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£652 million 'wasted on unwanted gifts'

Christmas is many things to many people including a chance to make a fast buck, as our surveys show...

Published on January 4th 2011.

£652 million 'wasted on unwanted gifts'

WHEN you are dashing through the snow today, in a frenzy for last minute Christmas gifts, be aware that that chocolate fountain or foot spa on special offer, which you buy and wrap in deep stress, will be a big fat parcel of major disappointment for that special someone on Chrtistmas Day.

Around £652 million was spent by British shoppers on unwanted Christmas presents last year – equivalent to £16.38 per person, according to new research.

Around 13 per cent claim unwanted gifts are the worst part of Christmas, closely beaten by the stress of Christmas shopping (14 per cent).

And of the 10 gifts the average person received at Christmas, at least one was left unloved under the tree.

The figures, compiled by eBay and TNS, has found that almost a quarter of those aged 16-34 say they usually ‘re-home’ unwanted gifts by selling them, and 366,000 of all Brits who do this usually start selling their discarded presents on Christmas Day itself, with a further 183,000 selling items on Boxing Day.

Ebay claims that three quarters of those that do sell their unwanted gifts on Christmas Day have already done so by lunchtime, with listings hitting a peak at 10am, just after most presents have been opened.

“Women may find themselves peeling the spuds alone this year,” they say, “as men are twice as likely as women to take to the internet and list their unwanted gifts on Christmas Day.” Charming.

Other findings from the ebay people show:

The most wanted presents Brits hope to find under the tree this year are: clothes, shoes and accessories.

The least wanted presents Brits will be leaving under the tree this year are: power tools and DIY equipment.

Those most guilty of buying unwanted gifts are; uncles, aunts and in-lawsA fifth of Brits (22 percent) recycle unwanted presents by giving them to someone else as a gift.

So there. But hang on a minute. We have a difference of opinion. Not 22 per cent pass their tat on to someone else, but a “73 per cent of Britons will re-use some of last year's presents this Christmas!”, trumpets the PR for Any Junk.

According to its stats, 52 per cent of us will be re-using at least some of last year's wrapping paper, and 24 per cent say that they have given up sending Christmas cards altogether.

The online survey of 1,000 random customers asked: Do you recycle presents you've received by giving them as gifts to other people? Do you reuse wrapping paper? Do you send Christmas cards?

48.5 per cent of those surveyed said that they sometimes recycled unwanted presents, 18.2 per cent said that they regularly did and 6.1 per cent do so “more than they dare say”.

A very cynical person would say that as Any Junk is the UK's largest on-demand rubbish clearance company, perhaps they would like to take all these PR puffs away.

But hey, it's Christmas, so expect to see the whole lot recycled again next year.

Meanwhile, if this this callous, ungrateful profiteering worries you, why not buy everyone unpasturised fine cheese gifts for Christmas? Let's see that flogged on ebay.


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