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Brits expected to waste £5 billion on unwanted gifts this Christmas

31 December 2017- Research by price comparison site, has found that £5 billion will be wasted on unwanted Christmas gifts this holiday season.

According to a survey of 2,000 UK adults, people received on average three gifts they didn’t like, amounting to £41.70 each. Clothing and accessories were the least liked type of gift (25.03 percent), followed by cosmetics and fragrances (17.63 percent) and household items (11.49 percent). Technology, music and literature ranked among the safest gift options.

Friends are the worst gift-givers, with one in three unwanted gifts given by friends (30.63 percent), followed by parents (13.92 percent) and parents-in-law (11.31 percent). One in 10 Brits also singled out their partner as the worst at choosing gifts with men more likely to deliberately buy an unwanted gift (11.85 percent) than women (7.16 percent).

Almost a quarter of Brits (23.20 percent) opt to keep unwanted gifts, with another quarter regifting them (22.50 percent), and just one in 20 (4.69 percent) choosing to give the unwanted present back.

Finder’s research also revealed that over half of women, 54.77 percent, have received an unwanted gift compared to 46.41 percent of men, however men are more likely to give back an unwanted gift with 7.81 percent returning the gift to the gift-giver, compared to 2.24 percent of women. On average, unwanted gifts were more expensive for men costing £45.58 compared to £38.69 for women.

Across the UK Londoners are the most likely to buy an undesired present on purpose with 24.37 percent giving gifts they knew would be disliked, followed by those from the East Midlands (10.29 percent) and the West Midlands (9.87 percent).

Millennials turn out to be the pickiest generation when it comes to receiving gifts. Nearly three-quarters (71.06 percent) of millennials claimed to receive at least one gift they didn’t like with the total number of millennials receiving an average of four unwanted gifts each.

As for what people are really looking forward to at Christmas, two in five Brits (43.80 percent) say spending time with family is most exciting, followed by getting time off work (17.22 percent), the festive atmosphere (13.34 percent) and food (9.26 percent), compared to the joy of receiving presents (4.13 percent).

Jon Ostler, CEO of finder UK said: “Christmas is a great time of year but, if you’re not careful, can cause strain on your finances, particularly with gifts. Instead of buying gifts for the sake of gift-giving, make your gifts count. The easiest way to do this is to find out what your loved ones want or need. Don’t be afraid to ask for a wishlist – it could make all the difference. If you’re on the receiving end of a bad gift, don’t stash it in a cupboard to gather dust. Look into donating it or perhaps re-gifting, so it’s not going to waste.”

For more information about finder’s study, please visit

Notes to editors:

  • Jon Ostler, CEO (UK) at is available for comment, opinion or interview regarding this research.
  • Survey of 2,000 adults across the UK, carried out by Mortar London on behalf of


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