Bradley sparks bike bidding craze, The Queen becomes a trend setter and the Bake Off takes over Great Britain: eBay rounds up 2012

If Brits are talking about it, they’re searching for it too.



If Brits are talking about it, they’re searching for it too. eBay, the UK’s largest online marketplace, is the original barometer of the latest trends, and 2012 was no exception. From The Queen becoming the latest fashion icon to Great British Bake Off fever, here’s a round-up of what everybody’s been talking about, looking for and buying this year. 

  1. 1.     Queen of style.  In the run up to the Royal Jubilee, Brits were well and truly embracing all things regal as sales of items associated with the Royal touch soared on In particular, the Queen gave her stylish granddaughter-in-law, Kate Middleton, a run for her money in the fashion stakes as her string of Jubilee appearances inspired the nation to get the regal look. Sales of see-through umbrellas poured following the Queen’s appearance in the rain at St Paul’s Cathedral, increasing by more than double (108%)*. 


  1. 2.     TV Takeover. Brits identified themselves as a nation of budding bakers following the popularity of this year’s Great British Bake Off. It wasn’t just the cakes that were rising this summer, sales of mixing bowls rose by 86%* compared to last year. The nation proved presentation is key as sales of cake stands rose by 33%, with cake tin sales also going up, this time by 72%. After 21 years, Dallas returned to our TV screens in September, inspiring Brits to head to to celebrate the return of the iconic series. In the week following the announcement sales of Dallas memorabilia rose by a massive 400%*. 



  1. 3.     The country was struck by Yellow Fever. This year will forever be remembered proudly by Brits as the year of Sport. Bradley Wiggins, 2012’s Sports Personality of the Year, inspired the nation in his iconic yellow jersey as he triumphed at the Tour De France, corresponding with a spike in sales of bicycles, which rose by a massive 261%* in July.  


  1. 4.     The celebrity effect. Stars continued to cause a stir on eBay in 2012 as trend setters made their mark on the fashion world. After Rihanna and Alexa Chung were papped sporting studs in the summer months, sales soared as over 13 million studs* were sold on eBay in just three months. Beyoncé’s baby sparked a bidding frenzy in April as mums flocked to the site to purchase the celebrity baby carrier of choice – the papoose, with sales rising by 225%* in the Spring.  Meanwhile, TOWIE’s Mark Wright got caught with his trousers down in March resulting in sales of tartan pants rising by 74%*.  


  1. 5.     Fashionistas bag a bargain. This year eBay became the go to shopping destination with fashionable Brits hitting the site. Fans of reality superstar, Kim Kardashian, were offered the chance to snap up a designer item when she took to eBay in September to auction off her wardrobe of dresses, shoes, jumpers and tops for charity.


  1. 6.     Savvy Brits make the upgrade. 2012 continued to be the year of Apple. ‘iPad’ was searched for 1.7 million times on eBay and we saw the launch of the hotly-anticipated iPhone 5. eBay reported that gadget fans were listing their old phones in the run up to the launch in order to afford the new must-have model, with listings of iPhones rising by 122%*.


  1. 7.     eBay for Charity. In 2012 eBay for Charity continued its support of over 7,000 British charities. This year one particular highlight was the auction of an exclusive message board signed by Team GB’s Olympic medalists. The board sold on eBay raising over £3,500 for BBC Children in Need.

eBay 2012 in numbers:

  • 17 million: Shoppers who visit eBay every month 
  • 60 million: The amount of live listings on at any one time
  • 100 million: The amount of downloads  the eBay app reached in September 2012
  • 41 million: The amount of pounds eBay for Charity has raised since 2006 for over 7,000 UK charities
  • 427,000: The amount of pounds BBC Children in Need raised through eBay in 2012
  • 6 million: The number of Brits that visited on December 2nd 2012, the busiest ever online shopping day
  • 70,000: The amount of times ‘Furby’ has been searched for on this Christmas
  • 100,000: The amount of un-wanted gifts listed on on Boxing Day 2011
  • 190,000: The amount of registered businesses currently trading on
  • 45,000: The amount of vehicles purchased on via a smartphone between January and March this year

- Ends -

For further statistics and data, or to speak to an eBay spokesperson, please contact the eBay press office at

Shine Communications on 020 7100 7100/


  • Queen of style *February 2012 vs March 2012
  • TV Takeover: GBBO* September 2011 vs September 2012, Dallas*Week on Week August 2012 
  • The country was struck by Yellow Fever * June 2012 vs July 2012
  • The celebrity effect: Studs*July-September 2012, Papoose* March 2012 vs April 2012, Pants*Febraury 2012 vs March 2012  
  • Savvy Brits make the upgrade: *August 2012 vs September 2012


Notes to Editors:

eBay in the UK

  • Founded in 1999, is the UK’s largest online marketplace, providing a platform for over 17 million unique visitors per month[1] to buy and sell new, unique and used items.
  • There are around 60 million live listings on the UK site, which has tripled from 20 million in 2009.[2]
  • One in two online buyers in the UK visits every month.[3]
  • receives around as many visitors per month as London’s Oxford Street.[4]
  • Nearly twice as many people visit every month than visit the UK’s four leading shopping centres in the same period.[5]
  • eBay is consistently one of the most visited UK retail sites, with around a 15% share of total UK online shopping visits.[6]
  • 190,000 registered businesses are currently trading on the site – up from 120,000 in 2009.


eBay mobile

  • eBay mobile applications are available in more than 190 countries and eight languages.
  • Globally, eBay is predicting $10 billion of transactions taking place via a mobile device in 2012.
  • eBay mobile apps have been downloaded over 90 million times globally.
  • In the UK an item is purchased every second on eBay via a mobile device.
  • The most expensive items recently bought on eBay mobile in the UK were a Porsche 911 Carrera and Land Rover Evoque both being purchased for around £40,000.

[1] Nielsen Netview March 2012

[2] eBay internal data (Daily Live Listing Count)

[3] Six out ten adults shop online (OECD report, The Future of the Internet Economy, 2012)

[4] London Oxford Street has on average 18.49 million visitors a month (Westminster City Council).

[5]  Bluewater, 2.3 million average visitors a month; Lakeside, 2 million average visitors a month; Westfield Stratford, 3.87 million average visitors a month; Westfield London, 2.25 million average visitors a month. (Data from their own websites).

[6] Experian Hitwise August 11, 2012