Four in ten (40%) Canadians `agree' (9% strongly/31% somewhat) that on average, they receive at least one unwanted holiday gift each year. When they do receive one, one third (32%) of Canadians say they hold on to them between 1 to 5 years before getting rid of the unwanted gift. Two in ten (19%) hold on to unwanted gifts for less than a year, followed by more than five years (9%), forever (9%), and less than a month (8%). Almost one quarter (23%) say they don't hold onto bad or unwanted holiday gifts.
So why hold on to unwanted gifts? The most common answer given by almost four in ten (36%) Canadians is they usually forget they have it. Other common reasons is not knowing what to do with it (34%), feeling guilty for not keeping it (22%), being ashamed to admit to the giver they didn't keep it (21%) and having an emotional attachment to it (8%). One in ten (10%) can't provide a reason why they hold on to unwanted gifts.
When presented with a hypothetical situation of being presented with an unwanted holiday gift and the gift giver never finding out, three in ten (31%) Canadians admitted they would exchange the item for something they want or need. One quarter (26%) would re-gift the item to someone who would want or need it (26%), give the item to charity (23%), store the item but never use it (8%), sell the item for cash (7%) while five percent (5%) say they had other ideas for how to deal with an unwanted gift.
Not surprisingly, as the credit card bills flood the mail box in January, 61% of Canadians `agree' (22% strongly/40% somewhat) that they could use extra cash after the holidays to pay for their holiday shopping. But very few (2%) Canadians have sold any of these unwanted gifts online in the past, despite the fact that most (61%) `agree' (13% strongly/48% somewhat) that selling an unwanted gift means the gift giver's money doesn't go to waste.
Six in ten (61%) Canadians think people hold on to unwanted gifts because they probably feel guilty about getting rid of it. Three in ten (28%) suggest that they perhaps don't know the best way to get rid of it while 21% think those people may be holding onto other unwanted items, not just gifts. Less than one in ten (7%) believe they're not thinking about the situation practically. The majority (60%) of Canadians `agree' (14% strongly/46% somewhat) that unwanted gifts after the holidays became a burden.
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.
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