It really shouldn’t be a surprise that prices go up for the most popular products at Christmas. On eBay it’s been happening for years as people search for the hottest must have presents driving auction selling prices sky high.
In recent years it’s been games consoles selling at well over RRP and this year the Wii is still holding it’s own with short supplies. DVDs CDs and video game prices are all likely to increase in cost or at least to hold their prices as distributors struggle. EUK went into administration recently and this week another distributor, Pinnacle also went into administration.
What’s caught a lot of buyers by surprise it that just in time for the biggest days in the US holiday shopping season – Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Amazon raised many prices on it’s US site.
Unsuspecting shoppers who’d been eyeing up bargains on Amazon logged on to make their purchases and found prices increased overnight, and not just by a few cents. This is a trend that’s likely to continue, sites like Amazon typically sell themselves on offering great deals but the deals might not be as good as they appear on the day you make your purchase.
Holiday shopping across all ecommerce is in full swing with PayPal reporting 34% more transactions than 2007 and there was a 26% increase in online payment volume on last Friday. ChannelAdvisor, who are always a good indicator of overall trends, have broken their previous record for the busiest day ($11.6m) twice, once on Friday ($15m) and again on Monday ($18m).
Despite the world wide credit-crunch shoppers appear determined to have a great Christmas, and many of them are doing this online. With the eBay Elves out and about and Frontier Economics reporting that prices (including P&P) of new items are on average 25% cheaper on eBay than the high street there are plenty of great deals to be had.
Of course as a seller I have every sympathy with Amazon and if you can increase profits at this time of year, through higher prices, it’s not something your shareholders are likely to complain about. Just make sure you shop around and that you don’t get caught by a vendor who hikes their prices this Christmas.