By Daniel Hunter

Online marketplace has today (Thursday) revealed the total number of export sales on the site is rising dramatically in the run-up to Christmas this year, as smart businesses boost their bottom lines through international sales and savvy shoppers hunt out the best seasonal bargains.

Total exports from are on track to grow by 16% between October and December 2012 compared to the same period last year, with imports surging by 39%.

UK businesses are embracing opportunities in emerging markets this winter in an attempt to make gains during the busiest time of year for online shopping. Exports to Russia this Christmas, for example, are predicted to increase by 119% compared to 2011, and clothing — in particular women’s shoes and dresses — are topping Russian Christmas lists. Exports to China — an emerging market that one fifth of eBay businesses identified as ‘one to watch’ in 2012 — will increase by 36%[1].

Overall the US is the most popular destination for UK exports, with over 2.2 million items predicted to be shipped from the UK between October-December alone.

Pre-empting the launch of the Lego ‘Lord of The Rings’ computer game last week, Lego Uruk Hai characters join the list of top ten most exported items this season. FIFA computer games also appear in the most exported items list for the third year running as the UK shares its love of football with the world via

Two customisable products — personalised wooden train sets and the H2O Mermaid lockets — are among the top five most exported toys exported from the UK this Christmas, highlighting the fact that it is increasingly important for retailers to introduce an element of uniqueness into their products in order to set themselves apart.

The top five most exported toys from this Christmas are:

1 Disney Pixar Cars 2 figurines
2 Personalised wooden train & carriage set
3 H2O Mermaid locket
4 Fireman Sam figurines
5 Classic Marvel figurine collection

“Cross border trade represents a massive economic opportunity for the UK, and eBay makes trade without borders a reality by giving businesses big and small a simple, low cost platform to reach over 100 million shoppers around the world 24/7," Chris Webster, Director of EU Cross Border Trade, eBay, said.

"The results speak for themselves, as 80% of small businesses operating on sell internationally to at least five foreign countries.

“We are constantly finding new ways to make it easier for businesses to reach new shoppers and new markets. Innovations such as our new global ratecard enable businesses to sell on every eBay site for a single monthly fee, and our new emerging market sites are accelerating growth to places like Russia and Eastern Europe.”

UK shoppers are also looking overseas to snap up last minute Christmas bargains, with an impressive 114% increase in import sales from China and 108% from Poland to whom we are turning to for everything from coats to watches and digital cameras.

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