Last-minute Christmas shoppers spend $370 million

Last-minute Christmas shoppers spent more than $370 million at the weekend - the last before the big day, according to Paymark figures.

The amount spent equalled more than seven million transactions.

Paymark said that on Saturday, shoppers spent $212,610,703 on 3,943,307 transactions.

Yesterday, slightly fewer were hitting the shops, with $162,188,004 spent on 3,202,265 transactions.

That amount was added to more than $3 billion spent in the lead-up to Christmas.

Yesterday Paymark said it had processed more than 59 million electronic transactions, worth a total of just over $3 billion, since the start of December.

The figures included transactions on Friday, when there were only five shopping days left until Christmas.

The December total as of Friday was $160 million more than New Zealanders had spent in the same period last year.

Paymark spokeswoman Serena Benson earlier said that people were shopping differently this year, with more people buying presents online or using contactless transactions, such as Paywave.

Ms Benson said Christmas Eve was always the busiest trading day of the year, with the busiest period between midday and 1pm.

Last week, there were about 127 transactions a second, but that would climb significantly on Christmas Eve to about 180 to 190 a second.

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Five tips for last-minute shoppers

- Always check receipts and bank statements. It is a busy time of year and mistakes can happen.

- Always ask for an exchange card if you are unsure of whether the present you are buying is right.

- Check the expiry date if you're buying gift cards, and if you get one, try to use it as soon as you can to avoid losing it.

- Think of safety when buying for kids -- watch out for parts on toys children can pull off and swallow.

- Avoid Boxing Day bargains -- if you make a spontaneous decision a retailer is not obliged to take back an item.

(Source: Consumer New Zealand)

NZME.

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