eBay ‘Christmas Rush’ comes early as October sales increase by 19%

- Quarter of all Brits spreading the cost of Christmas this year by shopping early - has seen a surge of sales and site searches far in advance of the usual Christmas shopping rush this year. Compared to the same period of in 2008, site sales for the first two weeks of October are up 19% as savvy shoppers flock to the site early to spread the cost of Christmas, bag a bargain and a whole host of thoughtful gifts.

A recent study by eBay (1) found that nearly a quarter of all Brits (24%) have been planning and shopping for Christmas all through the year, with many making their Christmas budget go further by buying gifts and decorations out of season, and snapping up of special offers and price deals when they see them.

Currently, 89% of Brits do their Christmas shopping online, and almost a third of the nation plan on doing more shopping online this year, citing the ease, convenience, great price deals and a desire to avoid the Christmas crowds as the top reasons for doing so.

Annika Longthorpe, from Torbay, Devon, has been shopping for Christmas on eBay over the past few months, saying “I’ve been trying to spread the cost of Christmas this year to make sure the family can have all the gifts they want. I’ve been making the most of eBay’s Daily Deals (2), and snapping up bargains in advance of the usual Christmas rush – it’s definitely been less stressful to do it this way”.

Julia Hutton-Potts, eBay spokesperson, notes: “November and December are traditionally our busiest periods, as shoppers flock to the site to pick up bargains and unique thoughtful gifts for loved ones. This year, we’ve seen a lot of traffic in October as consumers search for and purchase early their must-have gifts in preparation for Christmas, and we’re anticipating the busiest Christmas shopping day on happening much earlier this year.”

Some early Christmas gifting trends are already becoming apparent, particularly in the toys category, where retro classics Lego, Scalextric and Thomas the Tank Engine are all currently in the top five most searched for toys on (3).

Duncan Grant, Director of The Entertainer, an eBay shop selling toys and gifts, adds: “We’ve seen a real surge in our sales in recent weeks. In particular, Sylvanian Families and Playmobil have been really popular, and we predict they’ll be big sellers this Christmas as families look to spend their money on old favourites that offer great play value"

Notes to Editors:

1. Online research conducted by TNS between 24 and 27 September 2009 and surveyed 1,078 people aged between 16 and 64 2. Every day at 8am feature items from trusted sellers that are deeply discounted. Offering free delivery and PayPal Buyer Protection. There are limited quantities of these fixed-price items. 3. full list of top 5 searched-for toys on, w/e 11.10.09: 1. Lego 2. Scalextric 3. Playmobil 4. Thomas the Tank Engine 5. Tamiya – model kits