eBay UK’s 2021 Shopping Barometer report

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eBay has announced their official 2021 Shopping Barometer Report, revealing the items that the UK snapped up in line with the cultural happenings in a year of long awaited vaccines and vacations.

“From the time it nearly came home and the nation went crazy for bucket hats, to the most loved TV hits of the year inspiring our clothes and homes. Our Shopping Barometer Report looks back on the time capsule of purchases that have come to define this year for our 29 million customers, and what’s been in their shopping baskets as a result.”
– Murray Lambell, UK General Manager, eBay

2021 Shopping Barometer Highlights

TV Screens to shopping baskets

As friends were reunited with each other and their local pubs this year, Britain’s most watched TV series had to step up their game to capture our attention.

Bridgerton set the tone as the nation’s most loved love affair, with the Regency era hit influencing the UK’s wardrobes, homes and hobbies. Searches shot up 300% for ‘wisteria plants’ and 39% for ‘corsets’ in January 2021, compared to the same time last year, and the hobby defining the Regencycore trend, with embroidery hoops scoring a 65% increase in searches in January.

BBC1’s The Serpent, meanwhile, sparked a rush at the start of this year for 1970s essentials with searches for ‘shagpile rugs’ and ‘halterneck tops’ up 24% and 158% respectively. And come March, the highly anticipated sixth series of Line of Duty prompted customers to foster their detective skills with searches for ‘police woman outfit’ up 440% and searches for ‘unsolved case files’ up 108% compared to 2020.

From September onwards it was boiler suit season, with 38 searches every hour for Squid Game costumes in the month of its’ release, and a 1900% spike in the first week of aring. Most recently, the ladies of Selling Sunset have brought their passion for fashion to the show’s fourth season. As shoppers look to emulate the drama fueled lifestyle, Emma’s daring grey metallic dress caused a 52% surge in searches for ‘metallic dress’, while there was a 14% increase for ‘tweed blazer’ inspired by Christine’s co- ord set.

The time it nearly came home

The Euros this year hit so close to home, sparking a 920% rise in searches for ‘It’s Coming Home Bucket Hat’ in July. Whilst Sterling and Kane scored goals on the pitch, it’s Jack Grealish that won in the online stakes, with 526% more searches for ‘Grealish England Shirt’ crowning him the year’s true fan favourite.

Teammate Rashford also released his book You are a champion: How to be the best you can be this year, inspiring young children to go after their passions in life. Searches for ‘Marcus Rashford book’ shot up 274% during the release month in May, showing the youngster has cemented his status as a national treasure in 2021.

With the postponed Tokyo Olympics, shoppers looked to watch with friends and family at home, at bars and on holiday in support of Team GB. Searches soared up by 1240% for ‘Team GB Kit’, while Great Britain bagged a total of 65 medals at the tournament. Inspired by our Olympians, water sports became more popular than ever this Summer with ‘kayak’ and ‘paddle board’ receiving 157 and 194 searches per hour respectively in July.

2021 Taste Makers

Ariana Grande kicked off the year’s must have celeb essentials this year when she finally gave fans a peak at her private wedding ceremony. Brides all over the country quickly looked to emulate her look, causing a 600% surge in searches for ‘blusher wedding veil’.

Retaining her crown as the ultimate tastemaker, Beyoncé was spotted wearing a velvet dress with a striking neckline to The Harder They Fall premiere in London, causing searches on eBay for ‘velvet dress’ to shoot up 92%. Newcomer pop Queen Olivia Rodrigo then wore a strapless plunge dress to the opening gala for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and – following Queen B’s footsteps – influenced 33% more eBay searches for ‘plunging neckline’.

Following the release of Daniel Craig’s final Bond film, No Time To Die, searches for 007’s on-screen Omega Seamaster 300 watch soared by 171%, just as eBay launched Authenticity Guarantee for watches. Craig was also seen sporting a stylish deep fuchsia velvet blazer at the film’s premier, which saw searches for ‘pink velvet blazer’ on eBay spike 485% as shoppers sought out the look. Likewise, The Duchess of Cambridge stole the spotlight on the red carpet wearing a shimmering gold sequin cape dress to the premier and sparking a 73% increase in searches for ‘gold sequin dress’.

Headline News

Summer of 2021 brought the moment we’d all been waiting for as ‘Freedom Day’ arrived on 19 July. As the nation prepared to reunite with family and friends, searches for ‘celebration’ shot up 30% compared to the previous month, while shoppers frantically hunted for essentials to host again at home and in their gardens come rain or shine with a 50% surge in searches for gazebos

COP26 went on to grab the headlines in October, but eBay shoppers have been purchasing more consciously all year round. The number of customers buying a combination of new and used products on eBay UK has actually steadily increased over the past three years (up 12% from 2019,) with 41% of eBay shoppers buying both new and used in 2021. Meanwhile, it’s out with the new and in with the refurbished for environment conscious shoppers, with a refurb product selling every 14 seconds on eBay throughout the year.


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