Over the past year, Brits have fallen in love with Cheryl Cole, caught SATC fever, experienced ‘Obamamania’, gone greener and become stylish recessionistas. We’ve been turning our pop-culture
obsessions into personal possessions throughout 2008. eBay.co.uk has examined sales and identified what cultural trends have kept us buying, bidding and watching this year.
Carey Maguire, eBay.co.uk Pop-Culture Specialist, comments: “If it was a hot topic in the last 12 months, then it was hot on eBay. When someone or something excites the British public, you immediately see a surge of related listings and sales on the site. If something is big, we have to have it – and you know what they say… you can find pretty much anything on eBay.”
Britain’s Top 10 Obsessions in 2008:
Cheryl Cole, National Treasure – Over the last year, Cheryl Cole has emerged as the nation’s sweetheart. Since replacing Sharon Osborne as the fourth X-Factor judge, sales of Cheryl memorabilia sky-rocketed by over 100%, outstripping Dannii Minogue items by 200%, proving that Cheryl clearly has the eBay factor!
Strictly Male Dancing – ‘Strictly Fever’ swept the nation once again in 2008, but this year it was the male population who led the trend. Sales of men’s dancing shoes rose by more than 100%. Inspired by John Sergeant, who won our hearts and proved that anybody can give it a go – men all over the country have been taking up ballroom dancing. Tap dancing shoes, satin Rumba pants and sequined jump suits all saw a rise in sales.
Obamamania – In the excitement of the US presidential election, tens of thousands of candidate memorabilia items were listed on the site – from Obama baby grows and Biden tea towels, to McCain watches and Palin cushion covers. Obama memorabilia was by far the most popular throughout the election campaign. A set of election inspired Cabbage Patch Dolls sold, with Obama’s doll going for over £5,000, while McCain’s sold for a mere £1,700.
DIY Fashion – This year, Credit Crunch Chic has definitely been a major trend, with people the nation over opting to make their own clothes. Sewing classes have popped up in every city, the WI has become cool and sales of arts and craft tools have soared on eBay. Knitting needles and wool sales have increased by 100%, sales of pins and pin cushions were up 200%, while mannequin listings have more than doubled.
SATC Fever – As Carrie and the girls took to the silver screen in May, the whole country went crazy for their style. Listings of Jimmy Choo items increased dramatically, and sales of ‘Fascinators’ went through the roof after Sarah Jessica Parker wore an ornate Philip Tracey number to the film’s London premiere.
Green Machines – along with the economy, the environment has been a major concern this year, and commuters were no exception. Sales of hybrid cars and engine conversion kits were up 300% in 2008. eBay also saw a rise in listings of alternative modes of transport – bikes, rollerblades and skates, pogo sticks, unicycles and even Sinclair C5s have all been on the up.
Material Girl – It’s been a tough year for Madonna, but at least her fans still love her. As she announced her divorce from Guy Ritchie, amid claims that she was having an affair, sales of Madonna memorabilia increased significantly. There are currently around 19,000 listings on the site, proof that a bit of controversy never hurt anyone!
Retro Toys – families have been going back to basics this year, and sales of traditional forms of entertainment are enjoying a renaissance. The most popular games on the site are Monopoly, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Chess, Cluedo and the Rubik’s Cube.
Barbie vs Bratz – This year saw the world’s most inevitable cat-fight come to a head, when Barbie took Bratz to court. In what turned out to be an early 50th Birthday present, the judge ruled in Mattel’s favour, and the production of Bratz will stop. Although Barbie is still the most popular doll on eBay, with 14,388 items currently listed, Bratz listings immediately increased by 25% as people rushed to get their hands on what will one day be a collector’s item.
My Little Pony Goes Goth – It’s an underground trend that has been growing steadily across Europe, USA and Japan since the 90s – ‘MLP gothing’. But as MLP celebrates its 25th anniversary customising has gone mainstream. Collectors are buying into the trend, giving their MLPs heavy eye make up, tattooing dark images on their rumps, adding studded leather outfits, piercings, obscure haircuts and alternative sci-fi personalities. Approximately 75,324 Goth MLPs have been sold on the site this year.
* All sales and listing stats taken from eBay.co.uk between December 2007 and December 2008