Trends and Data

Christmas All Wrapped Up As Bargain Battles Hit Earlier

Press Release

New eBay research* has found over half (52%) of Australians have started their Christmas shopping earlier this year compared to last year, with a third (31%) claiming they had already started their Christmas shopping by late October. Shopping early is on the rise as early bargain hunters look to get ahead of the pack and make the most of increased choice and low costs.

The research found that:

  • Two thirds (66%) of Christmas shoppers admit they prefer to plan ahead and do research before buying gifts, while only one third prefer to make spontaneous gift purchases
  • Women (especially mums) are far more organised than men when it comes to Christmas shopping. Three out of five (60%) women are starting their Christmas shopping early, compared to just 44 per cent of men
  • Dads (53%) are lagging behind their better halves with 73 per cent of mums looking to shop early 

The eBay research also found some very distinct motivations for shopping ahead of time, with 70 per cent of Australians agreeing that shopping early is the way to get the best prices. Additionally, almost 60 per cent of respondents shop early to spread the costs out throughout the year, while 53 per cent said they benefit from the extra time and 51 per cent said they can avoid the crowds. 

Two-thirds of the early shoppers expected to purchase items online this Christmas with the ability to research and compare items the most popular reason (47%). 

Sandy Culkoff, eBay Spokesperson, commented on the rising trend of shopping early for Christmas, "It pays to get in there early and snap up bargains. Researching and making purchases online before the Christmas rush allows for more considered and thoughtful gift choices as well as leaving plenty of time for delivery if sourcing presents from an online retailer. 

"eBay research found that Australians are shopping early across all channels. 92 per cent of Australians will shop offline for Christmas, including three out of four at shopping malls, while two out of three (64%) of early shoppers will buy online or via their mobile."

However there are always two sides to every story and the research threw up some fascinating insights into the psyche of shoppers as they face up to the festive task ahead:

  • Young men buck the trend as 33 per cent plan to leave shopping until the very last weekend
  • 14% won't bother until the day before Christmas! 

Key findings from the eBay 'Early Bird' shopping research:

  • 73% of mums are starting their Christmas shopping early, compared to 53% of dads
  • 52% are starting Christmas shopping early this year
  • 64% expected to shop online
  • 33% of young men leave shopping until at least the last weekend with 14% leaving shopping until the day before Christmas
  • 39% will buy a gift early online to allow time for delivery
  • Two thirds (66%) of Christmas shoppers prefer to plan ahead and do some research before buying Christmas gifts. Only one third prefer to make spontaneous gift purchases
  • The most common reason for preferring to shop spontaneously is to browse for inspiration (47%)
  • Shoppers who prefer to plan ahead are more likely to shop online (61% expect to shop online this year compared to 39% of those shopping spontaneously)

The top activities shoppers will be doing online are:

  • Researching products (47%)
  • Buying a Christmas gift online early to allow adequate time for delivery (39%)
  • Buying a hard to find Christmas gift (38%)
  • Buying a Christmas gift online to avoid the crowds (32%)
  • Using online information to plan out this year's Christmas gift shopping (30%)

Top reasons for preferring planning ahead for Christmas gift shopping:

  • to have the best chance of finding the most suitable gift (62%)
  • to plan out my budget carefully (61%)
  • to ensure I'm getting the best prices (61%)  

What's winning the eBay race to be the most popular Christmas gift?

1.       Elgato eyeTV - $129.95

Tune into Digital TV on your iPhone or iPad with this nifty device/ antenna (app included). Great for anyone who’s on the move who doesn’t want to miss out on their favourite TV shows.

2.       iRig Mix - $ 99.00

Need a DJ for your Christmas party? Now anyone with iPads or iPhones can now be a DJ with this nifty mixer.

3.       Akai SynthStation $49  - $399.00

Get unparalleled music creation capabilities with the most advanced, intuitive music controller designed for use with the iPad.

4.       Griffin iMarker Crayola - $ 39.95

A 4-in-1 Crayola Marker Crayon Pen and Brush that works with your iPad.

5.       Gyro i-Helicopter - $34.00

The perennial Christmas favourite has come of age. Say goodbye to clunky remote controllers and use your iPhone, iPad or iTouch instead!

6.       Furby 2012 - $99.95

Huge in the US this Christmas with very limited stock available in Australia, the iconic toy is back and comes with its own accompanying translation app!


*Online survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,003 Australian residents aged 18-64, undertaken by Stokes Mischewski in October 2012