Perfecting the side hustle: Expert reveals the best times of day to buy and sell online

When is the best time to list items online?

Vicky Shaw
Friday 26 April 2024 09:44 BST
Online buyers start their search in the morning
Online buyers start their search in the morning (PA Wire)

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Louise Thomas

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Getting your timing right when buying and selling online can be key.

After all, if you’re buying, you want to make sure you get the pick of the products, and if you’re selling, you’ll be wanting to get as many eyes on your advert as possible.

Based on data from millions of Gumtree listings, Hannah Rouch, a second-hand expert at the platform, reveals the best potential times to bag a bargain – as well as insights which could help you to make the most money for items that are no longer needed.

Firstly, she suggests buyers start their search in the morning.

Rouch explains: “The highest number of listings go live between 9am and 11am on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so if you want the best selection of items, get searching early on the weekend.”

If you spot a few potential options, there’s also no harm in trying to negotiate. Just remember to keep messages polite and take no for an answer if the seller doesn’t want to move on price.

Rouch adds: “Most sellers expect a little bartering when selling second-hand, particularly when many similar items are available for sale.

“The Gumtree categories with the highest supply include sofas, beds, baby toys, bikes, wardrobes and tables.”

It could also be worth finding out what else the seller is likely to be listing.

Rouch says: “If you like a person’s style, don’t be afraid to ask what else they might be selling. It’s a great way to snag items before they are listed publicly.”

Some using the clothes selling site Depop
Some using the clothes selling site Depop (Depop)

If you are planning to put some items up for sale in the months ahead, Rouch suggests being methodical when going around the home to identify what you could sell.

She says: “By going through each room, you can identify items you no longer need but could sell and what’s missing from your home.

“When decluttering, be systematic, asking yourself if you still like and use the item and whether it’s in working order.”

Rouch also suggests making the most of peak times when it comes to buyers searching for items.

She suggests considering listing items for sale between 3pm and 8pm on a Saturday or a Sunday, adding: “This time frame is when we see the most searches on Gumtree.”

Don’t forget to put plenty of details in your ad, such as any measurements, the condition of the item and whether it might need any repairs.

Also, remember to keep an eye on your messages and be prepared to answer any questions buyers may have. A prompt reply may help you to seal the deal and help reduce the risk of the potential buyer slipping away and going elsewhere.

Early evening is a time when buyers often want details, Rouch explains.

“Replies to ads on Gumtree peak between 4pm to 6pm on a Saturday, Sunday and Monday,” she says.

“Watch your emails around this time to quickly answer your buyer’s questions and secure your sale.”

‘Free’ was the most often-used search term on website Gumtree
‘Free’ was the most often-used search term on website Gumtree (PA Archive)

When deciding what to sell, it’s also worth considering the items that are likely to be in-demand with buyers.

Rouch says: “Sell what people are most looking for to secure speedy sales at top market rates. We’re seeing massive demand for mobile phones, games consoles, televisions and kitchen appliances – so if you have any of these items they are likely to sell quickly.”

You could also consider selling a bundle of similar items – whether it’s baby clothes and toys, or items for buyers looking to makeover their garden this spring, for example.

Rouch suggests: “Buyers are often looking for multiple purchases, so if you have several items to sell – for example, garden toys, outdoor furniture, and a lawnmower – list them simultaneously.

“You might get one buyer willing to take the lot, or you can offer to bundle the items together for a lower cost for a quick sale.”

Remember to bear in mind how demand for certain items can vary depending on the time of year. Right now, many people are likely to be thinking about the weather getting warmer – and looking to purchase items that will help them to make the most of the months ahead.

Gumtree looked for the items with searches high above their yearly average between April and June.

It found jumps during these months compared with the rest of the year for garden furniture and other outdoors items such as sandpits, gazebos, paddling pools and barbecues.

Surges in demand also tend to be seen around now for sporting items such as inflatable kayaks, paddleboards and golf equipment.

Roof boxes and tents also see a jump in demand, as people will be planning camping trips and staycations around this time of year.

If you’re clearing items out to give your own home a spring makeover, don’t forget that others will be updating their properties too – whether they’re installing a home gym or preparing for the arrival of a baby.

Rouch adds that around now: “We also see strong demand from buyers in our gym equipment category and for large baby items such as nursery furniture and prams.

“Plus, kitchen appliances such as microwaves and fridge freezers are high on buyers’ want lists, too.”

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