Brits shop online for ‘The Good Life’, with a rise in ‘at home’ entertaining, pampering and grow-at-home foods

eBay data reveals how Europeans are going domestic to beat the recession gloom

New data from eBay has revealed a ‘stay-at-home’ trend among Brits and our European neighbours, as consumers attempt to beat the crunch by seeking out savings through home-grown entertainment and a DIY approach to fashion, beauty and food. The study has identified three stay-at-home trends among Brits and our continental neighbours:

1. Green shoots begin at home

  • Sales of plants, seeds and bulbs have risen by 37% as Brits turn to home-grown produce in a bid to become more self-sufficient
  • The self-sufficient approach also extends to repairs. Rather than buy new shoes, we’re becoming a nation of at-home cobblers, with sales of shoe repair kits rocketing 97% in the UK. Similarly, shoe polish is up by 70% and laces up 93% as Brits make a bid to preserve their tired soles

2. Stay-at-home pampering and fashion

  • In the midst of the recession, Europeans are as intent as ever on looking good, but when it comes to beauty treatments, we’re doing it for ourselves. Rather than pricey trips to the salon, Brits are manicuring and waxing from home, with false nails, manicure & pedicure kits up 30%, and hair removal products up 12% on last year
  • Maintaining a glowing tan is also now an at-home sport – sales of sun beds and lamps have risen by almost 20%, and fake tan is up 16% in the last year, as frugal Brits save money by tanning from home
  • The recession has proved that staying on-trend doesn’t have to mean splashing the cash. Across the whole of Europe, sales of men’s and women’s accessories are on the up (with sales rising 14% and 22% respectively in the UK alone) as both sexes accessorise to give old outfits a new lease of life
  • Similarly, sales of hair accessories have doubled, hats are up 40% and bags have risen by 21% in the last year

3. Make your own fun

  • Rather than head out to the theatre or cinema, Brits have been getting dramatic and entertaining themselves at home over the last year. Sales of theatrical and stage wear have risen by a third, while women’s fancy dress costumes are up by 61%
  • In a nod to Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity, it seems the whole nation has the dancing bug – sales of men’s and women’s dance shoes have risen 32% and 33% respectively year on year
  • Board games have also been a big recession hit – Scrabble sales are up by 12%, Monopoly by 8%, and sales of poker sets are also up by 85% as we plan quiet evenings in over nights out on the tiles
  • Also on the up are BBQs (with a 40% rise in sales) and garden furniture (seeing a 12% rise) as we opt for home-entertaining over expensive dinners this summer. However, it seems that cautious Brits don’t quite trust the MET Office’s predictions for a hot summer, as we’re preparing for the worst – sales of awnings and garden canopies have risen by a huge 37% this year

“Home is most definitely where it’s at for Brits and our European neighbours right now. People are spending more time at home, whether they’re communicating on twitter, shopping for deals online or watching family entertainment shows on TV,” explains Julia Hutton-Potts, from eBay. “The recession has caused us to perfect our bargain-hunting skills and we’re getting increasingly creative in finding ways to beat the crunch, from mending our own to growing our own.”

Notes to Editors:

About the research The research compared sales on eBay sites across Europe and in each of the following countries (UK, DE, FR, IT, ES, IE, PO, BE, AT), comparing sales data year-on-year Q1 2008 – Q1 2009. Average selling prices on include: • Packet of seeds: £2 • Stand alone barbeque: £44.27 • Garden chairs: £27.73 • Outdoor umbrellas: £9.61 • Awning and garden canopies: £97.48 • Manicure and pedicure kits: £8.29 • Hair removal products: £17.01 • Sun beds and lamps: £37.21 • Fake tanning products: £12.68 • Men’s accessories: £18.97 • Women’s accessories: £3.83 • Hair accessories: £4.35 • Hats: £16.77 • Bags: £16.57