The Best Time of Year to Sell on eBay

by Christopher Capelle

Since its launch in 1995, eBay has changed the way people buy and sell new and used items. It has created a new niche, joining tag, garage and estate sales along with traditional classified ads into a quick and easy commerce method. As more users join eBay and the number of items for sale increases, it's important to put a little thought into exactly what time of year you plan on listing your items.

Functional items

Many items you list on eBay are going to sell no matter what the season. These are considered functional items, such as computer peripherals, auto parts and pet supplies. Buyers are going to need these types of things year-round, so they are usually immune to any seasonal sales slumps.

Seasonal items

Listing your skates in July isn't a good idea.

Seasonal items are products that are generally used only during one portion of the year, such as ski equipment, gardening supplies and fireplace accessories. Plan to list these types of items in the period leading up to their use. You should list garden supplies in March or skis in November, for example. You will attract a larger number of bidders.

Perennials

No matter what season, people always buy good music.

Items that sell well all throughout the year can be considered perennials. This group is similar to functional items, but aren't considered as essential. This includes iPods, picture frames and collectable coins, for example. These items sell year-round for the most part, but be careful what you put into this category; items such as art, collectables and crafts are classified as more discretional items, so keep that in mind when planning what time of year to list them online.

Timing

Start by looking at your seasonal items and deciding exactly what time is best to sell each item. A bicycle, for example, will do better in March than it would in October. Similarly, a pair of ski bindings will generate greater interest in November than it would in July. A little bit of planning ahead and putting yourself in the buyer's shoes will help navigate the seasonal sales cycles on eBay.

Holiday Season

The five to six week-long sales cycle starting on "Black Friday" -- the day after Thanksgiving -- and concluding at the end of the year provides an exception. Merchants on eBay who sell gift- and holiday-oriented products usually do better in this month-long period than during the other eleven months of the year. Likewise, the sales of almost any other item lags during this span, as shopper's minds and wallets are occupied elsewhere.

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About the Author

Christopher Capelle is a freelance copywriter with over two decades of experience. Subjects of his writing include the business and technology fields, consumer products and home repair/improvement. He graduated from The University of Connecticut and earned a master's degree in journalism from Iona College.

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