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Consumers Plan More Modest Online Purchases

According to an eBillme study, consumers still are reluctant to shop online versus last year but more willing than last quarter, the nadir of a decline that has been in effect through the first half of this year.

In the study by eBillme, which offers consumers electronic non-credit card payment options, 19 percent of those surveyed said they had no plans to spend on line versus nine percent in last year's third quarter but 21 percent in this year's second quarter.

Although the intention to spend is down from last year, its is up in the lower end categories. At the opening designation, 17 percent of consumers say the will spend less than $50 on line in the immediate future versus 14 percent in last year's third quarter while 19 percent said they will spend from $50 to $100 versus 17 percent last year.

Consumers surveyed by eBillme in the current quarter were least likely to spend big bucks with only one percent saying they would spend more than $2,000, versus two percent in the previous two quarters and three percent in the pair before that. The final pair would have covered the year-end holiday and post-holiday buying seasons.

Consumers expressed more enthusiasm for spending in the less then $50 and the $50 to $100 price ranges in the current period versus this year's second quarter, when only 15 percent and 17 percent respectively said they would purchase within those brackets. In the $100 to $250 range, the proportion was the same in the two periods, 20%, while at $250 to $500, it was slightly down in the current quarter, 14 percent versus 15 percent in the earlier period. Consumers in the current quarter will spend slightly more in the $500 to $1,000 bracket, eight percent versus seven percent, and the same in the $1,000 to $2,000 bracket, at three percent.

While the numbers still suggest a cautious attitude toward expenditure among respondents, they demonstrate that consumers are warming to modest spending that suggest an adjustment to reduced circumstances or at least to a wary outlook.

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