Recession drives millionaires to shop on eBay

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According to eBay residents of some of the most wealthy areas of the country are being driven to eBay to buy big name brands at knock down prices. Affluent area of London including Fulham, Wandsworth, Clapham, and Putney are flocking to eBay to source designer fashion at knock down prices.

Wealthy areas outside London are also showing the same trend. Alderley Edge – home to some of the UK’s best paid footballers – as well as expensive areas of Leeds, Edinburgh, Belfast, Morpeth and Cardiff have all recorded increased activity.

The study analysed the increasing number of people using the site who live in post codes which have some of the most expensive houses in the UK. The study suggests that the shopping habits of those who measure their wealth in hundreds of millions of pounds has remained relatively unchanged by the economic downturn. They still continue to buy directly from the big names in designer wear. However, the picture changes significantly in the next tier down, in areas where people have previously measured their wealth in mere millions.

eBay said “Our figures suggest that the only people in Britain to remain unaffected by the recession are the billionaires. Everyone else, including mere millionaires, are having to find new ways to continue to look fashionable for a fraction of the cost.”

Wealthy postcode areas showing the greatest increase in buying fashion on eBay activity include:

Clapham, SW4 up 339 per cent Homes costs up to £2.2 million
Leeds, LS17 up 327 per cent Homes cost up to £1.5 million
Fulham, SW6 up 233 per cent Homes cost up to £4.9 million
Hampstead, NW3 up 233 per cent Homes cost up to £11million
Putney, SW 15 up 205 per cent Homes cost up to £4.9 million
Cardiff, CF23 up 193 per cent Homes cost up to £1.7 million
Belfast, BT9 up 182 per cent Homes cost up to £1.4 million
Morpeth, NE 65 up 136 per cent Homes cost up to £1.6 million
Alderley Edge, SK9 up 129 per cent Homes cost up to £3 million
Edinburgh, EH14 up 110 per cent Homes cost up to £2.3 million
Kensington, SW7 9 per cent Homes cost up to £37 million
Knightsbridge, SW1 No increase Homes cost up to £47 million
Belgravia. SW1 No increase Homes cost up to £140 million

22 Responses

  1. I’m not really sure that data set shows anything:- comparing change in activity with the maximum price that any house has ever sold at (within an arbitrary administrative postal district) is a bit of a red herring. For example, the Borough of Camden (includes Hampstead NW3) has the greatest variation in income in any local council in the UK.

    There is some truth in there, however. eBay is a marketplace with broad appeal across the income spectrum.

    There is good anecdotal evidence that people of high net-worth like a bargain, and between trips to Harrods, they love to snaffle up the good stuff on eBay. Who wouldn’t? And these people didn’t get wealthy by ignoring a good deal. We deal with thousands of buyers, and there is considerable evidence that many are extremely well-off. I don’t see any value in suggesting that buying on eBay is just for the impoverished and those who can’t afford to buy new. It is time it shook off that ‘jumble sale’ image.

    Stuff U Sell is an anonymous service, but we’re also able to see a large number of high net-worth individuals who are selling things on eBay. Billionaires aren’t, in our experience, exempt from fancying a little dabble. Or at least having someone else dabble for them. Again – our experience is that the wealthier they are, the shrewder they are in their dealings.

  2. Ah, these are the same mathemeticians who devised TRS, are they?

    These are the wealthy postcodes showing the greatest increase? The bottom 2, the very wealthiest, show no increase at all. So presumably the next on the list must show a decrease.

    And Clapham is up 339 per cent. That could be from £50 to about £180, for all we know.

    It’s not wildly conclusive of anything very much. So it must be the TRS mob.

  3. How would ebay know who was buying or selling anything, as for all they know, it could just be one of their dubious sellers happen to know an estate agent and is using the empty unsold houses in those areas to shill bid their own stuff up or destroy their competitors. Or their cleaning ladies, while the rich people are out all day.

    We used to sell quite a bit in those areas before ebay messed it up, and they were solid sales, now they seem to just bring panic as another deadbeat has bought from you that will be trouble one way or another

  4. So is this piece of eBay fog aimed at prospective fashion outlets or at (ex) millionaires?

    It would not seem to be too relevant to most of us.

  5. In fairness to the eBay PR team, I don’t think Valatech is mentioned in their release – I can’t see any mention of them in any other news article and it seems more likely Graeme Wearden did some journalism and got his own facts.

    Online4baby is mentioned in most articles on the subject, together with quotes from Jody, which I wouldn’t be surprised to see in the release.

    We were asked for comment by the FT, who also took the time to cover Jeremy Wick’s business, and you can read the article here:-

  6. Be nice to see an article on all the eBay sellers who have been featured in newspapers over the last 10 years as great ebay entrepreneurs (+ power sellers of the month). “Where are they now?”.


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