eBay opens the virtual doors for its Busiest Christmas Shopping week expects a sales peak of 14 gifts sold per second on consecutive Super Sundays

The number of cash-strapped shoppers going online to save on their Christmas spending is expected to peak on Sunday 29th November and again on Sunday 6th December 2009 – bookending the busiest Christmas shopping week of the year according to eBay. On those days, almost 5 million visitors will flock to to snap up over a million Christmas gifts.

The UK's number one e-commerce site expects its highest virtual footfall of the year on these consecutive Sundays, with 14 Christmas gifts bought every second.

Research conducted by eBay shows that 89% of Brits will do their Christmas shopping online this year, an increase of 16% from last year, as our love affair with online shopping goes from strength to strength.

Recession-savvy Brits have also been smarter in their Christmas shopping this year, going online earlier in a bid to spread the cost and snap up bargains ahead of the Christmas rush. 24% of Brits have been planning and shopping for Christmas throughout the year in order to save money and benefit from great discounts.

“Savvy Brits know that tighter purse strings don’t have to mean a compromise on quality this Christmas”, explains Julia Hutton-Potts, spokesperson for eBay. “After a year of doom and gloom, it seems everyone has been looking for some early Christmas cheer. This year, Brits have been hitting the virtual pavements instead of the high street in order to compare prices and seek out the best deals from the convenience of home.”

Among the most popular gifts this year is Guitar Hero Legends of Rock, selling on on 29 November for a bargain price of just £14.99, a saving of 63% off the RRP of £29.99.

Duncan Grant, Director of toy retailer The Entertainer says "As an entrepreneurial company we're using our eBay shop to appeal to the growing number of deal-hunters who are shopping online this Christmas. We have been preparing for the busiest online shopping day since the summer. On the 29th November alone, we expect to sell over 20,000 toys – the same amount as we did in the whole of February this year. We’ve employed over 200 additional seasonal staff, who’ll be working on shifts through the night to ensure every customer gets their order on time”.

Grant also predicts a return to retro toys this year, adding: “We’ve seen that old classics like Sylvanian Families, Lego and Playmobil are extremely popular this year. We predict they’ll be big sellers this Christmas as families look to spend their money on old favourites that offer great play value.”