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Christmas for Trade Me Buyers – and an irresistible invitation for sellers November 4, 2009

Posted by Michael Carney in : Christmas, trade me, trademe , trackback
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:

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:

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

The Candidates:

Gallery of Senior Women [ex Gifts.com]

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

The Super Grandma

SENIOR MEN:

MEN:

WOMEN

TEEN GUYS

TEEN GIRLS

BOYS

GIRLS

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:

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:

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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Comments»

1. BookieMonster - November 4, 2009

Well, I’ll go first!

We are BookieMonster on TradeMe and our product offering is books (not too surprisingly). We sell both new and secondhand books, fiction and non-fiction. Our books appeal to adults, both men and women.

Our new books are mostly in the non-fiction section and cover a wide range of interests from sports, movies & TV, cookbooks to self-help and big range of militaria books – and beyond!

Books make a wonderful and also easy gift for many people – and browsing Trade Me is a great way to lift some of that Christmas shopping stress off your shoulders. You can check out our listings at http://www.trademe.co.nz/Members/Listings.aspx?member=1998646

2. Michael Carney - November 4, 2009

Well done, BM, right on message.

Talking of books as a Christmas gift, I always had a soft spot for TRADE ME SUCCESS SECRETS, the top-selling book about How to Buy For Less and Sell for More on Trade Me. Trade Me’s top buyers and sellers share their winning tips & techniques and the stories behind their successes, in this easy-to-understand 336-page paperback guide to saving yourself $$$ when you buy and making much more money when you sell on Trade Me.

TRADE ME SUCCESS SECRETS covers everything you need to know about Trade Me – from getting started through to growing your own thriving Trade Me business. [Around Christmas time, I usually get a lot of requests to autograph the book for the buyer's nearest and dearest, who has a Trade Me habit!]

WHO WOULD MOST LIKE TO RECEIVE THIS BOOK AS A CHRISTMAS GIFT?
The core users of Trade Me are typically aged 18-40, slightly more likely to be female, and scattered throughout the country. Urban use is strong, but provincial users are probably disproportionately more likely to use Trade Me (because the keyboard is a lot closer than the general store).

I’ve found that the Trade Me Success Secrets book has a wide appeal, with everyone from total TM newcomers to the most experienced reporting great satisfaction with the content. Since one should always zero in on a target, however, I would suggest that those who’ve only used the site from time to time would have more to learn than the veterans.

You can purchase the Second Edition of TRADE ME SUCCESS SECRETS on Trade Me, under member ID SuccessSecrets. The link is: http://www.trademe.co.nz/Members/Listings.aspx?member=1040542

Thanks for playing! :-)

3. Tweets that mention Trade Me Success Secrets – The Blog » Christmas for Trade Me Buyers – and an irresistible invitation for sellers -- Topsy.com - November 4, 2009

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Database Dave, Michael Carney. Michael Carney said: New blog post: How to buy your Christmas goodies on Trade Me – also contains an irresistible invitation for sellers http://ow.ly/z2R0 [...]

4. The Craft Depot - November 10, 2009

Still plenty of time to start making your own gifts, why not visit The Craft Depot, for a range of books and beading supplies.

You could win a brand new Apple iPod!

5. kmw1 - November 10, 2009

I agree with Bookiemonster, books make a very good gift for Christmas. I’m selling new imported Romance and Sci-fi/Fantasy paperbacks.

My books appeal to a broad range, Romance and Science Fiction have blurred the boundaries – Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy are popular at the moment. If you need help knowing what book to buy, find out their favourite author and buy the latest one out – that way you’ll probably be safe. Otherwise you’ll need a book wishlist then surprise them buying something from it!!

Happy Searching!!

6. Pauline - November 10, 2009

Cool blog Michael…. I’m aimeelouwhite on trademe… specialising in new lingerie & clothing as well as wedding decorating accessories. Big for us this year already (following the pattern of the last 3 years) is the personalised christmas decorations we do at $2.50 ish each. We’ve already sent out 200 or so and orders flow in daily!

7. Kathy - November 10, 2009

Here’s a unusual gift idea: The gift of a PERFECT SHOWER! I’m ptop on trademe selling a range of mains pressure hot water cylinders, instant gas units and the wonderful SatinJet shower. They’re only $280 and they’re the best investment you can make to improve your life in the shower. They do work with low pressure but best with mains pressure so upgrade the whole system at once!
http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=252308214

A unique and well thought-out gift for your loved one! (Or just spoil yourself!)

8. CoochyCoo - November 10, 2009

At CoochyCoo we have a range of products for babies & children including soft toys, the best waterproof bibs you will find anywhere and NZ-made merino clothing. We also have a range of New Zealand themed toys & clothing – this stuff is particularly good for sending overseas.

Our most popular product is a teddy bear, dressed in rugby gear, that sings the haka – a great gift for anyone rugby mad!

Check us out, user name CoochyCoo :)

9. xtremesports - November 10, 2009

How about hand crafted gifts absolutely suitable for all friends & family

My lovely & talented wife will create the most amazing & unique Lolly tree you will ever see

True Eye Candy

Merry Christmas Everybody

10. Herc18 - November 11, 2009

A great pressie for the man in your life is a hops pillow for insomnia – get the benefits of hops without the hangover. These are also in a wide range of fabric to appeal to anyone and check out my herbal eye pillows too all in health and beauty and home and living on trademe.
Wishing you a happy and relaxing summer over the holiday season. Cheers

11. Averil Gardiner - November 11, 2009

Looking for that useful – fun or interesting serendipity? I have excellent new and pre-loved clothing for both children and adults along with some china and bric-a-brac for collectors. you don’t have to break the bank to find some small extra for xmas or to add to yours or your families summer wardrobe. Have yourselves a lovely relaxing festive break. Best Wishes from Saxoneagle

12. Tullamore - November 11, 2009

Those baby boomers are hard to buy for but if they’re into their campervan, boating or any other outdoor activity,we here at tullamore can help. 12volt clocks (we have the biggest range worldwide), tide clocks, brass clocks and barometers, dry bags, 12volt accessories, quick dry towels, first aid kits and beautiful brassware for boats. So much variety all the way through to luggage scales for those overseas trips. You’ll find something to suit those parents and grandparents. Show them how much thought you’ve put into their present, buy something they need and will always remember you for! Merry Christmas and happy shopping from tullamore

13. catgirlhere - November 11, 2009

Check out my listings for all sorts of goodies!! Solid Gold Bangle and Venetian Glass Necklace and Ear Ring set for the special lady in your life. A wonderful framed print of Ancient Magnolia by Sid Dickens – superb for the bedroom or living areas. Christmas Cards.. Frangipani tea light candles…..Decorative items for the home such as a lemon plate from Morris and James and a plate brought back from North Africa. Special soft toys for the kids….even movie passes! The list goes on. Christmas Shopping has never been easier!

14. Denis - November 12, 2009

A handcrafted PEN must be the ultimate Christmas gift! Who would think of buying a pen? Problem solved. You will be giving a gift that no one else has thought about and it is a very personal gift; especially if it has been laser engraved (a service I offer). Pens make great gifts for all ages. We all need one. So why not give an affordable, quality pen to each of your friends? I have a “one stop shop”. All your gifts bought at once. Merry Christmas!

15. Cathy - November 12, 2009

Hi, I’m Cathy from merry_go_round on Trade Me and I’m selling new (and nearly new) European children’s clothes. At the moment, I’m busy listing some great items of dressing up which would make perfect Christmas presents! Who wouldn’t love to be Scooby Doo or Harry Potter on Christmas day? Or how about a Disney princess or a cheerleader from High School Musical? (Sorry guys, it’s just for the kids!!). I also have plenty of summer clothing – perfect for the holiday season, whether at the beach, bach or in the garden. Good quality clothing at great prices – you’ll find it all at Merry Go Round.