Unwanted Christmas presents binned

CHOICE says buy smart this silly season

New research from the people’s watchdog CHOICE shows the bitter truth that gifts deemed not good enough in either quality or performance are most likely thrown away or simply never used.

The independent survey¹ of 1,503 Australians conducted this month found one third (31%) would never return an unwanted gift to the shop, sending them instead to the scrapheap or storage.

One in five (21%) of those surveyed said that in the past year they had received a present where the quality or performance didn’t live up to expectations.

However, ditching the Christmas spirit altogether are the people who return a present, not for a replacement or credit, but for a refund so they can keep the cash. Those aged 18-24 were found to be the group most likely to run away with the gift giver’s money and women were found to be twice as likely to keep the cash in comparison to men (8% v 4%).

“We’re urging people to stop and think this Christmas before buying any old gift for family or friends - do some real research first”, said CHOICE director of campaigns and communications, Christopher Zinn.

“Certainly it’s the thought that counts but if you are unsure about the quality of the product, check it out at choice.com.au.  Each year we test 1000s products and services so you don’t have to worry about whether you are buying a present that will end up on the scrapheap.  Coffee machines, mobile phones, computer tablets, games, TVs – you name it, we test it,” says Mr Zinn.

When it comes to passing on unwanted presents, or re-gifting, keep an eye on what you receive;  it could be someone else’s cast-off.  The survey found that on average 20% of Australians re-gift with New South Wales taking out the title as the re-gifting capital of Australia (24% of people in the state saying that they would have no problem re-gifting an unwanted present to someone else).

Those aged 18-24 are the group most likely to throw out or not use an unwanted Christmas gift (34%), whilst people over 65 years are more likely to return an unwanted gift and exchange it for something that they actually want (52% v 42% for the national average).

“In the hectic month leading up to Christmas we’re urging Australians to ‘buy smart this silly season’.  Consult CHOICE for independent reviews of the presents you are considering.  And if all else fails, a CHOICE membership is a gift which keeps on giving,” said Mr Zinn.

Read more about CHOICE product tests and reviews

Media contact:

Christopher Zinn: director of campaigns and communications: 0425 296 442

¹The Choice survey was coordinated by The Digital Edge.  The onlibus survey consisted of:

  •          N=1,503 respondents in Australia
  •          It is nationally representative based on Gender / Age / Location 

The Digital Edge onlibus survey is run off its own internal panel of respondents, which is used for market research purposes only.  The panel used is 1 of 4 panels in Australia that have been awarded the highest accreditation by AMSRO – (QSOAP Gold Certification).  The list can be found here : http://www.amsro.com.au/amsro-members-with-qsoap-gold-certification

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