Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's common for Canadians to hold on to unwanted holiday gifts for up to five years

Canadians may hold on to more than five million unwanted gifts this year

TORONTO, December 23, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - New research reveals that, based on past behaviour, 75 per cent of Canadians may hold on to their unwanted holiday gifts this season - considered a burden by most - even though they are comfortable with the idea of re-gifting. In fact, compared with last year, more Canadians think re-gifting is acceptable (55 per cent versus 47 per cent) once the presents are unwrapped.

So what's causing Canadians to hold on? According to the annual research commissioned by Canada's largest online classifieds site,, nearly half of Canadians continue to hold on to unwanted holiday gifts out of guilt and shame. In fact, a comparison with 2010 data reveals that one third of Canadians feel guilty about not keeping an unwanted gift and slightly less (two-in-10) would be ashamed to admit to the gift giver that they gave away or sold their present.

"Canadians continue to let their emotions get in the way," said Allyson Smith, a comedian and Kijiji Canada's gift-giving therapist. "We're too concerned about the gift giver's feelings. Our research shows many of us will go to extreme lengths to pretend we like a gift by displaying it every time the gift giver is present, sending a photo of the gift being used to the gift giver, and even buying a similar item for the gift giver to show our appreciation."

Most commonly, Canadians hold on to unwanted gifts for up to five years before getting rid of them. However, Canadians are quick to admit that if the gift giver never found out, they'd ideally exchange the item, re-gift or re-sell it, or give it to charity. Only eight per cent of Canadians would still store the item but never use it.

"It's a fact that the overwhelming majority of Canadians have never been caught giving away an unwanted holiday gift," added Smith. "At the end of the day, not using the unwanted gift is simply worse than giving it away or selling it."

With more than 60 per cent of Canadians indicating that they could use some extra cash after the holidays to pay off their debts, there's even less reason to hold on. Selling the unwanted gift also means the gift giver's money doesn't go to waste, according to nearly 6-in-10 Canadians.

The survey revealed some other interesting information about holiday gifting:

...The most common characteristics of a bad holiday gift are based on the recipient's personal taste. Some of the most common items include clothing, like a sweater in the wrong size, and home accessories, including a toaster and a vase, that can easily be sold for cash.

...Nearly two-in-10 Canadians have considered giving an unwanted gift back to the gift giver.

...The majority of Canadians (56 per cent) say that unwanted holiday gifts become a burden after the holidays are over.

...When it comes to immediate family, in-laws tend to be the worst gift givers.

When it comes time to let go of unwanted holiday gifts, Canadians should visit to get started.


These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between December 20 and 21 on behalf of Kijiji. For this survey, a sample of 1,007 adults from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled.

About Kijiji Canada

Kijiji, which means "village" in Swahili, is the number one classifieds site in Canada, connecting ten-million buyers and sellers each month. offers Canadians a free, easy, and local way to buy, sell, and trade goods and services in their community. With local sites for more than 100 cities and towns across the country, Kijiji makes it easy for Canadians to find exactly what they're looking for in their own community. Kijiji Canada is part of the eBay Classifieds Group, the global leader in online classifieds with a global presence in more than 20 countries and 1,000 cities.

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