Ebay: plenty of Christmas bargains

Online shopping websites are reporting a huge increase in Christmas-related purchases. Ebay has seen a 65% increase in Christmas-related shopping on this time last year while popular advertising site Gumtree says it has measured a 27% increase on November 2008.

Buy4Now, an Irish website which allows shoppers to access a range of stores with cut-price offers, also says it has seen an increase in those who are choosing to leave the shops behind and buy from their own home. The figures come just a week after a survey of international shopping habits placed Ireland 10th in the world for online purchases.

Tipperary man Roberto Byott has done all his Christmas shopping this year online, spending only €500. Normally he would spend up to €2,000 buying for all his family in various different retail outlets across the country.

"It is unbelievable the amount of money I have saved through shopping online in stores such as Ebay," he said. "One of the presents I bought my wife was a brand new pair of designer Kurt Geiger boots for €27. These were as new, in the box, and have been delivered well on time. They would normally cost in the region of €120," he said.

"I start online shopping early to allow for plenty of time for the products to get to me, but even when I have ordered from more far-fetched locations, they are always here within days. I have got myself savings of up to 70% without even stepping outside the door."

Byott's mother lives in England, so he can arrange for goods to be delivered to her instead nearer to Christmas. He has bought computer accessories, video games, clothes and jewellery online and says he will now shop online every Christmas after seeing the savings he made.

Louise Bready of online shopping site Buy4Now has said customers are window shopping and then going online to get the best deals, while cutting out on the hassle of Christmas shopping.

"Monday is the busiest shopping day online, and that could be that people window-shop bricks and mortar stores at the weekend and then go online to compare and find the best deal. Many of the Buy4Now sites offer free delivery when spending a certain amount so it is an excellent way to save some euro, while shopping online has taken the hassle out of paying for parking, petrol and other costs."