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eBay’s 17 Top Shopped Items in ’17

09 Jan 2018 Blog

With over a billion listings – a majority of which are new or available to buy immediately – eBay continues to be a barometer of trends. According to Bradford Shellhammer, eBay’s Head of Personalization & Engagement, “eBay sales uniquely reflect the cultural zeitgeist.”

Here are 17 cultural milestones of 2017, as told by eBay data and adapted from eBay’s corporate blog at

  1. The Force Is Strong: In the two months before the December 15th release of The Last Jedi, Star Wars fever transcended generations to reach new levels of fandom. There were more than 450,000 Star Wars items bought on eBay.
  2. Giving Back for Good: There seemed to be no shortage of tragedies and natural disasters, but shoppers rallied together to put their paychecks to work to benefit the greater good. The eBay community donated over $700,000 to charities.
  3. Royal Fever Reigns: Between Netflix’s The Crown, Pippa Middleton’s wedding, and Meghan Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry, eBay saw US shoppers coveting British brands throughout the year. In the weeks following Harry and Meghan’s first outing as an engaged couple on November 27th…during which Meghan wore a white belted wrap coat…there were more than 13 white coats purchased every hour on eBay.
  4. Swanky Phones: With larger screens and new technology like Face ID, smartphones continued to get more premium in 2017. Throughout the year, there were more than 2.6 million smartphone purchases on eBay.
  5. Art for Social Change: More than ever before, artists were compelled to start a dialogue about social issues…and shoppers showed their support. The eBay community raised nearly $800,000 within 24 hours for the New York Public Art Fund through an exclusive charity sale of Ai Weiwei works.
  6. Move Over, Millennial Pink: As the Millennial Pink obsession reached its tipping point, Gen-Z Yellow bubbled up, priming itself to take the reins as the new “It” color of 2018. In fact, compared with 2016, there was a seven percent increase in sales of yellow dresses…seen on celebs and social media influencers alike.
  7. Coffee Culture: Shoppers are elevating their at-home coffee game. Last year, there was an 85 percent increase in year-over-year sales of Chemex Coffeemakers plus a 70 percent increase in sales of Ninja Coffee Bars. On November 14th, a Ninja Coffee Bar sold every two minutes.
  8. Connected Home: Wi-Fi connected, voice-activated devices and smart speakers infiltrated the home. The most popular were Nest devices, with more than 211,000 bought…followed by the iRobot Roomba, with more than 58,000 bought. The Google Home Mini spiked since its October 19th debut, with shoppers purchasing nearly 240 every day.
  9. Throwback Streetwear: The ’80s and ’90s streetwear trend reached its tipping point in 2017, with more than 57,000 fanny packs and more than 25,000 Champion sweatshirts purchased. When it came to most coveted sneaker, the Adidas Superstar beat out the Reebok Classic and the Nike Cortez in a big way, with more than 107,000 pairs sold.
  10. Female Empowerment: In an unprecedented political year, social issues bubbled to the surface and had an unparalleled impact on fashion choices. Shoppers bought more than 43,000 pieces of apparel featuring political and feminist slogans…24,000 women’s pantsuits…and 2,000 “Nasty Woman” shirts.
  11. Car Collectors: From rare to new, eBay continues to let shoppers buy for their dream garage. One of the most impressive…and expensive…two-door coupes and supercars was a 2006 Ford GT Base that sold for over $240,000.
  12. Revival of Vinyl: With Sony Music Entertainment beginning to press records after a three-decade hiatus, the frenzy for vinyl made an impact in 2017. There was a 24 percent increase in vinyl record sales on eBay compared to 2016. Almost 10,000 vinyl records were purchased every day of 2017, with Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours the most coveted. More than 95,000 record players and turntables also were bought throughout the year.
  13. Trending Toys: Nostalgia was everywhere in 2017, and toys were no exception. Shoppers went wild for Super Nintendo, purchasing more than 500,000 gaming systems.
  14. Superhero Stardom: Marvel & DC Comics superheroes were ubiquitous throughout 2017. Spiderman and Wonder Woman proved most popular. Some 205,000 Spiderman comic books were bought…that’s 43 every hour…along with 55,000 Spiderman action figures. Over 47,700 Wonder Woman comic books and 17,000 Wonder Woman action figures were purchased, and Wonder Woman was also the third most popular Halloween costume bought on eBay.
  15. Solar Eclipse of the Heart: Deemed the biggest and best solar eclipse in US history, shoppers went to great lengths to view the August 21 spectacle. There were 133,500 protective glasses, 19,000 tents, and 10,500 pairs of binoculars purchased in the month leading up to the eclipse.
  16. Rainbow Saturation: The obsession with mythical creatures reached its peak in 2017, with psychologists musing that the trend reflected a form of escapism during a tumultuous year. Shoppers bought clothing and accessories in a variety of colors, including nearly 70,000 unicorn phone cases…56,000 unicorn costumes…21,000 unicorn pajamas and onesies…and 57,500 mermaid makeup brushes.
  17. Going Green: Environmental awareness and sustainability became the norm. Gucci announced its commitment to fur-free design, and sales increased by seven percent compared to 2016. In addition, Dior introduced eco-friendly packaging, with sales on eBay increasing 13 percent year over year.