Potter, Panini and Pokemon: What we spent our money on in 2016

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Harry Potter, Pokemon Go and the Danish art of hygge were just some of the trends that influenced consumer spending in the UK this year.

Here is a breakdown, month by month, of the top sellers across retail giants Amazon.co.uk and eBay.

January

Healthy-eating manuals and fitness DVDs topped sales at Amazon. The most popular were Lean In 15 by Joe Wicks and Deliciously Ella Everyday by Ella Woodward.

By January 4, eBay saw searches for beach towels up 72% and bikinis up 49% as Britons headed off for some winter sun.

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February

Sheet mask selfies, in which woman - and occasionally men - posted pictures of themselves wearing the beauty enhancers, saw sales spike 900% year-on-year at Amazon. Over at eBay, sales of Harry Potter costumes took off as JK Rowling confirmed that the script of the new stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child would be released as a book later in the year.

March

As the weather warmed up, Amazon saw sales of the long-handled Spider Catchers soar by 232%. A demonstration video by its inventor went viral and was watched 100 million times worldwide.

April

Merriam-Webster Dictionary added “athleisure” to its unabridged version as Amazon saw sales of athletic apparel rise by 147%. Influenced by celebrities Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Beyonce and Gigi Hadid, power leggings and training vests considered perfectly acceptable for the pub flew off the shelves.

Over at eBay, shoppers searched for Game of Thrones to catch up in time for the Season 6 TV debut.

May

Ebay saw Leicester City Football Club fans rejoice when the club won the Premier League on May 2, with Vardy Salted Crisps and copies of the Leicester Mercury flying off the virtual shelves.

Football fans on Amazon took a trip down memory lane with Panini Official UEFA Euro 2016 stickers topping the toys bestsellers list in the run-up to the tournament.

June

Ebay saw a 45% increase in sales of Pokemon Go-related gear, with a product sold every 12 seconds on site.

July

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was the most pre-ordered book of 2016, according to Amazon. Child speed-reading prodigy Toby L’Estrange downloaded it to his Kindle and posted his review on the website within 59 minutes of its midnight launch on July 31.

August

Sales of rose wine soared by 530% year-on-year on Amazon, making it the undisputed drink of the summer.

September

100 years on from the birth of author Roald Dahl, Amazon announced that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was his best-selling book, followed by The BFG. His books saw a spike in sales in September.

October

Ebay opened its Christmas shop and Amazon saw a 62% rise in Halloween pet costumes. Wizard-themed costumes were up 700% and bat dog outfits spiked by 450%.

November

The Danish art of “hygge”, loosely translated as cosy happiness, dominated every lifestyle magazine in the land, with Amazon seeing The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking topping the bestseller lists. Mermaid tail blankets were a huge hit with customers.

December

Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run was named the top-selling Christmas autobiography of the year on Amazon, Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook beat its rivals to the top spot and Sir Cliff Richard’s 2017 calendar was the best selling of the year.

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