Twixmas is that disorienting time between the feasting and spending of Christmas and the eventual urge to start the new year in good shape. Days blur together between leftovers and hangovers, while enticing Boxing Day sales compete for attention.
Subdued spending would make sense after the festive frenzy, but many Aussies think one more splurge won’t break the bank, as PayPal research shows 41% are planning to bag a Boxing Day bargain, after 44% already shopped the Black Friday sales.1
The disordered downtime of Twixmas can also encourage distracted shopping, which can lower our guard against scams, especially amid the urgency of limited time offers. About half of under 40s shop from bed at the end of the day (51%), or while watching a second screen (46%), while a third (35%) say they shop online for “retail therapy” or because they’re bored (34%).2
Thankfully Aussie shoppers are appropriately wary of online security, with almost all (93%) having taken at least one measure to strengthen their digital defenses, including treating emails and texts with more suspicion (81%), enabling two-factor authentication (74%) or using PayPal for secure purchases (61%).2
The increased social media scrolling time during Twixmas is also recognised as an online shopping security risk, with about half (48%) of all Aussies saying social media is less secure for purchasing, and that they only use social media to browse, not to buy (45%).2
Rob Bates, Consumer Shopping Expert at PayPal Australia says, “Boxing Day sales can be a great chance to save money on things we need, but shopping should always be planned and budgeted to avoid impulse buying, overspending and starting the new year with unnecessary financial stress. We all love the convenience of shopping from anywhere on our phones or tablets, but scammers are constantly upping their game, especially around seasonal sales, so it’s important to pay attention while you’re paying online.”
PayPal’s Twixmas Tips to avoid Retail Regrets:
1. Plan purchases: Before you join the virtual queue on Boxing Day, make sure you’ve made a list, checked it twice, and decided how much you’re happy to spend. Just because a price has been significantly discounted, it doesn’t mean it’s the right purchase for you.
2. Scrutinise suspicious sites: Fake versions of online retail websites can look very similar to the real thing. If you spot images that don’t resize properly, or anything that doesn’t look right, check the URL, navigate to the genuine site separately, and if in doubt, don’t purchase.
3. Check reviews: If other shoppers have had negative experiences with a specific online seller, including fraud, they may have posted about it online to warn others.
4. Understand returns options: Make sure there’s a way out if the purchase isn’t 100% right and shop with retailers that offer a reasonable returns policy. Free return shipping is among the top drivers of online purchases, cited by 63% of Australians, as well as the option to buy online and return in store 48%2.
5. Compare prices in real time: It’s good practice to compare product prices between different retailers on the day of your planned purchase, as things can change quickly. Simply search online for the product name and style number to find a list of online stores selling the same product. Alternatively, consider using an online deal finder like PayPal Honey to do the heavy lifting and automatically apply any discount codes it may find at checkout.
6. Keep your financial details safe: Using a secure payment method like PayPal you can help protect your personal and financial information from potential fraud and give yourself the best odds that your transactions remain secure.
Stay up to date on the latest scams targeting consumers at www.scamwatch.gov.au, or visit www.esafety.gov.au to learn about how you can better protect yourself online.
About the Research
1. PayPal 2023 Consumer Research. The research was produced by PayPal Australia Pty Limited based on an online study conducted by PureProfile with n = 1,001 consumers. The sample consisted of n = 1,001 Australians aged 18-75. The sample was weighted by age, gender and location to ensure data was nationally representative. The research was in the field from 25th September to 28th September 2023.
2. PayPal 2023 eCommerce Index. The research was produced by PayPal Australia Pty Limited, based on an online study conducted by Fifth Quadrant with n = 1,012 consumers and n = 408 businesses. The consumer research consisted of a sample of n = 1,012 Australians aged 18 - 75. The sample was weighted by age, gender and location to ensure data was nationally representative. The business research consisted of a sample of n = 408 decision makers within Australian businesses. All businesses had to sell partially or wholly to consumers, and partially or wholly online. Quotas and the sample were set on turnover and location. The research was in the field from 14th June to 17th July 2023.
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