Polite people who are presented with a gift they don’t want say things like “It’s the thought that counts,” but a new survey has counted the dollar value of these clunker presents. Americans give $13 billion in unwanted gifts each year, according to a study by finder.com, Retailers should be concerned, since misfit toys and ugly sweaters can lead to a large number of expensive returns.
More than half (56%) of Americans receive at least one unwanted gift during the holidays, and 22% of them exchange those gifts for something else. Product categories of the least-liked gifts include:
- Clothing and accessories (34%);
- Household items (18%);
- Cosmetics and fragrances (14%);
- Food and drink (9%);
- Technology (9%);
- Music (8%); and
- Literature (7%).
Millennials are more likely than other generations to have received a gift that they didn’t want, at 68%, with an average of $124.30 spent on their unwanted presents. Gen X has a smaller problem, with 58% receiving unwanted gifts valued at $82.40 on average, followed by Baby Boomers at 41% and $39.20.
Retailers also should keep in mind that some shoppers specifically avoid buying gifts for certain people. By far the most commonly avoided recipient was the giver’s boss, at 30%, but other tough-to-please giftees include:
- Mother-in-law (12%);
- Mother (10%);
- Partner (9%)
- A friend (9%).