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Rob Skinner
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-- 37% re-gift presents to other people after Christmas
-- Too posh to pay? Higher social classes re-gift the most
-- Resourceful or waste-hating? 46% of women re-gift vs. 28% of men
-- Midlands and Scotland are re-gift hotspots
-- Toys beat toiletries as the top re-gift

27th December 2014 – Millions of belated Christmas presents may actually be cast-off gifts, says new research from ICM in which 37% - an estimated 23.6 million* Brits - admit to ‘re-gifting’ following the main festive days and over New Year.

According to the research commissioned by spending tech company Wax Digital, 41% of the highest social classes re-gift compared to 32% of the lowest social class. Women are much more likely to re-gift too – 46% compared to just 28% of men; and the prime re-gifting age range is 35-44 year olds at a high of 44% of people.

In terms of being able to spot re-gifted presents Toys are the most common, likely to be re-gifted by 69%, then toiletries by 55% and clothes by 52%.

The top two reasons people get rid of their gifts are because they already have the item (69%) or have no need for it (65%) suggesting many gift-givers do not put much thought into who they are buying for.

Re-gifting is one of three ways that people get rid of an estimated GBP 1 billion** worth of unwanted Christmas presents according to ICM’s research – the others being re-selling for cash (by 26%) and passing on for free for example charitable donation (by 50%).

Here are five ways to spot a re-gift:

-- Already used – Has the packaging been tampered with or opened in any way? Are there any signs that the present has already been used?
-- Re-wrapped – Are there any signs that the item has been wrapped before such as sellotape marks and rips on the box?
-- Suitability – Would this person really buy such a gift for you? Keep an eye out for toys that do not really suit your children such as a Thomas the Tank Engine today given to an eleven year old. Also sniff out toiletries that just don’t seem to your taste.
-- Duplicates – Already having a product is the top reason that people re-gift; does this person already have one of these, or did they also get one for Christmas?
-- Out-priced – Look out for gifts costing more than you’d expect a person to spend on you – although you might not have any complaints about that one!

The research also showed that colleagues, aunties and uncles and neighbours top the list of poor gift-givers.

Tina Steer, a self-confessed serial re-gifter and mum of two from Solihull, said:

“I regularly re-gift and see it as a form of recycling. I have a large family so it’s not uncommon for one of us to receive a present that we’ve already got or don’t want. In fact I have a stash of unwanted gifts that I keep to one side to give as late Christmas presents or for birthdays. The trick is to remember who gave you what and to make sure you don’t re-gift it to them in the future. I’m sure everyone does this really, they just might not admit it.”

Daniel Ball, spokesperson for Wax Digital, said: “Re-gifting could be a good thing if it means presents go to people who really need them and will put them to good use, rather than them being stored away in a cupboard. However it’s not so good for the recipient who may suspect that the person has put little thought or effort into the gift or has had to re-gift because they have forgotten to buy them a present.”

The research was conducted by ICM in November 2014 across a representative sample of 2000 adults in the UK.


About Wax Digital

Wax Digital is Europe’s leading provider of on-demand purchase-to-pay and eSourcing solutions.

*Figure calculated on the basis of 37% of survey sample admitting to re-gifting presents, representing approx. 23.6m people.

**Figure calculated on the basis of 59% of survey sample admitting to passing on presents, representing 37.76m people, multiplied by the average cost of a present GBP 29.81 and assuming each person will pass on one present. 37.76m x GBP 29.81 x 1 = Total mis-spent = GBP 1,125,625,600.

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