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September 3, 2018updated 04 Sep 2018 9:01am

Retro Tech Revival: eBay’s UK Retail Report Reveals Wave of Nostalgia…

Think twice about what you do with that gear before your cloud migration...

By CBR Staff Writer

Is your aging server eBay’s next cult object?

Probably not.

But CTOs sitting on a rack of legacy equipment – pause for a second before shipping them off to be recycled, or turned into hipster plant pots. Old school tech is a firm favourite on eBay, according to its UK retail report, published today, and where the Nokia 3310 leads, surely whatever that is wheezing in yon data centre will follow.

Typewriters, pagers, iPods and polaroid cameras are among the products that have risen from drawers of clutter and boxes in the attics to rank amongst the most popular retro tech items for UK shoppers, according to the marketplace.

Rob Hattrell, VP at eBay UK, said: “When it comes to shopping trends, if it’s happening in Britain, we’ll see it happening on eBay. Our trends report shows that customers love retro tech and physical media. Households with previously loved tech hidden away in attics and drawers could be sitting on a tidy sum, as we’re seeing the growth of nostalgic buyers seeking the tech products that defined their childhoods.”

retro techTypewriters, Pagers, iPods!

The Sega Mega Drive, which turned 30 this year, has seen searches and bids increase dramatically as gamers prepare for the launch of the Sega Mega Drive Mini later this year, eBay reported.

Another “surprise entrant” to the list was the typewriter, with searches peaking at 2,000 in January after Steven Spielberg’s The Post – a movie based on the story of Katherine Graham, who became the first female publisher of a major American newspaper – won two Oscars. (We are impressionable creatures, we humans. )

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eBay is releasing this data as part of its UK Retail Report looking at how we shop as a nation. The report provides a snapshot of the way the UK bids, buys and sells.

Ten Popular Retro Tech Products on eBay in the UK:

The Apple iPod There were two searches per minute for this design classic in November 2017, driven by the launch of the Apple Christmas ad

Nokia 3310: Someone searched for a Nokia 3310 every three minutes on eBay UK last year. eBay said its data is “unable to discern whether this is because of a burning desire to play snake or a wistful desire to simplify from the smartphone.”

MP3 players: MP3 players are not a thing of the past, despite the widespread use of smartphones for most mobile music listening. There are nearly 8,000 listings of MP3s within the iPod and MP3 category on eBay UK at any one time. Over half of browsers are aged 25-44; some weren’t even born when the first model was released in 1993.

The Typewriter: There weremore than 2,000 searches for typewriters on the week of Oscar nominations – that’s 14 searches for the vintage office must-have every hour – and 300 searches for filing cabinets a day in the same period.

The Sony Walkman: Searches for Sony Walkman have doubled on eBay over the past two years.

The Sega Mega Drive: To mark its 30th birthday in April 2018, Sega announced that Sega Mega Drive Mini is due to launch this year. Searches for ‘Sega’ increased 30% in response as gamers sought out games and consoles from their childhoods in response to the news.

Apple Macintosh: There are nearly 1,000 listings of these products in the ‘vintage computing’ section of eBay, and roughly 20 specific searches for this product every day in the UK.

Polaroid Camera: Searches for these products peaked to a three year high in November 2016, as Brits sought a tangible photo

Boomboxes: The 1980s are best left a hazy memory to most, but sales peaked during the summer heatwave.

Pagers: One in ten of the world’s pagers are used by the NHS. In the week before the NHS’ 70th birthday in early July, sales of beepers doubled compared to the same week in 2017.

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