Breaking holiday records in the US

In September, 83% of eBay consumers said they were planning to do more of their holiday shopping online than in season’s past. And they certainly did. The results are in from the busiest shopping week of the year and the data says it all. Together, with our community of sellers and brand partners, eBay broke all sales records for the biggest Cyber 5 ever in the US. Here’s everything you need to know—including key consumer shopping trends—about this record-breaking week from eBay’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Americas, Jordan Sweetnam.

Top things to know: 

  • eBay broke all sales records for the biggest Cyber 5 in the US (Thursday Nov 26-Monday Nov 30)   
  • Success driven by the hard-to-find and out-of-stock items – while refurbished gifts emerged as a top trend this year 
  • Shoppers flooded to eBay for everything from Playstations and Jordans to Pokemon cards and Rolexes   

This Cyber 5 has been the absolute biggest for the US business and is a fitting milestone for our 25th anniversary. I wanted to tell you first, and say thank you for all the hard work that you put into your eBay businesses. You, our sellers, are the driving force behind our results, and I’m grateful to share this moment with all of you.

We headed into the busiest shopping weekend of the year anticipating a surge in online spending. And a record number of shoppers flocked to eBay looking for the best value and our unparalleled selection. Together we demonstrated that our marketplace, made up of small businesses and entrepreneurs, is up to the challenge of meeting high holiday demand across every category and item condition.

There were also some key consumer shopping trends that emerged this season: 

Buying refurbished is the new normal

Shoppers were purchasing certified refurbished items like never before, from top brands including BoseSkullcandyCuisinartDeWalt, Makita and iRobot

  • Sales of refurbished items increased 170% during Cyber 5 compared to the same period a week before.
  • Research shows us that 80% of Americans are open to receiving a refurbished gift this year, from appliances and tools to laptops and portable audio equipment. 
  • Just last month eBay launched its Certified Refurbished Hub – powered by amazing brands items 
  • Smart shoppers are scoring up to 50% off the most in demand inventory – with all the assurances of buying new and a best in class 2-year warranty

Hobbies and home activities haven’t faded

People are purchasing more for their homes and favorite pastimes as we head into a winter at-home: 

  • Gaming systems have increased by 215% vs. last year; And it’s not just the latest generation of consoles – sales for the new and previous gen Playstation and Xbox consoles have spiked 460% on average since last month, 
  • Small kitchen appliance sales rose nearly 40% month-over-month, and during Cyber 5, a kitchen appliance was sold every seconds. 
  • On Cyber Monday alone, an average of 113 trading cards sold per minute; Pokémon collectible cards were among the most popular, seeing a 1088% month-over-month sales increase.  

Luxury is alive and thriving: 

Despite the challenges of this year (or perhaps because of them), shoppers are very much inspired to spend on luxury goods this holiday season, including Authenticity Guarantee-protected timepieces and sneakers: 

  • On average, 10 luxury watches and 20 pairs of sneakers sold every minute during Cyber 5. 
  • Most coveted watch brands were Rolex, Omega and Breitling 
  • Most coveted sneakers were: Jordan 5 Fire Red, Jordan 4 Retro Union Off Noir, Yeezy 350 V2 Beluga 

I hope that somewhere in between selling and shipping everyone had a moment to enjoy Thanksgiving. This weekend (and year) have been a blur, but it’s also reimagined and redefined what it means to shop on eBay. Our Cyber 5 proves that we can show up on our own terms, with inventory from our full spectrum of sellers, and deliver strong results. And we intend to keep this momentum going.

– Jordan Sweetnam

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