Canny British shoppers beat Credit Crunch by going ‘Shopping Neutral’

East Midlands town of Coalville epicentre of emerging online shopping trend

Smart shoppers are finding new ways to beat the credit crunch and maximise their spending power, according to research by eBay in the UK.

The research identifies an emerging community of savvy online ‘Shopping Neutral’ consumers who hunt for the best deals with an eye on potential resale values, and then offset up to 90% of their spending by re-selling goods online. The former mining town of Coalville in Leicestershire is spearheading this trend with the most concentrated community of ‘neutral’ shoppers in the UK.

The findings are based on analysis of over 100 million online transactions carried out by buyers and sellers on, across 13,000 categories, over the past year. The research reveals some other surprising shopping trends across the country:

  • Caravanning features prominently in the top ten searches on the site, with eco-friendly holiday-makers in Northampton spending £350,000 on over 1,100 caravans last year
  • Current figures suggest spending on home security equipment will increase by 25% this year. In 2007, Stockport in Cheshire was the most security conscious part of the country, spending £20,753 in 2007, more than any other city on home security products
  • Sales of men’s dancing shoes are set to triple in 2008 compared to 2007. The trend, which has surfaced at the same time as increased exposure for male dance acts on TV reality shows, is most visible in Bristol, which spent more than anywhere else in the UK items and extending product lifecycles.
  • Those feeling the pinch of the credit crunch are shopping in new ways, including price comparison shopping to source the best deals, selling goods to fund new purchases or swapping items to incur no cost at all.

Julia Hutton-Potts, spokesperson for eBay in the UK, comments: “With the credit crunch hitting we’ve noticed that consumers are increasingly savvy in how they reduce their shopping footprint, whether that’s comparing prices, sizing up the resale value of goods before purchasing or being ruthless about selling on unwanted or unused items to fund future spend.”

Notes to Editors:

1. ‘Shopping Neutral’ was identified by comparing the activity of eBay users who bought and sold on the site within a 10% margin between January 2007 and June 2008. 2. The data reveals that more and more people are shopping within a 10% margin between buying and selling 3. The eBaynomics Report analysis is based on 2007 transactions in key categories across the following UK cities: Aberdeen; Birmingham; Bradford; Brighton; Bristol; Cardiff; Derby; Edinburgh; Glasgow; Leeds; Leicester; Liverpool; London; Luton; Manchester; Middlesbrough; Newcastle; Norwich; Nottingham; Sheffield; Stockport; Stoke on Trent; Swansea; Wolverhampton. The top ‘Shopping Neutral’ areas in the UK are: 1. Coalville, Leicestershire, LE67 2. Loughborough Leicestershire, LE12 3. Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, NG17 4. Nottingham, NG16 5. Derby, DE21 6. Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE28 7. Bristol, BS16 8. Crawley, Sussex, RH11 9. Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 10. Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14