Amazon's all-time bestsellers list

Harry Potter

Fifteen years to the day that launched, it has revealed its ten bestselling products of all time. Xavier Garambois, Vice President of EU Retail at Amazon said: "The bestsellers help to tell a story of the phenomena that have gripped the UK, from the big game changers in entertainment to innovation in products for the home."

So what products make the top ten and what does it say about our buying habits?
The list - in alphabetical order rather than in order of sales is:
  • Call of Duty franchise. The enduring appeal of the game means it has been in the site's top ten every year for the past four years.
  • Fifty Shades Trilogy. The three books took the top three places in the best-selling books of all time.
  • Harry Potter. The books have all been enduring bestsellers, and the final book - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - was Amazon's fastest-selling product of all time. (Its fastest-selling DVD was the film version - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2).
  • HDMI gold plated connectors. The endless proliferation of gadgets requires still more connectors in the home - so your TV can be connected to your blu-ray player, your games console, your satellite TV box, your Freeview box, and everything else.
  • Hunger Games Trilogy. The books may have been aimed at teenagers, but their phenomenal success is based on popularity among adult readers too - and those who were drawn in by the successful first film of the trilogy.
  • Just Dance franchise (Wii). This captured the benefits of the Wii format - and the fact that it is regularly re-released with the latest hits has ensured it remains in the list of best-sellers year after year.
  • Kindle devices. The bestselling e-reader was priced to sell, and has become the basis of Amazon's ebook sales.
  • Millennium Trilogy (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo etc). These have only been out for three years, but sales have endured, and were boosted still further by the success of the feature film.
  • Sandisk 8 GB Memory Card. The need for more storage has been driven by the fact that so much of what we do now is digital. Rather than filling the loft, we are filling endless memory cards and hard drives.
  • Twilight saga. The vampire series captivated romantics and teenagers, and the long-running film adaptations kept readers coming back for more.


There are no real shocks in this list. It shows that we love a franchise and a trilogy, and if we enjoy a book or a film we're willing to try all of them before we move on.

The connectors and memory cards are a sign of how technology is infiltrating every corner of our home, and sales of the kindle show that bookshelves will son be as useful a piece of furniture as a chamber pot.

There will be those who are surprised that their favourite game or DVD isn't on the list - although fans of Grand Theft Auto will be pleased to hear that the fifth game in the franchise was the fastest-selling game of all time.

The only seriously disconcerting thing about this list is that there are no classics on it. While we are caught up in the Fifty Shades Phenomenon, we are less likely to be caught in a passion for Jane Austen or Charles Dickens. We cannot argue that the only books worth buying are those that have been written over the past 20 years. However, our buying patterns would seem to indicate that these are the only ones we want to read. We can only hope that the bookshelves of Britain were already stuffed with classics before Amazon came along, so this top ten is filling the gaps with the newcomers. It seems unlikely though.


The site also released its list of its best-selling artists of all time, which were:
  • Adele
  • Coldplay
  • The Beatles
  • Lady Gaga
  • Rihanna
  • Michael Buble
  • Kings of Leon
  • Snow Patrol
  • Muse
  • Michael Jackson

The top five albums were:

  • Adele - 21
  • Adele - 19
  • Take That - Progress
  • Susan Boyle - I Dreamed a Dream
  • Now That's What I Call Music 83

The top five singles (MP3) were:

  • Rage Against The Machine - Killing In The Name
  • Adele – Skyfall
  • Psy - Gangnam Style
  • Adele - Someone Like You
  • Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling (Album Version)
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