VINTAGE fashion aficionado Maz Schofield is a sucker for late night bidding sessions on auction website eBay.
In the past two months the Lismore mum of two confessed she's spent more than $600 there on clothes; in fact everything she was wearing in this photo was sourced online.
Although she said her recent "splurge" was an exception due to an upcoming tropical holiday, an average week will involve purchasing at least one item online.
The allure of online shopping is hard to beat for Ms Schofield - it can be done 24/7, and she has millions of items at her fingertips.
"At the moment I'm working full-time and have young children at home, so my free time is limited," she said.
"Lismore doesn't have a lot of the labels or styles of clothing that I like to wear, so I have to go outside of Lismore to shop.
"Sydney or Brisbane are probably the closest, so if I want a particular piece, I find it on eBay."
Regulars of eBay are not limited to those with eclectic tastes, with the mammoth auction site now the nation's number one shopping mall, according to recent data released by Roy Morgan Research.
It now has more visitors in an average four weeks than all Westfield shopping centres nationally, according to RMR chief executive Michele Levine.
"It's kind of a new world," said Ms Schofield.
"I see stuff late at night when the kids are in bed, and I'll find an item that I like and post it on Facebook, and then all my friends will comment on it, and all that's done on computer."
But the former fashion store owner, who knows first hand the challenges of running a "real" store in the current environment, is careful to mention she still supports local shops - when she has the time.
"(But) I think people are a bit time poor, so online purchasing does make it easier - they can do it in the comfort of their own lounge room at night, once the kids are in bed."
RISE IN ONLINE RETAILING
- One in three Australians buy something online every month.
- Online sales up 14.2% last year versus 3.3% growth in total retail sales.
- eBay now Australia's No.1 shopping mall, with more visitors on average than all Westfield shopping centres nationally.
- Travel is the biggest dollar category with 26% of the total spend.
- 'Entertainment and Leisure' the most popular, making up almost half of online purchases.
- 47% of Australians research online but still buy offline.
- Online catalogues, reviews and price comparison websites can often predetermine the brand choice before the customer even enters the store.
- Online spending is heavily skewed to big spenders, 12% of the population accounting for 40% of the total.
SOURCE: Roy Morgan Research Single Source Survey conducted with over 50,000 Australians 14+ per year.
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