Frontier Economics (Europe) carried out a study on behalf of eBay to compare the prices of a range of new consumer products sold on eBay against the price of comparable products sold in retail stores in the UK, Germany and France. The research indicates that buyers on eBay in Europe benefit from savings of around €1 billion per annum.
The purpose of the study is to estimate the difference between the prices for a range of new products sold on eBay in the UK, France and Germany, and the prices of comparable products sold in retail stores in these countries.
The study is based on a sample of over 700 typical household items that span twelve important eBay product categories. For each of the product categories included in the study, a sample of products was selected which were available both in retail stores and through eBay.
To enable meaningful comparisons to be made, the study focuses on new branded products in high street stores. Unbranded products and second hand or used items are excluded from the study due to the difficulty of making reliable comparisons between prices on eBay and in offline retailers.
Prices in mainstream retail stores in the UK, Germany and France were collected by market research firm Harris Interactive during the course of March and April 2008.
For eBay transactions, prices were obtained for completed sales and inclusive of postage and packing. Our research indicates that, whilst savings vary considerably across products and countries, the average price saving available to eBay buyers in the UK, Germany and France across all products was around 17%. Estimated savings are highest for the telecom products, computer, books and clothing and accessories categories, and lowest for domestic appliances, music, video games and DVDs and movies.