Shopping Trends on bidorbuy

What internet shoppers bought and what they searched for during the second week of May

(18 May 2010) As an online marketplace for trading just about anything, bidorbuy.co.za offers a good insight into what South African internet shoppers are buying – and into what they would like to buy, finances permitting.

Every day, there are about 400,000 items for sale on bidorbuy, on auction or at fixed prices. Some are listed by individual sellers; some by businesses. Some items fall into the category of bric-a-brac cluttering a home; others are the latest hi-tech devices.

The time reference for this analysis of shopping and window-shopping habits on bidorbuy is roughly the second week of May, from Friday 7 to Friday 14.  By that time, the regular monthly bills have been presumably paid up, but an average employee still has enough left from the last paycheck to indulge in some purchasing activities.

Top buys

During the week under scrutiny, about five thousand buyers bought 16,832 items on bidorbuy, to the total value of almost R7.5 million.

Judging by the volumes of trade, South Africans are big on collecting. The biggest number of purchases - about 3,700 of them - occurred in what are traditionally collectors’ categories on bidorbuy, stamps and rare coins.

Quantity-wise, other best selling categories were: jewellery and watches (with 1733 items sold), antiques (986), computers (883), clothing and shoes (834) and books (687).

Quite of number of items – second-hand books, items of clothing, or damaged antique figurines - changed hands for under R50. Some were, however, sold for a respectable sum, notably:

The highest priced item sold during the second week of May was a 2005 BMW M3. The seller placed the car on a one day, one Rand no reserve auction on the site – and it went for R343,000.

Top searches

Judging by the number of searches performed during the second week of May, the most coveted items were:

  1. iPhone. Almost four hundred and fifty visitors searched for this device; eighteen units were actually sold, most of them brand-new, with prices ranging from R3500 to R8499 for different models. The cheapest was a used iPhone, which changed hands for R1400. New models went for between R3500 to R8499.
  2. iPad was the second most coveted item. Out of about four hundred people who searched for it, three were willing to pay R6499, R6900 and R8760 for different models. Presumably, iPads will cost less once they officially arrive in South Africa.
  3. Metallica, one of the Guitar Hero video games, was the term typed in the bidorbuy search box about three hundred and fifty times, and was bought by fifty buyers. Prices ranged from under R100 to just under R1000.
  4. Blackberry recorded over three hundred searches. Forty-nine units were sold, some used, but most of them brand new. One brand-new Blackberry 8330 Curve ended up being snatched up for R31, but that is a rarity. Most new Blackberries went for between R725 and R3999.
  5. Diamonds were the fifth most popular search term on bidorbuy, with just under three hundred searches. Forty eight were sold. Some tiny sparkling stones, 0.01 carats big, went for R22; two that were over 2.0 carats in size achieved prices of R27,000 and R28,000.

The fate of the FIFA 2010 ticket sales

As a matter of fact, the most searched-for item on bidorbuy in the second week of May, with about one thousand searches, were World Cup 2010 tickets. However, the FIFA frenzy came to an abrupt end on Sunday 16 May, following the South African Department of Trade and Industry’s announcement that unauthorised sales of tickets for this event will be criminalised and publishable with a fine of up to R200,000 or five years in jail.

In a move to bring the site in line with the country’s regulations and to protect the sellers from possible prosecution, bidorbuy closed all listings selling FIFA Cup 2010 tickets. The site’s listing policy was amended to rule out unauthorised sale of World Cup 2010 tickets. Sellers contravening these terms will have their listings removed and their details may be handed over to the authorities.


About bidorbuy

bidorbuy is South Africa's largest online marketplace. Established in 1999, the company has created a safe and convenient way for people to buy and sell goods online. As a virtual trading place that brings buyers and sellers together and allows them to buy and sell virtually anything in an exciting auction format, using the Internet, bidorbuy has created a thriving online marketplace.