Ed has been compiling a rather massive database of auctions of musical instruments on eBay for nearly a year. He spends an hour or so every day adding items to the listings, indicating condition, list price, whether it sells, for how much and shipping costs.
It is this meticulousness that resulted in him scoring a six-keyboard lot last fall, vintage keyboards, he just had to drive a couple of hours to collect them. If he relisted the ones he didn't want of the six, he'd quickly recoup what he paid for all six. So, he's gotten very good at appraising keyboards and whether they'll sell.
However, he notices a couple of strange patterns:
1. Item is listed as a one day auction. When it doesn't sell, they relist it for a few more times, then stop, item does not sell. For a large purchase, people need time to mull it over, so a 5 to 10 day time frame is the shortest one should go to allow a person to do their research and make sure it is the item they want.
2. Item is listed, item does not sell. Item is then relisted for a HIGHER starting bid. Hello, if it didn't sell at $200, what makes you think that now listing it for $400 is going to suddenly sprout a buyer?
Now me, I'm selling much smaller items on eBay, and I use the golden rule: setting auctions to end between 8 and 9pm Sunday night, Pacific time. Most people are home, getting ready for the work week, so they're willing to watch and potentially bid in the last few minutes on your item. If I go to list, I do it on a Sunday (7 day), Tuesday (5 day), or Thursday (10 or 3 day) evening, to ensure it ends on Sunday night.
Since I've done that, I've had much better results. If I was selling a lot more, I'd probably do the same thing as Ed, but there isn't enough rationale for my 20-30 auctions a year.