Monthly Archives: November 2009

The Real Estate Agents Act 2008 (REAA) came into full effect today

The Real Estate Agents Act 2008 (REAA) came into full effect today. All real estate agents (includes companies licensed as agents) must be licensed under this Act. It requires agents to ensure certain information is displayed on all advertisements, including the agent’s name and the fact that they are licensed under the Act.
When agents list property on Trade Me, the words “Licensed Agent (REAA 2008)” will be included beneath the agent’s company name.

The  new REAA 2008 came into full effect today.

All real estate agents (including companies licensed as agents) must be licensed under this Act. It requires agents to ensure certain information is displayed on all advertisements, including the agent’s name and the fact that they are licensed under the Act.

When agents list property on Trade Me, the words “Licensed Agent (REAA 2008)” will be included beneath the agent’s company name.

Some other facts you should know about real estate advertising under the new Act:

When you appoint a real estate agent to help sell your property, the agent (or salesperson(s) who work for the agent) will generally give you a number of advertising and marketing options. These are usually presented in the form of a written marketing plan or plans, with an associated budget.

Do you have to pay for advertising?

You do not have to pay for advertising if you do not want to.

Agents generally undertake a certain amount of advertising and marketing as part of their service to you. Before you commit to paying extra advertising and marketing costs, ask the agent or salesperson what marketing and advertising they will provide without charge.

Your agent or salesperson may suggest that your property would benefit from advertising and marketing over and above any “free” exposure. They may suggest local or regional newspaper advertisements, or the placement of larger or full-page advertisements in specialist property publications.

You should not agree to pay for any additional advertising without first receiving a written proposal, and an itemised breakdown of the costs involved.

You also need to consider whether the cost of advertising will provide you with any additional benefit. Will this additional advertising bring you a higher price or a faster sale?

What sort of advertising could you expect to get free of charge?

The sorts of things usually included, without additional charge as part of their service (although these may vary) are:

  • Putting details of your property on the agency’s website.
  • Putting details of your property on other real estate websites (eg Trade Me Property).
  • Advertising your property in specialist real estate publications.
  • Displaying a photo or photos and property details in the agency’s office.
  • Possibly providing a “for sale” sign outside your property.

When does advertising have to be paid for?

Unlike commission, which is only paid towards the end of a sales process, advertising expenses generally have to be paid upfront, and they have to be paid whether or not your property sells.

Do you still have to pay for advertising even your property does not sell?

Yes you do. If you have agreed to pay for advertising you still have to pay for this even if your property does not sell.

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Finding Better Car Deals on Trade Me Motors

On Tuesday Trade Me announced

We’ve tweaked our vehicle categories to return more relevant results and hotter auctions to the top of your search results. We now also show the exact dates that classifieds were listed, in order to give buyers more transparency on the age of listings.

For now, we’ll just concern ourselves with the second part of the announcement, the news that Trade Me will now be displaying “the exact dates that classifieds were listed”.

THE BACKGROUND

If you list your vehicle for sale on Trade Me Motors, you’re given the option of listing it as either an auction or a classified listing. If you choose “auction”, as around half of private sellers do, then the normal protocols apply: you choose start price and closing date, season liberally with dazzling description and enticing images and post to Trade Me, there to await the pleasure of the bidders. The end date is displayed (and the listing date can be calculated easily enough based on the 14-day maximum duration of the listing). If the motorised conveyance fails to sell within that time, you can relist it for free (apart from any promotional extras you may choose, which are billed anew with each relisting). If your horseless carriage does sell, the final price may be the same as the starting price — or much higher, if more than one eager bidder is in hot pursuit.

If you choose “classified” (favoured by the vast majority of dealers, as well as the other half of those private sellers), the same protocols apply — except for the price, which remains fixed (unless negotiated otherwise, off-site). Relisting remains free (except for extras).

The main difference between the two options: price. In auctions, the final purchase price is determined by the market; for classified listings, the price is set by the seller on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis.

UNLEVEL PLAYING FIELDS AND THE POWER OF INFORMATION

Until the arrival and widespread adoption of the internet, most retail and commercial transactions were unbalanced. The seller typically knew a whole lot more about the product or service he or she was offering than the buyer,  at least in terms of where to source it and at what cost. As a result, products typically carried a higher profit margin than would be possible in a truly transparent marketplace.

Enter Al Gore’s creation, the Interweb. With the aid of a Google or two, would-be purchasers can quickly establish the going rate for most any product, and use that information to their advantage when negotiating with sellers.

TRADE ME AND TRANSPARENCY

The wide-open market that is Trade Me has long fostered transparency. Looking for a widget? Just search the site and you’ll find all the widget sellers and what prices they’re asking. If you want to know the final prices actually achieved on widgets recently sold, click on the “More Options” link on Trade Me’s search bar and you can prowl amongst up to two months worth of recently-closed widget auctions to identify selling prices.

In the used car market, not typically the most open and sharing of environments, information remains the jealously-guarded treasure of a few. You can search through closed Trade Me Motors auctions to see what sold or didn’t — but (until now) you couldn’t easily identify whether that 1999 Honda Accord was first listed 14 days or 14 months ago.

And, of course, that’s a major competitive advantage when negotiating. If you know that we’ve had that Honda sitting on our forecourt for six months, you’ll have a different view of the pricetag than if you thought it has just been listed for the first time (and other eager buyers are sniffing around).

THE LONG TAIL: MOSTLY DEALERS

We carried out a quick sortie on Trade Me Motors, zeroing in on the Honda category (so our findings are not necessarily representative of TM Motors as a whole — but they probably are).

What we found was that, of the 3593 used cars currently listed under the overall Honda category:

  • Around 2000 were listed more than 14 days ago (and thus have been relisted at least once)
  • Around 600 have been listed on Trade Me for more than three months
  • Around 300 have been up for sale for more than six months
  • 60 lucky listings have been up for more than a year
  • The single oldest listing we found under Honda on Trade Me Motors was this one, proudly displayed on the site since the 1st of June 2007!

Needless to say, all the old listings we found were placed by dealers. Who else has the patience? Private sellers would long since have flicked their vehicle on some other way, or sold it for spare parts.

DOING THE DEALS

So, next time you’re in the market for a motor, check out the date of first listing. Oh, a word of advice: listing dates shown are ‘day and month’ only (eg ‘Listed Fri, 1 Jun’). Given that a small number of vehicles have been listed for more than 12 months, that “November” listing date could be November 2o08 or earlier. So double-check by reviewing the Listing Number. You’ll find it on the top right hand side of the listing.

auction-listing-number

If that number is below 1,947,000,000, the listing is from 2008 or earlier.  If it’s below 1,350,000, you’re looking at a gem from 2007 or older. And if that listing number is below 1000, congratulations, you’ve got yourself a collectors’ item from pre-millennial 1999!

PS For sellers: if you want to avoid the ignominy of having your failures so conspicuously displayed on Trade Me Motors, there’s a simple workaround: don’t simply relist your vehicle. Create a whole new listing instead, so that the new creation date takes precedence. Yes, you will have to pay a new listing fee, but that’s a relatively small cost in the context of vehicle prices. And besides — if your old listing was working, you’d have already sold the vehicle. So rework the words and pictures before you relist [you’ll find plenty of helpful advice on the subject of effective vehicle listings in Chapter Twelve of Trade Me Success Secrets].

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Striking Gold In Online Auctions

It’s a favourite fantasy of those who buy stuff through garage sales, school fairs and on Trade Me: that we’ll one day stumble upon a hidden treasure that will make us rich (or at least famous).

“Madam, that is indeed a Picasso long thought lost. It is difficult to assign an exact value until the assessors have examined it closely  — but the most recent Picasso sale was of his 1969 “Buste D’Homme”, sold at Sotheby’s last week for $10.4 million. So perhaps we should move this painting out of your spare bedroom and give it a slightly more secure home.”

Oh yes, we can dream. And TV series such as Antiques Roadshow encourage our imagination in such directions. But does it ever happen, especially on online auction sites?

Yes, it does. Film collectors are buzzing about the recent discovery on eBay of a lost Charlie Chaplin film, purchased as part of a collection of nitrate film bought for US$5.

Morale Park from Henham, Essex, purchased the can of film simply because he liked the look of it. He was amazed to discover its fragile contents: a previously unknown seven-minute film Chaplin film called Zepped.

The film features footage of Zeppelin airships flying over England during the First World War, and out-takes from three pictures that Chaplin shot with the film company Essanay, with whom the entertainer had a contract in 1914, before falling out.

An animated scene shows Chaplin wishing he could leave America to join his British countrymen in the war, before being taken on a cloud and deposited on an English church spire.

It also shows him sending up the Zeppelin, and an animated sequence of Kaiser Wilhelm popping out of a German sausage. There is a certification from Egypt, dating the film to December 1916.

Mr Park got his neighbour John Dyer, former head of education at the British Board of Film Classification, to look at it, and they concluded the film had been put together as a piece of war propaganda.

It is not known whether Chaplin was involved in the project or whether various out-takes were spliced together without his knowledge or consent.

David Robinson, author of Chaplin: His Life and Art, believed the film could be worth anything from £3,000 to £40,000.

Mr Park and Mr Dyer are currently in California making a documentary about the find.

Could this sort of thing happen on Trade Me?

Absolutely. Probably already does, in fact. However not every lucky buyer will recognise the importance of their new purchase.  So all those potential goldmines will end up in someone else’s attic, to be stumbled upon by future treasure hunters.

Well, anyway, that’s our dream.

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Mobile Internet: We’re Ready Now

Every year at the Web 2.0 Summit, Morgan Stanley Internet analyst Mary Meeker gives her view of the world, the Web, and the technology industry by quickly going through about 50 slides that illustrate the major trends she is tracking.

Late last month, Ms Meeker delivered her annual presentation as usual. What has she picked as hot for 2010?

Mobile Internet.

Mary’s mobile internet take away :
1. Mobile internet is bigger than you think.
2. iPhone is becoming THE mobile platform.
3. Social media, mobile devices are changing communications and commerce.
4. Mobile internet trends in Japan show how the future will be.
5. Carriers will be crushed by demand.
6. The Walled Gardens collapse.
7. Apple wins, Google maybe wins, Research In Motion withers

Mary’s mobile internet take away

  1. Mobile internet is bigger than you think.
  2. iPhone is becoming THE mobile platform.
  3. Social media, mobile devices are changing communications and commerce.
  4. Mobile internet trends in Japan show how the future will be.
  5. Carriers will be crushed by demand.
  6. The Walled Gardens collapse.
  7. Apple wins, Google maybe wins, Research In Motion withers

View Mary’s presentation on Scribd here.

Why are we telling you this?

To explain why we’ve just launched a mobile version of this site. Access us via your mobile and you’ll automatically be served a mobile-friendlier version.

It may not get much use now, but oh boy, wait till next year.

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Trade & Exchange to go online only

The publication that helped inspire Sam Morgan to create Trade Me is to go online-only from the end of this month.

Here’s how we describe the moment of creation in Trade Me Success Secrets:

There’s a wonderful company legend that goes something like this: in early 1999, 23-year-old Sam Morgan was looking for a second-hand heater to help him survive a draughty Wellington flat. Being computer-savvy (in fact, he was an IT consultant for Deloitte at the time) Sam turned to the Internet to help with his quest, but couldn’t find what he wanted among New Zealand websites. The closest was the website for Trade & Exchange, but listings on that site were held back until a week after they’d been published in the paper. By the time Sam found an appropriate listing and phoned up, everything had been sold. That experience inspired him to create Trade Me.

Well, times have moved on, and the Trade & Exchange website is a fully-functioning service these days. Here’s what the T&E press release had to say about the impending closure:

As from the end of November, Trade & Exchange plans to close its paper publications in Auckland and Wellington and concentrate solely on its online service.

Managing Director, Peter Whitmore, said that online traffic had been growing and paper sales had been falling for several years now. “It has reached the stage where around ten times more people visit the website each week than purchase a paper. And compared to the papers, they gain access to around 50 times as many listings.”

Launched in early 1981 by Peter and Jill Whitmore, the Auckland Trade & Exchange was the first free ads paper in New Zealand and also one of the earliest in the world. In 1989 the Wellington edition opened and for a period there was also an edition serving the Manawatu, Wanganui and Taranaki areas. All these papers grew from small beginnings to become major classified advertising publications in their markets.

The Trade & Exchange web site. te.co.nz, launched in 1998, was New Zealand’s first major online trading site. Despite the success of Trademe with the auction model, TE has stayed with an open classified approach that allows buyers and sellers to contact each other directly, and gives the opportunity to view goods before a purchase is made. In terms of listing numbers it is now the largest free advertising site in the country.

“If we could keep the papers open we would”, said Whitmore, “because although most people are now online. there is still a dedicated group of readers who use the papers regularly. However, unfortunately circulations have reached a point where the papers are no longer economic to produce.”

It’s always sad when a publication closes. We wish T&E well in their new focus.

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Christmas for Trade Me Buyers – and an irresistible invitation for sellers

It’s already Christmas on Trade Me, with thousands of items listed for the festive season. We show you how to use Trade Me to make this Christmas wonderful, whether you’re on a budget or just shopping for that very special something.
WHEN SHOULD YOU START?
In New Zealand, retailers have been in Christmas shopping mode for some time. The ubiquitous Cameron Brewer, chief executive of the Newmarket Business Association, warned in late September that “for better or worse consumers can expect to see Christmas decorations and displays popping up in some New Zealand shops over the next few weeks”.
Kiwis usually do their shopping somewhat ahead of the Christmas rush anyway. A 2007 study by AMP Capital Shopping Centres found that:
25% of Kiwis have begun their Christmas shopping by September 25, three months out from Christmas
16% start shopping in October
21% hit the malls in November
33% wait until the last fortnight before Christmas
7% of us (three-quarters male, inevitably) leave Christmas shopping until the last minute
Meanwhile an impossibly virtuous 3% head to the Boxing Day sales with vim and vigour, buying their gifts for the following year 364 days early.
How Much Should You Spend?
When it comes to holiday spending this year, 36 percent of US consumers expect to spend between $100 and $499, 28 percent plan to spend $500 to $999, and 30 percent anticipate a holiday spend of $1,000 or more.
We don’t have any recent NZ data for Christmas spend levels, but a five-year-old study by UMR Research on behalf of Visa International found that:
More than 50% of Kiwis expected to spend less than $300 on Christmas gifts
16 percent intended to spend less than $100
One in twenty said they were planning to “splash out” and spend more than $1000
Credit card holders were more likely to expect to spend over $500 than non-cardholders (22 percent compared with 12 percent)
Men generally planned to spend slightly more than women
The most profligate age group was 30-44 year-olds
Consumers are using more money-saving techniques
More than ever, comparison shopping is on the forefront of consumers’ minds, with 70 percent of consumers doing more research and comparison shopping online, compared with 38 percent last year. And fifty percent of consumers are planning to shop at discount or outlet stores this year, while only 43 percent did so last year.
Consumers are cutting back
Fifty-three percent of consumers are planning to spend less than they did last year. Of the consumers who are planning to spend less this year, 48 percent reveal that one of the reasons that they are spending less is due to an increase in prices (necessities, gas, etc.), 45 percent cite lack of confidence in the economy, and 38 percent indicate making less money as a reason for spending less.
Shopping starts earlier to ease the impact of holiday spending
In past years, Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) has been the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. This year, consumers are planning to start their holiday shopping long before Black Friday, with 22 percent of consumers starting their holiday shopping in October and 29 percent starting in November.
Gift lists are trimmed down to manage budgets
When it comes to holiday spending this year, 36 percent of consumers expect to spend between $100 and $499, 28 percent plan to spend $500 to $999, and 30 percent anticipate a holiday spend of $1,000 or more.
If you know what you want to buy:
RRP?
Check out the current retail pricing
Scour those catalogues
Check out the one-day sale sites
Look under expired items to find out recent TM pricing
Search
Browse in the category for misspellings, products without pictures
Do your homework
Know that buyer
Check that feedback
Add your own
IF YOU HAVE NO IDEA
Perssonality Types
http://www.gifts.com/finder

Merry Christmas [image by enimal]

It’s already Christmas on Trade Me, with thousands of items listed for the festive season (21,532 as we write this). In this article we’ll attempt to  show you how to use Trade Me to make this Christmas wonderful, whether you’re on a budget or just shopping for that very special someone.

Oh yes — and we also have a hot offer [free!] for Trade Me sellers, so keep reading.

So — When Should You Start Shopping For Christmas?

If you have to ask, you’re probably a guy. Three-quarters of those who leave shopping until the last minute are men. Incredibly busy, right fellas? Yeah, us too.

It won’t come as any surprise to mall visitors that retailers have been in Christmas shopping mode for some time. The ubiquitous Cameron Brewer, chief executive of the Newmarket Business Association, warned in late September that “for better or worse consumers can expect to see Christmas decorations and displays popping up in some New Zealand shops over the next few weeks.” Sure enough, tinsel is definitely in the air all over.

Kiwis usually do their shopping somewhat ahead of the Christmas rush anyway. A 2007 study by AMP Capital Shopping Centres found that:

  • 25% of Kiwis have begun their Christmas shopping by September 25, three months out from Christmas
  • 16% start shopping in October
  • 21% hit the malls in November
  • 33% wait until the last fortnight before Christmas
  • 7% of us (you know who you are, guys) leave Christmas shopping until the last minute
  • Meanwhile an impossibly virtuous 3% head to the Boxing Day sales with vim and vigour, buying their gifts for the following year 364 days early.

How Much Should You Spend?

When it comes to holiday spending this year, 36 percent of American consumers expect to spend between $100 and $499, 28 percent plan to spend $500 to $999, and 30 percent anticipate a holiday spend of $1,000 or more.

Fifty-three percent of U.S. consumers are planning to spend less than they did last year. Of those who are planning to spend less this year, 48 percent reveal that one of the reasons that they are spending less is due to an increase in prices (necessities, petrol, etc.), 45 percent cite lack of confidence in the economy, and 38 percent indicate making less money as a reason for spending less.

We don’t have any recent NZ data for Christmas spend levels, but a five-year-old study by UMR Research on behalf of Visa International found that:

  • More than 50% of Kiwis expected to spend less than $300 on Christmas gifts
  • 16% intended to spend less than $100
  • One in twenty said they were planning to “splash out” and spend more than $1000
  • Credit card holders were more likely to expect to spend over $500 than non-cardholders (22 percent compared with 12 percent)
  • Men generally planned to spend slightly more than women
  • The most free-spending age group was 30-44 year-olds

Those numbers will probably be about the same or even lower this Christmas, given the economy — which makes Trade Me a pretty smart place to buy as much of your stuff as you can.

Half New

More than 50% of the items up for sale on Trade Me last Christmas were brand-new. We expect that percentage to keep growing this Christmas, so don’t worry that you can only buy something secondhand for your nearest and dearest. Of course, if you’re shopping for collectables or antiques, “new” probably isn’t such a good thing …

TIP: When you search on Trade Me, you can select your options so that only “New” items are displayed. Click on “New” in the yellow bar partway down the page that controls your List options.

Select 'new' to only display new items listed


CHRISTMAS SHOPPING ON TRADE ME
PART A: IF YOU ALREADY KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT TO BUY

Sometimes we know exactly what sort of gift we want to buy. Gives us a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. So buying that gift is more a matter of knowing exactly where to find it and how much to pay.

  1. Search
    Start your quest by searching for the item (let’s be incredibly creative and describe it as a ‘widget’) on Trade Me. Make a note of who’s selling widgets and at what price they’ve listed each widget.
  2. Browse
    Browse in the widget category for misspellings, products without pictures and other items that won’t show up in searches (for more details, read our earlier article on how to find bargains on Trade Me).
  3. Verify
    Check out the feedback of the widget sellers. Look for any recent negatives. Cross out any sellers with poor reputations, highlight those with better than sterling customer service. Add the good ones to your “favourite sellers” list to be emailed details of their new listings.
  4. History Check
    Go to the Trade Me Search Box and click on “More Options”. Use the advanced search facility (with “Expired Items” selected) to see at what prices those widgets previously sold (or didn’t sell). That will give you an idea of the actual value of the widget in the Trade Me marketplace. (NB If your widget is rare or obscure, there may be no recent auction listings).
  5. Real World
    Don’t forget the non-virtual world. Check out widget pricing in actual stores or in printed catalogues. And see what the Recommended Retail Pricing is, perhaps by phoning up widget stockists.
  6. Comparison Shopping
    More than ever, comparison shopping is on the forefront of consumers’ minds, with 70 percent of consumers internationally doing more research and comparison shopping online, compared with 38 percent last year. And fifty percent of consumers are planning to shop at discount or outlet stores this year, while only 43 percent did so last year.

    Product comparison websites are commonplace overseas, rather less so here in NZ. However there are a few:

Technology Ubersite www.pricespy.co.nz

This is the site to visit for technology products. Has just launched a website makeover, still a bit buggy, but their database is the most comprehensive around.

General product comparison sites

Both these sites offer a limited range of product comparisons, but could be worth a look.

7. The Daily Deal Sites

Air New Zealand’s Grabaseat was the first to hit the headlines in NZ. Now the category has taken off in a big way. The listings are random, but when widgets do come up you’ll get further insight into pricing to help with your homework. Here’s the latest collection of One Day Sale Websites (tip of the hat to Sheldon Nesdale of Marketing First blog for doing the heavy lifting):

And, of course, the newly launched Yahoo!Xtra shopping site (with its own daily deal listings):

Other new 1 Day Sale websites launching soon:

NB: For the past year global auction giant eBay has been offering daily deals at Deals.ebay.com. It’s an unlikely development for Trade Me — eBay ends up competing with its own customer base.

8. Get ready to buy

Having down all your homework, you’ll now know what sort of price to pay for your widget. Identify target auctions, hurry up and wait.

9. Hold your breath – and your bid

As you move into Bidding Mode, may we respectfully point you in the direction of Chapter Six of Trade Me Success Secrets. It reveals the most important secret of buying successfully on Trade Me, and deals with the topic in far more detail than we can address effectively here.

CHRISTMAS SHOPPING ON TRADE ME
B. IF YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT TO BUY

1. Who

Who are you buying for? Christmas gifts can go horribly wrong if you don’t take into account the recipients’ Personality Types.

We’ve found this really cool personality profiler at www.gifts.com that brings demographics alive. You really must go to the site to check it out, but here’s a sneak peek

  • Buying for a SENIOR WOMAN? Is she a Country Clubber, Domestic Diva, Thinker, Super Grandma or Active Retiree?

The Candidates:

Gallery of Senior Women [ex Gifts.com]

Delicious character details at the site, but here’s a sample definition:

The Super Grandma

  • Weekend Plans: Three generations around the table for Sunday dinner.
  • Second Career: Spoiling the grandkids.
  • Favorite Accessory: Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and milk.
  • Guilty Pleasure: What’s there to feel guilty about — have another cookie!
  • Bumper Sticker: If Mom and Dad say no, ask Grandma.
  • Famous Examples: Marie from Everybody Loves Raymond.

SENIOR MEN:

  • The Country Clubber
  • The Thinker
  • The Devoted Grandad
  • The Active Retiree
  • The Veteran

MEN:

  • The Guy’s Guy
  • The Geek
  • The Devoted Dad
  • The Achiever
  • The Adventurer

WOMEN

  • The Super Mom
  • The Achiever
  • The Hipster
  • The Domestic Diva
  • The Trendanista

TEEN GUYS

  • The All-Star Athlete
  • The Creative
  • The X-Treme Dude
  • The Student Leader
  • The Tech Head
  • The Class Clown

TEEN GIRLS

  • The Activist
  • The All-Star Athlete
  • The Creative Spirit
  • The X-Treme Dudette
  • The Student Leader
  • The Trendanista

BOYS

  • The Smarty Pants
  • The Jock
  • Mr Imagination

GIRLS

  • The Smart Cookie
  • Miss Imagination
  • The Girly Girl
  • The Tomboy

Not sure what personality type your recipient might be? Take the test at http://www.gifts.com/finder

2. What

What types of gifts would your family/friends/significant others like to receive this holiday season? This is what American consumers told researchers last month:

  • 72% of 18-24 year olds wanted Clothing or Accessories, as did 58% of 25-34s
  • 40% of men (just 26% of women) wanted consumer electronics or compter-related accessories
  • 55% of 25-34s wanted books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games
  • 26% of men wanted sporting goods or leisure items
  • 26% of women wanted home decor or home-related furnishings
  • 56% of 35-44s wanted gift cards or gift certificates, as did 53% of 45-54s and 49% of those 65 plus
  • And 26% of women but just 7% of men wanted personal care or beauty items

This data from BIGresearch’s Consumer Intention & Actions study (October 2009)

3. Specifics

Want more specific advice? Google “most wanted gifts 2009″ and you’ll find a variety of lists of the Most Wanted, for men, women, kids, teens, you name it.

4. Use the Trade Me Christmas Gift Finder

If you’re still at a loss, check out the new and very helpful Trade Me Christmas Gift Finder.

There you’ll find

[Not sure about that last one, especially in tough times!]

5. Go Back To Part A

Once you know exactly what you want, go through the processes described in Part A above.

And another thing

Oh yeah, one last thing. If after going through this process you still can’t find what you want on Trade Me, you could always check out the Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog. Highlights of the 2009 edition:

  • His & Hers Gift Package, $250,000: An ICON A5 sport aircraft with custom trailer and sport pilot license training for two. The ICON A5 is from a world-class team of engineers and designers who helped create the groundbreaking Virgin Global Flyer, and features an amphibious hull and landing gear to take off and land just as easily on water as on land.
  • Algonquin Round Table Experience, $200,000: Exclusive dinner party at NYC’s legendary Algonquin Hotel with guests including Christopher Buckley, Roz Chast, Nora Ephron, Malcolm Gladwell, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Adam Gopnik, John Lithgow, Anna Deavere Smith and George Stephanopoulos. Proceeds to benefit First Book, the 2009 Christmas Book Charity.
  • 2010 Jaguar XJL Supercharged Neiman Marcus Edition, $105,000: Limited to only 50 examples, the bespoke version of Jag’s new flagship features a supercharged 5-liter V8 that delivering 470 hp, a custom interior of butter-soft navy and ivory leather and Zebrano matte wood accents, and includes a five-piece set of matching Jaguar luggage in navy blue leather.
  • Maker’s Mark Master Distiller Experience, $7,500: All-access, VIP experience with Maker’s Mark Master Distiller, Kevin Smith. Spend a day making whiskey, step by step and take home two bottles of the rarest Maker’s Mark – golden bottles etched with your likeness and dipped in gold wax with 24-kt gold flecks. Includes luxury accommodations in Louisville and a gourmet dinner hosted by Bill Samuels, the 7th generation of Maker’s Mark
  • HALL Artisan Wine and Art Experience, $20,000: Learn organic, artisan winemaking firsthand, tour the estates in Napa and the art collection, and have the opportunity to create your own personal vintage in a private blending session with HALL’s Winemaker with a custom vintage bottled for you. Includes accommodations at Auberge and a private dinner party with Ambassador Kathryn Hall.

The Artisan Wine Experience

PS We almost forgot — that invitation for Trade Me sellers. If you have suitable Christmas gift items for sale, pimp our traffic. Comment on this blog post, use your seller name as your ID and tell us WHAT product categories you have for sale and TO WHOM they would best appeal. Be specific if you want to be helpful. Items as listed on Trade Me only, please — we do moderate.

PPS Note to buyers: if you’re looking for Christmas inspiration, make sure you read the Comments (and perhaps even come back more than once to do so). Entrepreneurial sellers will be strutting their stuff for your consideration.

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