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eBay Absorbs the Bidder Truth

By Katie McCaskey

Consumers are cutting back their purchases on eBay (EBAY).

Purchase amounts are down 30% this year, with customers spending an average of $163.56 during October compared to $232.50 in January, according to the new Main Street Spending Index (MSSI) compiled by Geezeo, a personal finance Web site that helps consumers track their spending.

The number of transactions has remained approximately 2.5 purchases per month; however, the amount spent per transaction decreased significantly from $95.05 in January, to $63.92 in October, according to the Geezeo MSSI.

Click here for larger image.
Source: consumerdata.geezeo.com

eBay's competitors, including Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG) and Yahoo! (YHOO), are feeling the pain from reduced spending. But while eBay is seeing customers scale back purchases, the overall market for secondhand goods has grown as consumers tighten their belts.

Sales are up at local resale shops nationwide. The national Association of Resale & Thrift Shops says that 62.5% of its members reported higher sales in August, and Goodwill has seen a 6% increase in retail sales for the first seven months of 2008 versus the same period in 2007, according to a report on www.MainStreet.com.

With more people searching for a bargain, spending on eBay may remain deflated until the economy turns. However, given the site's strong customer loyalty and retention, eBay is poised to make a comeback once a recovery is under way.

Click here for larger image.
Source: consumerdata.geezeo.com

Geezeo's Main Street Spending Index tracks more than 4 million consumer transactions from 800 companies doing business in the United States and Canada. Market segments include retail, dining out, entertainment, household and utilities. Data is anonymously collected weekly and based on up-to-date bank information.

To view the full index and see how other stocks are performing, click here: Main Street Spending Index (MSSI).

For more information about Geezeo or to track your own expenses and find ways to save, visit www.geezeo.com. More than half of people using Geezeo's free budget tools are saving an estimated $1,200 annually.

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