Monday, December 21, 2009

Ebay Sales Highest on Sunday, Lowest on Wednesday

As long as eBay has been around people have claimed that certain days are the best day of the week to sell because the prices are the highest. Common thoughts are, "Monday is the best day because people come back to work and use their fast internet to bid on stuff", or "Friday is the worst because people are going out for the weekend instead of bidding".

Is there a best day of the week to buy or sell a video games on eBay?

There are two factors in deciding what day of the week to sell an item: how likely is it to sell and what price will I get?

More Games Sell on Sunday Than Any Other Day

Average Number of Video Games Sold on Ebay by Day of Week
Click for Larger Image

The chart above shows the average number of games sold every day of the week. Sunday has the most video games sold with 11,438. Followed in a distant second by Monday, which had 8,818 sales on average.

The lowest day of the week was Wednesday with 7,639 transactions on average. This is nearly a 50% difference from Wednesday to Sunday.

This would cause us to believe that Sunday is the busiest day of the week in eBay's video game section. The more buyers there are online the more sales there will be. This is backed up by the fact that there are more fixed price listings that close on Sunday too. These listings aren't dependent on the ending time, but with all else being equal will end more often when more people are shopping.

Is This Difference Statistically Significant?

This difference in sales could be random variation and not a real difference based on the day of the week. A chi-square test can tell us how confident we can be that the difference is significant.

The test tells us we are 99.99% sure that Sunday has the most sales.

Prices Don't Change During The Week

Average Video Game Price on Ebay by Day of the Week
Click for Larger Image

The chart above shows the average video game price on eBay by day of the week. Our data shows that Wednesday has the highest average price and Sunday has the lowest. But the difference is very small, only 7% difference between the two ($18.52 on Wednesday and $17.26 on Sunday).

Sales Price Variation is NOT Statistically Significant

Running the same chi-square test shows us that the difference in the prices is not statistically significant.
This means if we ran this test again in a few months with new data we could get completely different results.

What Does this Mean for Buyers and Sellers?

eBay Sellers
Auctions Should End on Sunday - more users will see the listing which means there is a better chance it will sell
Don't Worry Much About Ending Day - Sunday might have more shoppers but the ending price of the video game auction will probably be the same no matter what day it ends. So don't worry about the day of the week too much.

eBay Buyers
No Special Deals on Friday or Saturday - your not not going to get better deals on certain days of the week because prices are generally the same.
Shop Fixed Price Items on Wednesday - If someone starts a fixed price listing with a really good price, you have a better chance of spotting it first on Wednesday because there are fewer shoppers to spot it before you.

This article is based on ebay sales data from May 1st 2009 to August 31st 2009 gathered by It contains 1,071,279 individual transactions and net sales of $19,089,853.


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