondents selected that 6-hour block of time to be best for ending an auction. 3% didn't think it mattered what time an auction ended.

Best Day by Category
Sunday was still the choice for sellers across categories. There was some variation in the choice for second place, with Monday being the runner-up in three of the other cateries. Saturday made a strong finish among sellers of books, movies and CDs.

Finally, here are some of the most thought-provoking comments left by respondents. There are some great insights, and a couple of good laughs:

Conventional wisdom suggests ending an auction on Sunday. I don't buy it. To a significant degree, it depends on the type of item sold and the relative demand for that particular item. If you are selling a hot item, it makes no difference. Time of day, however, is singularly more important.

Avoid times that conflict with other media events, Superbowl,World series Oscars etc.

I believe (and have seen plenty of evidence of this through my auctions) that a majority of people access the Internet at work. So Monday's are a great day to see heavy activity on auction's - including ending on Monday's.

My biggest Buy It Now sales day/moment was during this year's Presidential Debates. I uploaded my listings about 30 minutes before the candidates went on air. The 24 auctions were supposed to end in 7 days. 18 of them had sold with Buy It Now before the debate was over. I guess when you don't have a choice of TV programming to watch, you turn on eBay!

I've read that Sunday evening is peak traffic time on eBay, and I've seen nothing from my personal listings to refute that. I've picked up some bargains from sellers who have auctions ending in the middle of the night.

The stamp world seems to have really focused on Sunday night.

Personally,I like these forums-because when you publish the results-my sales increase because I start listing on the least desired day and times with the favorite day being the last choice I list on - kinda like the less competition you have on what's considered to be a bad listing day is often better than having tons of competition on what's considered the beat day.


Have some comments about this survey? View the online discussion on the forums:

About the author:

David Steiner is President of Steiner Associates LLC, publisher of and the merchant directory. David, a former television producer, handles business development and advertising for EcommerceBytes. You can reach him at

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