For a business initially built on the back of Beanie Babies and Pokémon cards, it would be fair to say that eBay has long found its niche in the sale of collectables. However, according to research conducted by eBay Australia, the collectables business has changed a lot in recent years.
The research suggested that while consumer confidence may soften over the next year, younger shoppers will continue to spend on collecting a large array of accessories and pop culture items.
What Are People Buying on eBay?
Today, collectors are just as likely to buy expensive lego sets, luxury handbags, or limited edition sneakers as plush toys or trading cards. And while the global economy reacts to the cost-of-living crisis, and spending
Speaking to journalists, David Ramadge, eBay Australia’s managing director, said, “It is really not just your grandad collecting stamps any more, or art, or antiques. It’s modern pop culture.”
Highlighting the importance of collectables to eBay during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, Ramadge said, “We are seeing this resilience in areas that we call people’s passion, or enthusiast areas. These are hobbies and passions for people, and not just commoditised purchases.”
Gen Z and Millennials Invest in Collectables
While the research suggests that more than 28% of people consider themselves “collectors”, Gen Z and Millennial shoppers were most likely to be in the market for collectables, with 50% of this age group hunting for prized collectable items.
According to Ramadge, many of these Gen Z and Millennial collectors are investing in collectables with a view to later profiting from them.
While few of these investors are making millions, eBay has published figures highlighting how carefully purchased items have increased in value in recent years.
For example, in 2019, a Lego King’s Castle set sold on eBay for an average price of $200. In 2022, that average price had jumped to $600, representing a 200% increase.
Even more impressively, a Hermes Kelly 32 cm Handbag sold on average for $6,700 in 2019 now sells for an average of $25,800, representing a 285% increase.