South Africans Take Their Christmas Shopping Online

(6 December 2010) During the last week of November, over 26,000 products were sold on the South African online marketplace and auction site That is 40% up from the volume of products sold on the site in the same period in 2009.

“We saw a steady upward trend throughout November”, says bidorbuy CEO Jaco Jonker. He attributes this growth to Christmas shopping. “South Africans are increasingly turning to the internet in search of the best deals”, he says. “This is in line with international trends. In the USA, this year’s Cyber Monday was the best-ever day for online retailers.”

In the United States, Cyber Monday – the Monday after Thanksgiving, which fell on 29 November this year - traditionally marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. This year, ecommerce was the big winner: shoppers spent one billion dollars (about R6.9 billion) online, in one single day, 16% more than the previous year.

On the other side of the Atlantic, in the UK, some have dubbed 29 November “Mega” or “Manic”  Monday, as Brits too went on a shopping spree, spending £530 million (about R5.76 billion) over the internet in just 24 hours.

Judging by the sales recorded on 29 November 2010, South Africa may be getting its own local “Cyber Monday”. During that week, bidorbuy users purchased goods to the value of over R10 million – making it one of the best performing weeks on the local online marketplace. Befitting the size of the South African ecommerce sector, the absolute figures are, naturally, much lower than in the developed world.

The growth in online shopping can be somewhat attributed to the increase in new user registrations, which grew 20% from November 2009 to November 2010. The growth in online shopping over the traditional Christmas rush indicates that people are becoming more comfortable trading online and are turning to the internet to avoid long lines, parking chaos and to take advantage of the ability to shop around for discounts at the click of a mouse.

For new online shoppers, the bidorbuy CEO has the following tips to ensure the safest and the best online shopping experience:

  • Buy from reputable sellers; on bidorbuy you can check seller’s ratings and feedback from other users
  • Read the item description carefully and study the images closely.
  • Shop around. Compare same or similar products offered by different sellers.
  • Take into account not only the price of an item, but also the shipping charges, warranties, guaranties and returns policy.
  • Check the expected delivery times to ensure that your purchases arrive in time for Christmas. 
  • Protect your sensitive data by making sure that you are on a safe page (https://) when paying.
  • Make sure that the computer you are transacting from is protected with antivirus and anti-spyware software and that your operating system and your web browser is updated to the latest version. 

“This promises to be the best ever holiday shopping season in the eleven years of bidorbuy”, says Jaco Jonker, “and we would like all buyers to experience only the benefits and the convenience of shopping online.”

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 at a fixed price or in an exciting auction format, bidorbuy has created a thriving online marketplace.