Thursday, December 23, 2010

Up to 8.6 Million Gifts Could go Unwanted this Holiday Season, According to New Research

Two-in-10 Canadians admit they hold on to some of these unwanted gifts for more than five years

TORONTO, December 23, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - New research reveals that 40 per cent of Canadians will likely receive at least one gift they can't use or don't like this holiday season and many will become victims to holiday holding. In fact, nearly 50 per cent of Canadians admit that they are holiday holders who store unwanted holiday gifts and almost one-in-10 Canadians are holders for life, keeping the unwanted items forever.

According to the research commissioned by Canada's largest online classifieds site,, the majority of those who hold on to unwanted holiday gifts do so out of guilt and shame. In fact, one-third of holiday holders admit that they feel guilty not keeping the item and two-in-10 would be ashamed to admit to the person that they didn't hold on to the unwanted item.

"Our emotions are getting the best of us," said Allyson Smith, a well-known comedian and Kijiji Canada's gift-giving therapist. "There's no reason to have an emotional attachment to a gift that you can't use or don't want and I refuse to accept the excuse that the person is holding on to the holiday gift for fear of getting caught. Our research clearly shows this is not the case - only a very small percentage of survey respondents have ever been caught by the gift giver getting rid of the item."

With no chance of getting caught, many Canadians would let go of their holiday holding habits. In fact, only 8 per cent of Canadians would still store the item. The others would put the item to good use, exchanging it for something they wanted or needed (31 per cent), re-gifting the item to someone who would appreciate it (26 per cent), or giving the item to charity (23 per cent).

Less than one-in-10 Canadians would consider turning the unwanted item into cold hard cash, yet the research reveals that 62 per cent of Canadians could use some extra cash to pay for their holiday shopping. Furthermore, approximately the same percentage of Canadians agree that selling an unwanted gift means the gift giver's money doesn't go to waste and ultimately it's okay to sell the item, according to half the survey respondents.

"This isn't about having to choose between naughty and nice," adds Smith. "Half of Canadians agree that not using a holiday gift is worse than selling it or giving it away."

The survey also revealed some other interesting information about Canadians' and their unwanted holiday gifts:

...Some of the worst holiday gifts ever received include: an already opened fruit basket, a broom and dustpan, soap on a rope, and a used diary.

...Some gift givers are being left in the dark. An astonishing 47 per cent of Canadians pretend to be overjoyed to receive the unwanted gift. Others display it every time the gift giver is present or brag about the gift to others hoping the gift giver will hear about it.

...When it comes to others' perception of holiday holders, two-in-10 feel that they're likely also holding on to other unwanted items, not just gifts.
The majority of Canadians (60 per cent) agree that unwanted gifts become a burden after the holidays.

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 to 21, 2010, on behalf of Kijiji. For this survey, a sample of 1,008 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

Kijiji, which means "village" in Swahili, is the number one classifieds site in Canada, connecting nine-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 99 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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