Trends & Data

Brits secretly shopping in September to snap up toys for kids

Press Release

eBay reveals Britain’s £17.5billion Christmas shopping list

  • 28% of Brits have Christmas shopping all wrapped up by the end of September
  • 45% shop first for person that’s most important or is guaranteed to give the best reaction
  • 75% shop for kids first and Dads last
  • Average household[1] set to spend up to £747.78 on their loved ones this Christmas1]

 8 November 2017, London - Watch out, Christmas shopping is more competitive than ever this year. New research[2]from shows that over half of us started shopping before the Christmas ads had even aired, with a third of us snapping up the all-important kids’ toy purchase first.

This year, Brits will buy more than 1.1bn presents with the average household[3] purchasing 48 gifts and spending £747.78 on their loved ones.  Toys are the number one priority, followed by clothes, tech, fragrance, DVDs, Jewellery and food & drink items like whiskey and wine.

Yet with more than one in ten of us staggering under a Santa sack of over fifty gifts, it’s little wonder that 28% of us started secretly stocking up before the end of September – a 7% uplift on 2014 stats[4] -  more than half of us confess to keeping our early start on Christmas shopping a secret.

When it comes to whom we prioritise and shop for first, unsurprisingly, 75% of us start shopping for children first with parents spending on average £112.45 on them. £89.28 is spent on spouses and partners, £34.40 on mum, and just as Christmas shopping can be an after-thought for some dads, they are also last on everyone else’s shopping lists with an average spend of £34.13.

Brits are swayed by their emotions when it comes to who makes it to the top and bottom of the list with, 45% admitting that they buy for those they deem most important, or who show the best emotional reaction to gifts they’ve purchased, and  just one in ten Brits shopping for those who are hardest to buy for first.’s Christmas Shop is the perfect one stop destination for all gifting needs this festive season - from toys and games, fashion and tech, to entertainment and media. Visit:

Regional insights:

Shoppers in the North East are the only ones to buck the ‘toys first’ trend, instead opting for clothes as their primary purchase, and shoppers in Leeds are most swayed by emotions, with almost one in five shopping for those who make the most fuss first.

16-24-year-old women in Brighton are the most secretive, with 60% admitting to keeping their early Christmas shopping a secret, whereas men aged 55+ in Norwich are least likely to keep it a secret, and one in four shoppers in Bristol are most likely to leave those who are most difficult to shop for until last.

Women aged 25-34 in Belfast are the most organised with 25% having started their shopping before September, whereas men in Plymouth leave it the latest with one in three not starting until mid-December.




Notes to editors


eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) is a global commerce leader including the Marketplace, StubHub and Classifieds platforms. Collectively, we connect millions of buyers and sellers around the world, empowering people and creating opportunity through Connected Commerce. Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay is one of the world's largest and most vibrant marketplaces for discovering great value and unique selection. In 2016, eBay enabled $84 billion of gross merchandise volume.

For more information about the company and its global portfolio of online brands,

[1] 2.3 people per household – ONS Census 2011

[2] eBay & Censuswide Data – 31 October – 2 November 2017 of 2000 UK adults

[3] 2.3 people per household – ONS Census 2011

[4] eBay & TNS data October 2014 of 985 UK adults