iPads and electric pets top Christmas wish lists

Retailers have revealed the most sought-after gifts this Christmas, with iPads, electric pets and eBay items topping the list.


Major retailers identify Apple’s iPad as a top seller this year, which Dick Smith merchandise manager Tyson White puts down to their “enhanced functionality”.


“They’ve become a device that you surf the internet on, put names on and email from,” White says.


Other popular electronic items include the Microsoft Xbox, Kinect gaming consoles, laptops, digital single-lens reflex cameras, GPS units for cars and high definition televisions.


According to White, another “big thing” this Christmas is the fact that people are buying for themselves in addition to others, which means more sales for retailers.


The most popular toy this year is motorised guinea pigs brand Zhu Zhu Pets, along with Lego and scooters.


For bargain hunters, auction site eBay is also proving popular.


Colin McLeod, executive director of the Australian Centre for Retail Studies at Monash University, says one of the things people like about eBay is the choice between new and old items and the discrepancy in price.


“Quite often, people are less inclined to purchase a brand-new item if it has a use-by date. For example, buying for children who will inevitable outgrow most items,” McLeod says.


“Ebay allows people to purchase things like sporting equipment, which may only get used for a certain part of the year.”


McLeod says where appropriate, businesses should utilise sites like eBay by encouraging consumers to return old items to the store – to be resold online as used stock – rather than dispose of it.


“You have to think about the customer lifetime values. Apart from the financial benefit, people will almost certainly appreciate your efforts to salvage old items,” he says.


“Especially when there are multiple purchases involved, businesses should say to their customers ‘come back and we’ll take [the old items] off your hands’.”


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