Chess sets, face masks and Animal Crossing were this year’s most popular items according to Ebay

Ebay says chess sets, face masks and Animal Crossing were the most popular items sold on its platform throughout 2020.

The online retail marketplace has released its annual Shopping Barometer Report, revealing an unusual blend of trending items in an “unpredictable year”.

Chess sets were the unlikely best seller this year, driven both by the recent runaway success of The Queen’s Gambit and a sharp rise in the popularity of physical board games during lockdown.

The Queen’s Gambit was not the only TV event to effect the UK’s shopping habits this year, with Tiger King, The Crown and Normal People all sending searches for such iconic looks through the roof.

In March when Tiger King was first coming to popularity, searches for “blonde wigs” and leopard print clothing were happening once every minute, while The Crown saw searches for Princess Diana’s “red dress” spike 171 per cent.

READ MORE: Ebay waives fees for first-time sellers to help unemployed “set up their own businesses and start making money”

Lockdown also saw a sharp rise in the amount of retro games purchased, Lego and Monopoly being amongst the most regularly searched for items this year.

More modern forms of entertainment also saw significant spikes in popularity, with Nintendo’s Animal Crossing seeing one search every three seconds, up 1993 per cent in March compared to a year earlier.

Unsurprisingly, face masks were also a popular item this year, seeing seven searches every second throughout July when they were made mandatory.

Social distancing rules had a far wider impact on shopping habits, with searches for “six-seater hot tubs” jumping 150 per cent after the rule of six was imposed.

The fourth most searched item was “NHS flags”, as the nation sought to express it gratitude to the UK’s health service.

“Just as 2020 has been an unpredictable year, so have the trending items on Ebay,” Ebay UK’s heneral manager Murray Lambell said.

“The Ebay Shopping Barometer Report looks back on all of the moments and things we purchased that made 2020 the year it is.

“From navigating our purchases to keep up with the latest government guidelines, to being influenced by what’s on our screens, the rise of DIY as we stayed home more, to taking the time to educate ourselves through reading, or increasing family time with retro games – we’ve been through so much together.”

The full list of Ebay’s top trending items of 2020 is as follows:

  • Chess sets
  • Face mask
  • Animal Crossing
  • NHS rainbow flag
  • Felt tips
  • Jigsaws
  • Projectors
  • Patio heaters
  • Swimming pools
  • LEGO

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