Christmas shopping on the rise


giftsJudging by the Recent buys figures on bidorbuy, South Africans are heading online for their festive shopping, attracted by lower prices and the wide variety of products on offer.

In only one week (ending 29 October), bidorbuyers bought or won on auction as many as 31,500 items. There was vigorous growth across all bidorbuy categories, though some types of products were more sought-after than others.

In the week under scrutiny, as many as 438 cell phones and smartphones were bought on the site, with BlackBerry leading in popularity, followed by Samsung and Apple. Almost one hundred of the smartphones sold were priced over R3000. Thirty five were over R5000, and eight buyers forked out between R10,500 and R13,599 for the new iPhone 5s, which is yet to be officially released in SA.

Another big winner is the tablet, although bidorbuyers were more ready to buy a smartphone than a tablet, and, perhaps surprisingly, to pay more for a smartphone than for a tablet.

All in all, about 190 iPads, tablets and e-readers were sold during one week.  Twenty four of the tablets sold were priced over R3000. Six were over R5000, and one, a white Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, reached more than R10,000 (the winning bid was exactly R11,630.90).

Other well-performing types of products included watches (over 750 sold, of which almost a half were men’s watches), fashion (more than 200 t-shirts, almost 190 casual dresses, about 160 handbags, and so on). All sorts of jewellery sold like hot cakes, but rings were in the lead with almost 600 sales recorded in one week, followed by necklaces and pendants with about 420 sales. Gaming section also fared well. Presumably, at least some of the 60 consoles and more than 300 games purchased in the October 22-29 period will end up as someone’s Christmas gift.

Still, the title of the fastest rising merchandise for the week under scrutiny goes to toys, and we probably wouldn’t be far off the mark if we dared predict that toys will be the tops for the entire 2013 Christmas shopping season, just as they were the year before, and the year before that, and…

So, which particular toys are grabbing the attention of shoppers on bidorbuy in the 2013 pre-Christmas season?

As per usual, dolls and bears were the favourites, with 190 sold in one week. Board games followed with almost 160 sales, while about 120 bidorbuyers bought Lego blocks for the little ones.