The ‘Reeling in the Years’ effect: Ebay’s retro resurgence


If you have been following recent trends in fashion, interiors or lifestyle, then you know that the last few tears have been all about the throwbacks. We’ve looked to the past for inspiration on everything from the cut of our clothing to the ornaments on our shelves.

Sustainability has seen a big push in our buying patterns in the last year as well, with many of us realising that the rate of production of things in the world outweighs our need for them. The best way to be sustainable is to use what we already have, rather than finding the constant creation of new things that don’t last as long either in terms of durability or relevance due to the trend cycle.

Game Cartridges

Ebay has seen this push for sustainability coming a mile away. The first online marketplace, it revolutionised how small businesses and customers connected, and with 185 million buyers in 190 markets, trade is fast. From retro roller skates and record players to old-school consoles, they know how much we’re loving a bit of nostalgia right now.

RTE’s Reeling in the Years has taken us all on a trip down memory lane, thinking about bygone days, hideous tank tops and the joy of freewheeling on dodgy roller skates.

It’s no surprise that the show is such a hit, as research has shown that nostalgia can trigger a positive effect in our brains. And perhaps this goes some way towards explaining why vintage and retro products have soared on which the online marketplace has dubbed ‘The Reeling in the Years Effect’.

Woman Standing in Front of Teal Sedan

In the first three months of 2021, as excitement built for the return of the popular TV show, eBay saw a 213% increase in searches for ‘vintage’ products and a 124% jump in searches for ‘retro’ products compared to the same period last year. The online marketplace has had an influx of searches for old-school record players, Polaroid cameras and retro games consoles featuring games like Pacman and Space Invaders – remember them? Roller skates, in particular, have been in high demand this year with searches up 497% compared to the same period in 2020.

If you’re looking to reel in the years for yourself and fancy your own trip down memory lane, check out these retro goodies that you can pick up from right now:

Reeling in the 50s – Dutch Bike

Bike sales have sky-rocketed since the pandemic began as people make the most of their down time with daily cycles through their neighbourhood. If you’re in the market for one yourself, we recommend this vintage-inspired Holland Dutch Bike, which is retailing for €300.99 on Adorable baskets filled with baguettes and fresh flowers are optional.

Reeling in the 60s – Vintage-inspired Record Player

Vinyl is having a resurgence and the domino effect is that record players are back in trend too. While it’s tempting to dust off the old turntable in the attic, we prefer the best of both worlds – slipping our records on a record player that combines the charms of retro design with all of the advantages of modern technology. This Genuine Crosley Retro Turntable Record Vinyl Player is just the ticket, and it’s €129.99 on

Reeling in the 70s – Roller skates

Last year’s Lockdown hobbies involved banana bread and tie-dye, but these days it seems roller skates are ‘in’ with men and women taking over our pavements, parks and promenades and giving the retro trend a whirl. If you’re loving the roller skates revival and want to try it out for yourself, check out these affordable No Fear Roller Skates on for €34.56.

Reeling in the 80s – Projector

These days we can’t go on social media without our feed being filled with garden makeovers complete with firepits and outdoor movie nights. Given that we will be spending yet another summer confined to the home, we’re all for investing in a projector to make our home cinema dreams come true. Our top pick is this Portable LED Projector, €139.00,

Reeling in the 90s – Retro Video Console

Pac-man, Donkey Kong, Super Mario – they really don’t make video games like they used to! If you’re keen to relive your youth and enjoy a blast from the past, then why not pick up this retro video game console from eBay. All you have to do is plug it into your TV and away you go. Retro video games console, €39.19,

Reeling in the 00s – Vintage Chanel

Coco Chanel famously said, before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off. Well, this is the one thing you won’t be taking off your arm. This gorgeous retro Chanel bag will last a lifetime and is roomy enough to carry all your essentials…phone, keys, wallet, sanitiser…It’s the perfect retro fit for a 21st century fashionista. Available on for €2,646.87.

“What we watch on television inspires our purchasing behaviour and we have definitely noticed an uptick in retro items on since we have welcomed Reeling in the Years back onto our screens. With the ongoing pandemic, we are all looking for fresh ways to entertain ourselves, and it would seem that this has resulted in people revisiting hobbies and games of previous decades,” said Colin McCallion, eBay’s ‎Head of Commercial Operations UK, Ireland & EEC.