bidorbuy Sellers and Christmas 2010

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Sellers on bidorbuy.co.za are gearing up for the holiday shopping season. A mini survey among 16 of the top sellers shows that they are stocking up on products, introducing new lines, budgeting for paid advertising on bidorbuy, on search engines and even – in one case – in newspapers.  A few are preparing promotional Christmas emailers to their own database of customers.

Even though they live by the internet, not many bidorbuy sellers seem to be using channels like Twitter or Facebook for commercial purposes. This is contradictory only at first sight. Free they may be, but effective campaigns on social networking sites require time, perseverance and consistency. Many bidorbuy sellers are one-man or family businesses and do not have the resources for that.

Only a few sellers plan to add Christmassy decorations to their bidorbuy online “shop window”. Most rely on dazzling the shoppers with a better assortment of higher-end products and lower prices.

This sober approach is in line with changing habits of buyers, be it online or offline. Squeezed by economic woes, shoppers are more than ever looking for good value and tend to turn the coin several times in their hands before spending it.

Of the 16 sellers who participated in the mini survey only two are bracing for a downturn during the holiday season. Both of them, la cock2008 (real name withheld) and Susan Bester (co_bra) trade in antiques and collectibles, items that are not easily associated with holiday gifting.

Another antiques dealer, babyface2, is more upbeat about her Christmas expectations, even though for her too this period is usually quieter than the rest of the year. This time, however, she hopes that her improved range of ornaments and home décor will keep sales on an even keel, or even increase them.

Three other sellers think that their sales will not show a marked change either up or down. Even though she sells traditionally “Christmassy” items, gemstones and jewellery, Miems van Rhyn (MiemsJewels) believes that this year will be the same as last year. JP Reid (PerfectGames), who sells gaming consoles and games, also fears that Christmas sales will not increase because consumers still have lots of debt. “We will have to wait and see – and hope for a surprise on the upside”, he says.

“My feeling is that the overall sales will not really increase this year. Each seller will have to promote his or her item better or smarter than the other sellers to be able to get that sale” says Heleen Russow (sungems).

MyLittleShoppe is counting on craft embellishments and card making to provide brisk trading this Christmas, and Deemas Designs on her improved toy selection.

Eight sellers – exactly half of those who participated in the survey - are looking forward to an unequivocal boom this holiday season.
Clive Bilski (clive 6528), who sells toys and collectibles, expects sales to pick up from mid-November; Hilda Truter (Hildat) foresees a better holiday shopping season for her jewellery than last year; and Madelain Piennar (maddies creations) will lower prices on her items - jewellery and bath hampers - to boost  Christmas sales.

Toni Rodrigues (spyguy), who specialise in security items, swords, knives, camo wear, toys and collectables, expects to do far better than last year Christmas even though he says that “we are out of recession yet”. To attract shoppers, he is adding more value for money items and by diversifying his offer.

Sipho Radebe (SProducts) says that he has already seen an increase in sales, especially for cell phones, and attributes this to the fact that he has improved his offer with more high-end items.

Paul Klassen (Nhicho) is among the most optimistic in his Christmas expectations. “I had my best season last year, and the upward trend is already noticeable this year” he says. Paul sells films and TV series on DVDs. He recently branched into gifts and thinks the new range may outsell his stalwart, the recorded DVDs.

Angela Webster (daisyjewel) is also buoyant: “Last year was brilliant for me. I am stocking up on jewellery and watches because in my experience one can never have enough stock for Christmas period”. At the beginning of November Angela already had over 800 items listed on bidorbuy.

For Ina de beer (Margate Kidz Stuff), 2009 Christmas sales were good, and Christmas 2010 is set to be even better: “My business is bigger now and I expect my sales to rocket in pre-Christmas period”, she says. Ina sells toys and other kiddies items on bidorbuy.

All in all, cautious optimism prevails among bidorbuy sellers at the outset of the 2010 Christmas shopping season. “This in itself is a positive sign, because up to a couple of years ago bidorbuy was perceived as more suitable for selling unwanted gifts than for buying a gift”, says bidorbuy CEO Jako Jonker.”Thanks to our sellers, that perception has been changed. They now offer a wide range of brand-new and latest products on bidorbuy. Buyers are responding by coming in bigger numbers to shop for Christmas gifts, in search of lower prices, better selection and more convenient shopping experience.”

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