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eBay start-ups boosted by mobile phone spree

Tuesday, 28 September 2010 | By Oliver Milman

Start-ups that trade on eBay are benefitting from a surge in purchases made via mobile phone, with more than one million products purchased so far this year in Australia.

 

A report from the online auction giant shows that in July alone $13 million was spent on 220,000 eBay products via mobile internet. This is a significant increase on the $7 million spent in January of the year, on just 98,000 items.

 

Users of eBay’s iPhone app bought nearly 900,000 items worth more than $56 million, with an average price of $64. Meanwhile, WAP use of eBay resulted in the purchase of more than 160,000 items, worth more than $17 million.

 

In terms of when eBay is accessed remotely, 32% is done at home in the evening, 19% commuting to and from work and 12% at work.

 

The research found that men spent double that of female shoppers, with the most expensive item changing hands via an Australian eBay app being a Jurgens Lunagazer caravan, at $52,990.

 

eBay said that its research has found that nearly a quarter of Australians shop online using their mobile phone, with a third doing it more than once a week.

 

The increase in mobile phone purchasing will provide a boost to the growing number of start-ups that either have an eBay-only store or an eBay add-on to their main businesses.

 

The eBay model has proved popular with start-ups due to the low overheads and large ‘shop window’ provided by the model. However, there has previously been controversy surrounding the fees involved.

 

Deborah Sharkey, managing director, eBay Australia & New Zealand, says: “This year, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of eBay customers using mobiles to shop as people realise they can buy anywhere and at anytime. In fact, eBay mobile sales are growing faster in Australia than in any other eBay market with one item bought every 15 seconds.”