Trends & Data

From Vinyl sales to Pokémon Go – what inspired our shopping in 2016

Starting with bikini searches in January, through to Christmas tree sales in July, online marketplace has acted as a barometer of British shopping trends in 2016. Visited by 20million Brits each month, the online marketplace has provided its own year in review.

  1. With New Year, New You motivation on the brain – Brits wasted no time in planning their escape to somewhere hot, as by the 4th of January the online marketplace saw searches for beach towels up 72% and bikinis up 49% this month[1].
  2. World Book Day is now extremely popular, and activities started early as in February the site revealed sales of Harry Potter costumes topping the list of fictional character dress ups. And, with Carpool Karaoke all over our social media feeds, eBay saw a car stereo sold every minute on site[2].
  3. The month of March saw Samsung fans check out the prices they could get for the new model and the Adidas NMD was one of the fastest shopped trends the online marketplace saw, demonstrating the power of limited editions.
  4. A Disney ranking, released by the online marketplace in April to mark the anticipated release of The Jungle Book, revealed that while poor Mowgli and his be(ar)st friend Baloo don’t even make it into the ranking, Frozen was refusing to ‘let go’ of the top spot, selling two items every minute[3]. The site also saw shoppers search for ‘Thrones this month, to catch up in time for the Season 6 TV debut.
  5. During peak home move season, research from eBay found that when it comes to moving house, over half of Brits (51%) will prioritise the living room as the first room to unpack, swiftly followed by the kitchen (21%), and in third place, the bedroom (14%)[4]. The site also saw Vardy Salted Crisps and copies of the Leicester Mercury flying off the virtual shelves as fans were desperate to get their hands on  a piece of the LCFC party.
  6. June saw eBay launch its dedicated home hub, reporting that sales of storage boxes had seen a 78% year on year increase[5]. The site also launched wine for the first time.
  7. Thanks to Pokémon Go, there was a 45% increase in sales of Pokemon-related gear, with a product sold every 12 seconds on site. The online marketplace also revealed that a whopping 35,000 Christmas trees had sold in the past three months on site[6], showing Brits were really getting in to the festive spirit early this year.
  8. August saw eBay expand its wine offering with the introduction of leading wine merchant Laithwaites onto site.
  9. In September, eBay turned 21 and to celebrate, the online marketplace launched its first UK Retail Report – opening up its data to reveal the way the UK buys and sells today.


  1. October marked the opening of the Christmas shop on eBay, featuring gift ideas for everyone from tech lovers, teen geeks and even pets!  
  2. As a nation we love a last minute purchase, and in the run up to Christmas eBay saw a stocking filler sold every minute on the online marketplace[7].
  3. With festive season in full swing, research from the online marketplace eBay revealed that Brits would be spending £104.4 billion on technology gifts this Christmas[8]. Therefore a new role at Christmas is emerging; the Technoël – the person designated on Christmas Day (knowingly or unknowingly) to set up all the technology. 

eBay 2016 in numbers and facts[9]:

-        It is now visited by over 20m Britons each month

-        One billion items are listed on eBay across the globe every year

-        £100m has been raised for charity by UK eBay sellers

-        57% of sales are touched by mobile


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 2015, eBay enabled $82 billion of gross merchandise volume

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[1] All data taken from eBay Q3 2016 unless otherwise referenced

[2] Data taken from 07.11.15 – 04.02.16

[3] Data taken from 11.01.16 – 09.04.16

[4] Data taken from One Poll. Total sample size was 2,000 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken on 8th April 2016.  The survey  was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

[5] Year-on-year sales increase from 2015 to 2016 on

[6] Data taken from 04.04.16 – 04.07.16

[7] Data taken from 14.09.16 – 12.12.16

[8] *Figures based on an average of £203.66 spent on an average of 2.26 technology gifts per person and population size of 51.3million

[9] eBay Q2 Results 2016