Of the 2,000 British parents polled, the average will spend around £392.82 on toys, with expectations for sales to hit £5.5 billion this year.

UK parents expected to spend £5.5bn on toys this Christmas, says eBay

The online marketplace eBay has revealed that the average parent will spend around £390 on toys for their children and other people’s this Christmas.

Of the 2,000 British parents polled, the average will spend around £392.82 on toys, with expectations for sales to hit £5.5 billion this year.

The study has revealed that parents will be purchasing an average of 19 toys ahead of Christmas morning – with LEGO, Disney themed merchandise and Star Wars toys all set to take their place under the tree this year. 

Nearly eight in 10 parents also admitted to overspending at Christmas – with a third of parents even confessing to buying too many toys and having to keep some for other occasions.

However, despite the majority of parents splashing out this Christmas, ebay.co.uk has also seen an increase in budgeting this year as the purse strings tighten, with 63% admitting they have a financial plan in place to ensure they can afford to buy their children everything they want.  

Nearly a quarter of parents will try and limit spending to under £200 overall. 

Parents also admitted to getting more organised by spending an average of 19.4 hours planning, shopping and wrapping children’s Christmas presents.

When it comes to choosing what toys to buy, half of parents said toys which spark imagination motivates their decision the most, with more than four in 10 concerned about the educational impact of toys, while 45 per cent buy toys which they enjoyed playing with as a child.

It seems parents also consider their children’s ‘creativity and artistic nature’ when choosing toys for Christmas, with 47 per cent saying this often motivates them to buy certain items. 

And while 56 per cent of parents say their children’s pester power has a ‘massive impact’ on their purchasing decisions, many are influenced by recommendations from others, and the popularity of TV shows and books.

Over the last year there have been more than 100 million searches for toys on eBay.co.uk. There have been 578,000 searches for LEGO, nearly 185,000 searches for Scalextric and nearly 180,000 people were looking at Playmobil in the lead up to Christmas. 

When it comes to classic favourites, top performing items sold over the last decade include Uno, Scrabble, and Hama Beads.

Alice Winter, category manager of Toys and Games at eBay.co.uk, said: “We know how much time goes into finding that perfect present and this year, regardless of budget, we want to help people navigate our great selection of toys – from the latest LEGO set to the traditional and retro.

“Christmas is a critical time for toy sales, however we recognise that not all parents have big budgets to spend on gifts, especially when they still have to factor in all the other costs associated with the holiday season. On eBay you can get toys across the spectrum of value to suit everyone’s wallet.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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