Price hikes catch unwary holiday shoppers

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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.

8 Responses

  1. Well we have had to start increasing some prices as our recent delivery from our factory in Thailand (delayed by nearly a week because of the problems with the airport grrrrrr) arrived and of cours the pound is really week against the dollar so some items we have had to increase by 25%!

    So perhaps some of it is that but some people do put up the prices at Christmas and if people are silly enough to buy then (I didnt buy a wii at an inflated price last year…..or did I lol) prices will go up.

    I have made a promise this year to do all my christmas shopping after christmas! that way everything will be at least 80% off and people will get more from me ! lol

    Stu

  2. Stuart – if you truly understood exactly what has happened in Thailand this last few weeks, you would not be growling – I suggest you take a wander over to GazLanNaThai’s Expat Eye blog and read up on just how close to a full blown civil war the country came.

    As for your shipment being delayed – that was not due to the PASSENGER airports being seized by the protestors – air cargo was still going out daily from other airports (Thailand has more of them than the UK does) so the delay was likely caused by Heathrow Postal Customs Unit.

    Ed

  3. #3 Ed does this mean that you have truly understood exactly what has been happening in Thailand?

    Are you sure that Stuart’s shipment was not delayed because of the closure of the two main airports for international passengers and air cargo?

  4. Sorry to appear a bit dim, but what exactly is a ‘worldwide credit crunch ‘ ?

    also, how would you define an unsuspecting shopper ?

    Last year my hubby and I bought about 15 WII’s from Amazon.de and sold them on Ebay UK and made a fairly good profit, I guess we must have sold them to ‘unsuspecting shoppers’, but the WII’s from Amazon de, were available to anyone.

    At the end of the day, the one and only thing that is free, is choice, you either buy into a hyped up product or you make a profit from it. That way everyone wins, the seller because they made a shrewd decision at the right time and the buyer, because they have a product they wanted for the price they were willing to pay.

  5. #5 I think a great price is essential when I’m buying, but as a seller I’m happy for market forces to dictate my products have a certain value 😉

    Important thing is as you say, walk into a purchase with your eyes open.

  6. Well I am sorry you feel that I should not be “growling” however my company and others spends millions of pounds in thailand and if it wasn’t for that then they would be worse off.

    I never agree with actions like that as the people do it never think through what they are doing as I am guessing that tourism is one of Thailands biggest incomes which will now be damaged.

    I do understand whats happening over there thank you and have no need to read about it, I regulaly watch and read the news online.

    It was also delayed because of this as it had to be taken to Mumbai in the end to make sure the shipment came out to me. An awful lot of air cargo is taken on passenger planes!

    Stu

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