Although the dog days of summer are still upon us, Christmas shopping is already well underway on eBay and elsewhere.
According to eBay, buyers are coming to the U.K. site to stock up on everything from Christmas trees to cards to decorations. Tinsel sales alone are up an impressive 240 percent, with 27 bundles of the sparkly decoration sold every day on the auction site. And an artificial Christmas tree is purchased every three minutes.
"We've been surprised to see so much Christmas shopping happening on the site so early in the year," notes eBay spokeswoman Julia Hutton-Potts."The summer is still in full swing and already we're looking forward to Christmas. eBay is a great barometer of shopping trends and has shown us that, this year, we're planning ahead for Christmas and snapping up some fantastic out-of-season bargains."
The sales of Christmas cards are up by 191 percent, eBay U.K. reports. But eBay's not the only place where the holiday spirit has shown up early.
Big W, a major department store chain in Australia, posted the highest sales figures in its history during the first day of its annual two-week sale. The savings on toys and children's items lured many buyers in, as they attempted to mark off their holiday shopping lists before fall arrives.
"The toy sales are great; you can often save half price," notes Christine Poole, a Big W shopper. "And December's just too hard to try and drag the kids around."
Tax-free weekends in several U.S. states also drew in crowds. In Texas, legislation expanded the list of tax-free items to include most back-to-school merchandise. The average family was expected to spend just under $550 this year, a 7.7 percent decline compared to last year, yet many stores reported revenues that were higher than the same time last year.
"It's been pretty busy," says Michael Carney, the marketing director of one Texas mall, in a Tyler Morning Telegraph report. "People are definitely shopping."
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.