Shopping Celebrates Ten Years of Buying and Selling

- 964 million items sold - - 171 businesses turning over more than £1m a year - - From Britney Spears’ discarded tissue, to David Beckham’s BMW and the sale of a handbag every 25 seconds -

1999 was the year Posh and Becks tied the knot, Britney Spears released Baby, One More Time and, also, the year eBay arrived in the UK. In the past decade, has seen over 950 million items sold on the site, testimony to Brits’ enduring love of shopping and pursuit of a bargain.

The scale of shopping on has resulted in ‘eBayability’ becoming the ultimate barometer of what’s hot and what’s not in the UK at any point in time. Nothing is too big, small or bizarre as’s legion of loyal users has proven over the years. From Bentleys to holiday homes, unique celebrity items to bargain vintage outfits and only-on-eBay must-have Christmas toys, Britain has been gripped by the phenomenon that is

The first ever sale was a 3-track CD from German rockers The Scorpions, which went for £2.89. Over the past decade, has become an indicator of changing consumer tastes. Back in 1999, the most popular items on the site were Pokemon trading cards. These days, we’re more likely to buy fashion brands and accessories on the site, as Brits flock online to find great deals, with an item of women’s clothing now selling every three seconds

As marks its tenth anniversary, it also celebrates becoming one of the UK’s most iconic brands. It is currently the fourth most searched-for term on Google*. The online marketplace has also been a platform for the emergence of new shopping behaviours. Over 70,000 savvy Brits are beating the recession by going ‘shopping neutral’ – balancing their budgets by selling as much as they spend on the site. is about more than just shopping. It’s a platform for charity fundraising and entrepreneurialism. More £10.5m has been raised for more than 3,500 charities since the launch of eBay for Charity in 2006. And, of the 123,000 British businesses now trading on eBay, over 170 turn over more than a million pounds a year on the site. In 2008, the value of sales on exceeded the GDP of 68 countries.

Mark Lewis, MD of eBay in the UK comments: “ has come a long way in the past ten years. From our beginnings as an auction site, over half the items for sale today are available to ‘Buy Now’. Likewise, whilst was once dominated by second hand items, the fastest growth is in sales of new products at knock-down prices. And, these days, you’re just as likely to buy from a business as a private seller, with an increasing number of entrepreneurs andestablished retail brands like Schuh, Littlewoods and Argos all selling on”

Lewis continues: “Ten years on, we might have fallen out of love with Pokemon and perhaps The Scorpions no longer have the appeal of yesteryear. However, one thing remains - is still the favourite platform for British shoppers looking for great value and unrivalled choice, to earn some extra money on the side or to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true.”