52% of Americans admit to opening up at least one unwanted holiday gift each year

Americans expected to drop almost $8.3 billion on unwanted presents.

The holidays are a time of joy and happiness. But according to the latest finder.com data, more than half of us will face another feeling: disappointment. Specifically, the disappointment of receiving an unwanted gift.

Some 52% of Americans surveyed admit to getting at least one unwanted gift over the holidays, totaling roughly 138 million American adults. They say it’s the thought that counts. But if you wind up giving someone a present they don’t want, how much thought did you actually put into it?

What not to buy for someone in 2022

You know when it’s an unwanted present: Your loved one opens it, smiles, stares at you wide-eyed and gleefully says, “You shouldn’t have … ”

To avoid the awkwardness in 2022, consider steering clear of clothing and accessories. Of those surveyed, 49% said that clothing and accessories were gifts they least like to receive, followed by household items (29%) and cosmetics and fragrances (24%).

Because our survey allowed participants to select more than one option, percentages do not equal 100. They are based on responses, not on unique participants.

With the average adult saying that they receive unwanted gifts worth roughly $60 that means approximately $8.3B will be spent on unwanted gifts in 2022.

Men are slightly more picky

When it comes to who’s getting those unwanted gifts, the sexes are split fairly evenly. Roughly 54% of men say they receive at least one unwanted gift during the holidays compared to 52% of women.

Out of those getting unwanted gifts, clothing and accessories are the most unwelcome present for both sexes: 53% of women and 45% of men. Men (18%) are three times more likely than women (6%) to be given music they don’t want and roughly twice as likely to get unwanted tech (men 22% compared to 9% of women).

And the amount being spent on unwanted gifts is vastly different between the sexes, with men ($91) getting unwanted gifts that are more than double the value of women ($42).

Gen Z really doesn’t like your gifts

Gen Z receives far and away more unwanted gifts than any other generation, with 67% saying they’ve received a gift they didn’t want. They’re followed by millennials (57%) and gen X (49%).

Gen Z also has the most spent on them for unwanted gifts, averaging a whopping $105 each. That’s almost 2 times more than what’s spent on millennials ($64) and baby boomers ($54).

Unwanted gifts by region

Those in the northeast (58%) say the get the most unwanted gifts.

Those in the west get the most expensive unwanted gifts at an average of $73.

What happens to all the unwanted gifts?

What are people doing with their unwanted gifts? Open the nearest closet or check under the bed, and you’re bound to find out.

According to our most recent survey, 43% of people just hold on to the unwanted item, 35% regift their unwanted items and 26% exchange them.

Because our survey allowed participants to select more than one option, percentages do not equal 100. They are based on responses, not on unique participants.

Chelsea Wells-Barrett headshot

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Chelsea Wells-Barrett, PR, Media Relations and Communications

E: uspr@finder.com

/in/chelsea-wells-barrett-46b036101/ /CWellsbarrett/

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