Quick-Thinking Online Sellers See Royal Memorabilia Sales Soar
View of LulaandGray's wooden Queen Elizabeth tokens displayed in Macclesfield, Britain in this undated handout image. Photo: Courtesy of Laura Sheldon/Handout via Reuters
Laura Sheldon, 36, co-owner of the LulaandGray store on Etsy.com, had a busy weekend, fulfilling dozens of orders for Queen Elizabeth II keepsakes since she died on Thursday.
Sheldon, whose store ships from Macclesfield, England, designed a small wooden token that has Elizabeth’s crown carved into it along with her name, and the dates “1926 – 2022.” The handmade token costs 3.90 pounds (C$5.92) and comes with a Union Jack postcard that has facts about the Queen.
“I actually designed them on Thursday night, and listed them then,” Sheldon said. “We had a single order for nearly 180 units on Sunday that will be distributed throughout nursing homes in the UK, and we have had 40 individual orders on Etsy and Amazon for them since Friday,” Sheldon said.
“The Queen passing away is a massive moment in history, and we created these little keepsakes to pop into our children’s memory box for when they grow older.”
Other royal memorabilia is also selling fast, with mourners and fans on Amazon, eBay and Etsy buying everything from T-shirts and mugs to wooden plaques.
Britain’s longest-reigning monarch marked the 70th anniversary of her accession in February, with national celebrations held in June.
On Monday, the top three items sold on Amazon.co.uk in the prior 24 hours were two wooden wall decorations with the late queen’s face on them, and a Platinum Jubilee mug for 9.90 pounds (C$15.02).
The 10th most popular book on the website was a 9.99-pound hardcover copy of the Queen Elizabeth: A Platinum Jubilee Celebration children’s book, while the 12th was Robert Hardman’s Queen of Our Times: The Life of Elizabeth II.
The number one newly released item in Amazon’s Home & Kitchen department was a Union Jack-themed Queen Elizabeth II memorial flag for 5.89 pounds (C$8.94), made by a Chinese supplier called Shinfengzhou.
“We will see people wanting to have that memorabilia,” Linda Ellett, KPMG’s head of consumer markets, retail and leisure, said. “With pressure on people’s budgets, what we do see is the idea of being able to spend on smaller treats because they can’t buy big things like cars and houses … I think this will be an occasion that people will want to remember.”
In Windsor, where the Queen spent much of her time in recent years, souvenir seller Muthucumarasamy Kesavan also reported brisk trade.
“This is not just about business or money but people want to carry something with the Queen on it,” he said.
Kesavan, who moved to Britain from Sri Lanka in 1986, has been running his small shop next to the castle gates since 2011. He said souvenirs for King Charles would take “a couple of months” to hit the shelves because of import difficulties.
“We are trying but still we couldn’t find anything … bringing things from outside is not easy,” he said
Meanwhile, some people are selling memorabilia related to the new King online. Suppliers have been quick to post listings on eBay for “God Save the King” banners, portrait prints, commemorative mugs and other items.
A copy of Highgrove: Portrait of an Estate by King Charles, signed by the author, was standing at 221 pounds (C$335.32) on eBay.com, with five days of the listing to go. The listing notes the “historical and monetary value of this item”.
The same seller, also listed a “hand-signed Christmas Card from 2002 featuring photo of the King w. Princes William & Harry”, whose current bid is for 160 pounds (C$242.77).
Amazon and eBay declined to comment.
(Reporting by Richa Naidu; Additional reporting by Fedja Grulovic and Hanna Rantala; Editing by Matt Scuffham and Alison Williams)