€179 million worth of unwanted gifts lie under the Christmas tree

26 Dec 2009

Irish people are sitting on an estimated €179 million worth of unwanted Christmas presents this year, according to research from eBay and TNS.

The study, commissioned by eBay reveals that in Ireland last year the average person received at least one unwanted Christmas gifts, valued at around €46 each.

Only 4pc sell them on, compared to savvier ‘regifters’ in the UK (20pc). In Ireland, we tend to simply hang onto our unwanted gifts (40pc) or a cheeky third (31pc) of us choose to‘re-gift’, by giving them to others.

As a nation of generous souls, 63pc of Irish people say they prefer to give presents on Christmas day, rather than receive them. In Ireland, last Christmas, people received an average of 8 presents at Christmas, and opened at least one that was unwanted.

In the lead up to the big day last year, the average Irish shopper spent €235 on providing the perfect presents for Saint Nick’s big day.

Compared to last year, 29pc are planning on spending less and 18pc are planning on spending a lot less. One way of saving some shrapnel is by doing less gift giving, a sentiment shared by many people this year.

The main casualty of this proves blood is thicker than water. 32pc of people won’t buy for friends this Yule and 29pc say that they’ll be skipping buying for their extended family.

It appears that the extended family the most likely to buy unwanted gifts. 27pc of gift recipients cite extended family as the most likely ‘unwanted’ present givers.

eBay also looked into how the Irish react when they receive disappointing presents and it appears that we’re a polite nation, with 71pc smiling and saying they like it anyway and only 2pc being honest and saying they don’t like their gift.

“Unfortunately I fall victim to dodgy gift giving every year and have been selling on my unwanted gifts through eBay.ie for the past couple of years now,” confesses Sarah Byrne, an eBay.ie seller.

“Last year I managed to make over €125 selling on everything from questionable necklaces to dodgy hair crimpers. As a nation, we’re sitting on an estimated €179 million worth of unwanted presents.

“With the economic situation being the way it is at the moment, there’s never been a better time to log on and get selling on eBay.ie in order to buy what you really want,” Byrne added.

Ireland’s top five least wanted gifts:

1.      Power tools

2.      ‘Experiences’, such as hot air balloon rides and rally driving

3.      Socks and underwear

4.      Homewares like blenders and vacuum cleaners

5.      Cosmetics

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years