Coronavirus Sales Impact changing buying habits

By Chris Dawson May 10, 2020 - 6:50 pm

Both eBay and Linnworks have revealed some of the Coronavirus sales impact that’s been seen across the UK since the lock down began. Naturally there are some categories which have seen rocketing sales whilst others have dropped like a stone. However there might be a few surprises in there:

Linnworks Coronavirus Sales Impact

Since January, Linnworks say that they have seen a 72% increase in GMV, with the last week of April posting record numbers. All verticals in Linnworks’ top 24 (contributing more than 95% of total GMV through Linnworks platform) have generated more GMV in April than in January, with some categories seeing massive sales leaps compared to the sametime last year. The greatest gains seen by Linnworks, compared to April 2019, have been seen in:

  • Office supplies +285%
  • Sports equipment +240%
  • Home and Garden +200%
  • Pet supplies +200%
  • Toys +120%

Some categories inevitably saw an initial shock in sales – namely shoes, clothing and electricals – but Linnworks say that they are now seeing sales pick up, with the shoe category experiencing +24% growth in GMV in April compared to March, clothing +18% and electrical +7%.

eBay Coronavirus Sales Impact

eBay released week by week headlines for the past month:

Week 1 of lockdown

The first week of lock down saw consumers setting up their home offices:

  • Cardio machine purchases +212%
  • Computer monitors +107%
  • Laptop stands +313%
  • Felt tip pens +1446%

Week 2 of lockdown

The second week of the lock down saw consumers getting bored. Interesting sex toys are one of the booming categories but currently you can’t sell sex toys and use eBay Managed Payments. With a huge appetite for sex this is something that will need to change soon.

  • Baking Tins +286%
  • Sex toys +53% (A higher increase than in the run up to Valentines day)
  • Fancy dress +200%
  • Dumb bells +551%

Week 3 of lockdown

After a couple of weeks, consumers started to think about summer and the hot weather saw us kitting out our gardens with the acceptance that we probably won’t get a summer holiday abroad this year.

  • Swimming pools +1741%
  • Hot tubs +1080%
  • BBQs +1051%
  • Plants, seeds & bulbs +232%

Week 4 of lockdown

By the fourth week we were bored, bored bored and even getting the paint brushes out was suddenly an attractive diversion.

  • Alcohol, brewing and wine making +44%
  • Paint +231%
  • Drills +77%
  • Sewing machines +98%
  • 1 year ago

    That’ll be the incorrectly listed Sex Toys up 53% then… those listed as “massagers” that never get taken down? Unless you are a recognised sex toy category seller. Then they are all over you like a rash…

  • Alan Paterson
    1 year ago

    Dont tell anyone but i made a huge purchase of various “massagers” the moment the Government announced the lockdown. So i am probably solely responsible for the 53% increase in sex toys.

    Dont forget spare batteries ……….

Featured in this article from the Tamebay Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


eBay’s mission is to be the world’s favourite destination for discovering great value and unique selection


Linnworks is an eCommerce platform that enables online sellers to automate key processes, reduce costs, and grow their revenue. Order and inventory management software with 150+ marketplace and courier integrations

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