Counting the Cost of Christmas

Spend per present expected to drop 18% this year

Almost two-thirds (63%) of Brits say the credit-crunch will impact their Christmas budgeting this year, with half (48%) planning to spend less on presents, and a quarter (27%) intending to buy gifts for fewer people than last year.

The research, by online shopping experts eBay, reveals that in 2007, Brits spent a total of £448 on gifts - buying for 16 people with an average spend per present of £28.

In 2008 it’s predicted that average spend per present will drop 18% to £23, meaning an £80 reduction in total gift spending to £368.

27% of people intend to cull their Christmas list, with work colleagues most likely to be the number one losers in the present-trimming stakes:

  • Work colleagues (16%)
  • Friends’ children (14%)
  • Neighbours (12%)
  • Postmen and milkmen (11%)
  • In-laws (8%)

No Compromise Christmas

Shoppers looking to save this Christmas will be heartened to know is on average 25% cheaper than the high street on brand new, like for like items (Frontier Economics, September 2008), which make up approximately half the 15 million items on the site. has also revealed that the average household is now sitting on £450 worth of unwanted items that could be sold on the site and re-invested into Christmas shopping.

“Despite the credit crunch, there’s no reason to compromise this Christmas” said Carey Maguire, spokesperson for eBay in the UK. “Savvy shopping on means you can fill Santa’s stocking on a much tighter budget. Add in some canny selling and you can even make Christmas pay for itself.”

All purchases are also 100% protected when you pay with Paypal on the site.

Hot Gifts for 08

Here are eBay’s predications for hot Christmas gifts at great prices. All prices refer to new items.

Gadgets and average selling price per item*
1. Nokia N96 - £93.00

2. Xbox 360 Arcade - £91.50

3. Apple iPod Nano - £89.99

4. Flip video camera - £52.89

5. Nintendo DS - £78.69

Fashion and average selling price per item*
1. Ugg boots - £65.90

2. Wet look leggings - £10.99

3. Ladies cashmere sweater - £25.50

4. Men’s trainers - £30.79

5. Men’s chunky cardigan - £24.99

Home and average selling price per item*
1. Cocktail shaker set - £6.00

2. Coffee machine - £30.00

3. Board games - £6.99

4. Mountain bike - £99.99

5. Scented candles set - £3.66

Gifts under £15 and average selling price per item*
1. Talking Iggle Piggle - £13.99

2. Xmas fleece dog jacket - £8.99

3. Fairy cake trinket boxes - £6.99

4. Pink heart ear muffs - £1.99

5. It’s a wonderful life DVD - £3.99

For Christmas gift inspiration go to

* Average eBay selling price per item above was calculated based on successful sales of new, fixed price items over 90 day period (August-October 2008).