As a seller on eBay, you should be aware that you have a choice in the duration of your listing, each time you post an item. How important is the duration? How will it affect your success and what duration will result in the highest sale price?
When you list an item on eBay, you have to specify what length of time you want that listing to run. You can list it for 1 day, 3 days, 5 days, 7 days or 10 days. Which should you use? The answer depends on a lot of different factors, not the least of which is what is your overall goal for your listing.
If your goal is to sell an item as fast as you possibly can, then obviously, the 1 day auction is the logical choice. It is the shortest length listing you can have and therefore it has the greatest chance of giving you a sale in the shortest amount of time.
Another advantage of one day listings is the amount of attention they get for the time they are listed. The most active times for any listing is right after it is listed and right before it ends. With a one day listing, that means that it will enjoy a higher percentage of it’s time at high attention than any other duration.
A one day listing can be useful for one other reason. If you want to have your item listed every day, but you don’t want to compete with yourself by having another listing running at the same time, the only way to accomplish that is with a one day listing.
Let’s look at the opposite duration, the longest listing. Ten days is the longest listing allowed for a regular auction. Your item will have exposure to the highest number of buyers because the longer the duration, the more potential buyers will see it.
Another advantage that many sellers use 10 day listings for is the fact that it can span two weekends. If you list on Thursday, day two and three of the listing will be the first weekend, and day 9 and 10 will be the following weekend. Many sellers feel that they get more buyers browsing on the weekends than during the week.
If you choose a 10 day listing, you will pay a surcharge. EBay adds an additional fee for the privilege of using a 10 day listing. The longest listing without a surcharge is the 7 day listing. This is why 7 day listings are so popular. It still allows a long time for buyers to see your item but it does not cost any extra to list for 7 days.
Three day and five day listings are a compromise between the shortest and longest listing times. If you want a short listing but still want more buyers to see it than a one day listing would provide, then a 3 day listing would make sense. If you want a slightly longer listing, but don’t want to wait a week, then a 5 day listing would be your choice.
Which duration results in the highest sale price? Without testing, I would generally say the longer the listing the better. To really know, you need to run different length auctions and see what works the best. Different categories and different items have buyers that may have different buying habits. A long listing might work better for some items and a shorter listing might work better for others.
The length of time you list an item depends on what your ultimate goal is. Quick turnover would be a shorter listing. Exposure to the most buyers would mean a longer listing. Your goals and your type of product will ultimately determine the best length for your eBay listings.