Does it Matter When You Actually List Your Handmade Items?
Once you start selling your items and you have finished just about everything else, photos, SEO, etc, you can start to pinpoint the best time of day to actually list your handmade items for the most exposure. Here are some things to think about:
With Etsy, the time of day the listing starts can be important and with Ebay you also have to consider the time of when the auction will close. In both cases the ideal times are usually when people are at home. This would be around 8pm east coast, but take into account time zones as well. You can check your stats to see how your particular handmade items do in this time frame and can adjust your listing schedule based on your individual results. It is going to be different for every type of item.
People want exposure in their listings and often wonder if it is worth the effort and expense to list or relist items on holidays or on holiday weeks. I say continue your listing schedule as normal regardless of holidays. The truth is you just never know when you will get sales. More listings means more exposure and more potential sales. It is not uncommon to get orders on Christmas day. It goes against general logic but not everyone celebrates Christmas and many of those that do may be alone and looking online.
You can also reason that it will be a waste of time to list right after a holiday. You can figure that people are traveling home and then they will be too busy getting back into the swing of things to be buying. Again, not everyone will be celebrating and many people do not go anywhere. Keep listing consistently in these times as well.
Many people do purchase gifts prior to Christmas and for most businesses sales will be up between Thanksgiving and Christmas. After Christmas things slow down. That is very general thinking though. If you do custom orders you can easily get sales right after Christmas. People will be purchasing for themselves. Not everyone spends all their money over the holidays.
If you put your items up for auction, closing times can be important. You want as many people as possible to be available so they can bid up the price in the last few seconds. If you usually sell in the US and your items close at 11pm est you could easily be in that target time frame where most people in the country are at home and have finished dinner. People on the east coast will still be up. Of course it depends on your market. If you sell to stay at home moms, mid afternoon listings may work best.
The best plan is to pick a schedule and consistently list your items. Try a specified time for a week or two, analyze the results, then try again at a different time of day. Once you find something that works best for your items, just continue. Consistently listing is more important than the actual time of listing.
It is always interesting to keep track of the number of views each item receives on a daily basis. Over time you can determine a general time of day if you plot everything out. There are wild fluctuations that will always happen and many times there is no rhyme or reason for receiving a lot of views or not receiving any views. This Sunday could have been a great sales day but you may not get any traffic next Sunday. Having a view of a longer period of time can show the most accurate picture. You can never predict with much confidence how one day will be versus another. There are too many variables.
The great thing about the internet is that it is open 24 hours a day and your items will be viewable worldwide. When you think globally, holidays and times of day become less relevant. To really choose the best time to list your handmade items you will need to go through your sales history and plot out where in the world you are receiving the most orders. Choose a listing schedule that works best for the area you are actually selling your crafts.
Smart phones allow people to search for your items throughout the day. Your customers could be in traffic, at work, or even at the Thanksgiving dinner table. For this reason alone it is a good plan to simply list consistently. For customers that will be purchasing and placing bids with their phones, the actual time of day is less relevant than the home desktop computer user.