As Christmas draws nearer, the sales of toys are skyrocketing on South Africa’s online marketplace www.bidorbuy.co.za.
In September, toys did not appear in the top 10 of about 30 bidorbuy categories. Mid-October, they materialised in spot number seven, and in November they jumped to fourth position in terms of top performing categories on the e-commerce site.
“We expect that by the end of the Christmas 2012 shopping season, toys will be among the three best-selling categories on bidorbuy, as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles hurry to secure a gift that will brighten the faces of the little ones, without burning a hole in their pockets,” says bidorbuy CEO Jaco Jonker.
This year, the majority of buyers on bidorbuy are opting for educational toys such as children’s computers and maths toys, perhaps indicating that grown-ups are trying to direct the little ones towards natural sciences.
The traditional dolls and teddy bears also feature prominently, as do Hello Kitty, Hanna Montana and Ben Ten branded toys and items. As for older children, they are most likely to find a model train or a radio controlled helicopter in their Christmas stocking.
Thousands of independent sellers are currently offering over 40 000 toys on bidorbuy, with the supply being constantly replenished to meet the demand.
Other pre-Christmas 2012 best sellers among consumer products are kitchen appliances, with buyers often opting for the unusual or even quirky: sushi rollers, biltong makers, colourful knives sets, battery operated corkscrews, pasta makers and popcorn makers, to name a few. Demand-wise, high up in this category are also cake decorating items.
Also popular are the latest hi-tech devices that may not be yet available through the standard retail channels in South Africa, such as iPad Mini or iPhone 5, though the buyers who want to have them first – or gift them first, as the case may be – have to be ready to pay a premium.
“We are experiencing a surge in the number of visitors and the number of transactions concluded on the site”, says Jonker. “The steady rise of sales in this period suggests that many people are doing their Christmas shopping online, motivated by convenience, variety of products on offer and by lower prices.”
Currently, there are about 1.3 million items listed on bidorbuy. To help buyers get hold of quality products at lower prices, as well as enable sellers to boost their sales in the 2012 pre-Christmas period, bidorbuy is organising its first ever Black Friday Cyber Sale on 23 November.
“We’ve had exceptional response from the sellers, who were eager to offer their best and their most interesting products at substantial discounts,” says Jonker.