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At the end of 2010, computers are overtaking traditional stalwarts like antiques and gemstones; South Africans are showing more inclination for buying fashion online; and toys are coming into their own
(16 November 2010) As a leading online marketplace and auction site where autonomous sellers, individuals as well as businesses, sell practically everything, bidorbuy.co.za is well-positioned for spotting shopping trends among the South African online population. With over 573,000 registered users and almost half a million items on sale at any given moment, the site also provides a statistically viable basis for such insights.
Every month, between 25,000 and 30,000 buyers make one or more purchases from 5,000 to 7,000 sellers, to the total value of R30 million. The global reach of internet notwithstanding, local remains lekker: about 98 percent of all transactions concluded on bidorbuy are done within national borders. This is due to a variety of considerations, from currency fluctuations to shipping fees and custom duties.
Figures from quarter three in 2010 (July to September 2010) revealed little surprise at the very top of the best performing categories on bidorbuy. Jewellery and watches and rare and collectible coins and notes firmly retained their positions as the top two selling categories.
Collectibles remain big on the site. However, trade in these items is slowing down, while trade in consumer items is on the rise.
The exceptional increases recorded in the amounts spent on purchasing computers, notebooks and accessories confirm this. From July to September 2010, bidorbuyers spent 60 percent more on computers than in the same period last year, bringing this category for the first time among the top three on the site. And when they set off to buy a machine, bidorbuyers are eight times more likely to buy a notebook (or a netbook, or an iPad) than they are likely to buy a desktop computer: during one week in November, there were 218 mobile computing devices sold on the site, as opposed to only 27 desktops.
Other consumables making notable inroads are cell phones, electronics, home supplies, digital cameras and sports equipment. Together with the site’s stalwarts, gemstones and antiques, and the top three performing categories (jewellery, coins and computers) these make up the top ten out of the 31 main categories of products. Clothing, shoes and accessories have been growing steadily and are expected to make their way into the top ten any day now, indicating that South Africans are increasingly opting for the convenience of buying fashion off-the-net.
And as is usual for these pre-holiday times, the trade in toys is poised to go through the roof. In terms of volume of sales (as opposed to value), toys have recently climbed to third place, with over 1360 toys sold during the first week of November.