Despite celebrating its 60th anniversary in January, LEGO remained top of the toybox with one search for “LEGO” every 30 seconds¹. Films inspired sales of top selling bricks across the year, and with Fantastic Beasts casting a spell over the silver screen, Potter also proved he’s still got purchasing power with brick builders. The online marketplace saw nearly one LEGO Harry Potter related item flying off the virtual shelves every 10 seconds!²
We thawed out in February as we sought Russian glamour, and took inspiration from the small screen when it came to décor. As the plot thickened on McMafia, it wasn’t just James Norton lighting up our homes, as Brits sought to emulate the stylish interiors seen on the show, with eBay.co.uk seeing nearly two searches for ‘Chesterfield Sofas’ every minute in the first week following the show’s debut³.
Despite the Beast from the East pummelling the UK for the first half of March, Brits started to turn their homes into sanctuaries, with shoppers snapping up hot tubs and embracing interiors trends like jungle fever, unicorn chic and faux-liage. Almost 2,000 ‘palm tree’ items sold during the first two weeks of the month.
Crocs made their way into our wardrobes once more in the spring, after shoppers logged a staggering 25,000 searches for the iconic shoes in the month of April inspired by designer iterations at Balenciaga and Christopher Kane⁴. As normcore fashion items like bum bags and dad sneakers saw a resurgence on runways and the high street, there were almost 80,000 Crocs listings on the online marketplace, with items ranging from camouflage to Union Jack designs.
He might be sixth in line to the throne, but eBay.co.uk revealed that Prince Harry was Britain’s number one in the lead up to the Royal Wedding in May, with his bride-to-be not far behind. Kate Middleton was also crowned top royal style influencer with her maternity style while pregnant with Prince Louis ensuring she generated more online searches on eBay than any other royal over the past year. Searches for designer Jenny Packham more than doubled when Kate appeared outside the Lindo Wing in a red Packham smock dress for Prince Louis's debut.
As we decluttered our homes of over £48bn in household hoarding in June, we embraced Summer Living inspired by Love Island, with eight bean bags and seven sun loungers sold every half hour. In fact, there were almost 40,000 ‘Love Island’ listings on eBay.co.uk, with items ranging from prosecco glasses to the famous water bottles. We also added a dose of Majorca heat with one hot tub sold a minute on eBay in the week leading up to the new series⁵.
The World Cup had us bringing home a waistcoat a minute in July due to Southgate fever and filling our Panini sticker albums at a record pace. We also brought the pitch itself to our gardens and gave up grass in favour of artificial turf with 18 purchases every hour - a 16% increase in artificial turf sales compared to last summer⁶.
Brits went glamping crazy as we embraced the Summer of the Staycation with over 3,000 teepees sold in August as we basked in the summer heatwave⁷. And it’s not just tepees that glamping Brits were opting for, comfy airbeds also saw a spike in sales by more than 167%.
With the average Briton spending six hours a day looking at a screen, a September study of eBay sales over the past year suggests many of us – particularly parents – are increasingly turning our backs on so-called ‘always-on’ technology and embracing a retro revival with surges in sales of vinyl, board games, and jigsaws. With more than 77,000 listings available on site, the online marketplace sold over 25,000 jigsaw puzzles in one month – that’s nearly 35 per hour⁸.
For the first time in eBay's 22-year history in October in the UK there were over 1,000 British eBay millionaires and the list of top businesses included home furniture and DIY, car parts, clothes and computers.
It seems November was the month of giving, as eBay.co.uk saw an increase in sales by charities, as part of its eBay for Charity program. British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and Sue Ryder hospice saw an 18% YoY increase in sales. British parents also embraced the festive spirit in November as they got ready to spend £5.5 billion on toys in the run up to Christmas. With almost 226 million searches for unicorn related items on site in 2018, eBay.co.uk’s 12 Toys of Christmas included several favourites such as ‘Myla the magical make-up unicorn’, ‘FurReal Friends Ricky the Trick Loving Pup’, and LEGO favourite ‘The Creator Pirate Roller Coaster’.⁹
Finally, as 2018 drew to a close, eBay.co.uk revealed that the 28th December is the best day for Brits to declutter their home following the festive period, with a quarter of Brits admitting that they have up to 50 unused items stored away, up to the estimated value of £483. As ‘Boxing Up’ day returned, a predicted 74 million items will be listed following Christmas as Brits pack up unused items for re-sale on eBay.
NOTES TO EDITORS
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 2017, eBay enabled $88 billion of gross merchandise volume.
For more information about the company and its global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.
¹ Data taken from eBay from 01.01.18 – 06.01.18
² Data taken between September 16th – November 16th 2018 from eBay.co.uk
³ Data taken from eBay 01.01.18 – 06.01.18
⁴ Data taken from eBay.co.uk from 01.04.18-30.04.18
⁵ *All data taken from eBay.co.uk 07.06.18-12.06.18
⁶ *All data taken from eBay.co.uk on 07.06.18-06.07.18
⁷ Data taken from ebay.co.uk – 22.04.18 – 22.07.18
⁸ Data taken between 23.03.18 – 21.04.18
⁹ All data taken from eBay.co.uk between 1st January 2018 - 1st October 2018