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(21 September 2011) The latest shopping figures from South Africa’s online market place www.bidorbuy.co.za reveal that shoppers are increasingly turning to the internet to buy beds, lounge suites, coffee tables, and other furniture.
In the month of August 2011, shoppers spent over R1.1 million on brand new and antique furniture for their homes and gardens. Over R700,000 of this went to various pieces of contemporary furniture, almost all of them brand new. The top sellers, in terms of value, were beds, lounge suites, armchairs, sofas and dining room tables and chairs, in that order.
Shoppers also splurged around R350,000 on antique furniture, with chairs, stools and footstools being the most popular, followed by cabinets, tables, cupboards, sofas, and dressers.
In line with seasonal trends, an additional amount of almost R70,000 was spent on outdoor furniture purchases, including patio tables, chairs, loungers, awnings and umbrellas.
“Antiques traditionally fare well on the site”, says bidorbuy CEO Jaco Jonker. “Regarding the contemporary, out-of-the-box furniture, the increase in sales is consistent with the shift towards trading in brand new items on the site”. He explains that this trend is most noticeable with consumer goods such as cell phones, electronics, and computers, and adds:
“Still, the excellent performance of furniture sales on the site did surprise us a little, because of the conventional belief that people like to touch, feel and sit on beds or couches before buying them. However, it seems that the advantages of shopping online are taking precedence and changing shopping habits”.
Jonker cites the vast selection and rock-bottom prices as the biggest advantages of buying online. “There is also the element of convenience”, he adds. “Be it noon or midnight, buyers can browse through the furniture listed on bidorbuy, easily and quickly compare prices, and buy a piece from a seller down the street or from a seller residing in the other part of the country.“
As for sellers, many of whom are dealers or retailers, the bidorbuy CEO says that they have a strong incentive to offer their wares on bidorbuy, often at discounted prices: “By listing on the site, sellers diversify their distribution channels and reach a large audience of shopping enthusiasts. After all, with over 2.5 million visits and more than 30 million page views per month, www.bidorbuy.co.za is currently the most popular local website among South African internet users.”