Those who hold on to unwanted gifts say they `usually just forget I have it' (36%, no change) or they `usually don't know what to do with it' (33%, -1). Emotions also play a role in Canadians' reasoning for keeping unwanted gifts, three in ten `feel guilty not keeping it' (29%, -4) and one in six (17%, -4) say `I would be ashamed to admit to the person that I didn't keep their gift'. Despite being unwanted, one in twelve (8%, no change) say they feel an emotional attachment to their unwanted gifts.
As a nation, Canadians prefer hold on to at least some of the items they don't like or need. Only one in six (18%, +3) say that they `never hold onto items that I don't like or need', while half (50%, -5) say they `sometimes hold on to items that I don't like or need', a quarter (26%, +1) say they `often hold onto items that I don't like or need'.6% of Canadians are true hoarders, and say they `always hold onto items that I don't like or need', up 2 points since 2010.
In fact, of all Canadians, almost half (47%, -2) say they tend to hold on to unwanted holiday gifts for more than a year, including a quarter (27%, -5) who say they hold on to these gifts for `between 1 and 5 years', one in twelve (8%, -1) who would hold them for `more than 5 years', and one in eight (12%, +3) who would keep them `forever'. On the other hand, a quarter (23%, no change) would not hold on to bad or unwanted holiday gifts at all, one in twelve (8%, no change) would get rid of them within a month of receiving them, and one in five (21%, +2) hold on to them for `less than a year'.
In a hypothetical situation where the gift-giver would never find out, a quarter (26%, +3) say they would give the gift to charity, compared to only 8% who would `sell the gift for cash', up one point. Pragmatic Canadians would `exchange the item for something I want or need' (25%, -6) or `re-gift the item to someone who will want or need the item (23%, -3). Even if they would never run the risk of getting caught, one in twelve Canadians (8%, no change) would `store the item but never use it'.
The poll also found that the holiday season can become a huge drain on personal finances, and two thirds (63%, +2) of Canadians agree (23% strongly/40% somewhat) that they `could use some extra cash after the holidays to pay for my holiday shopping'. Six in ten (58%, -3) Canadians agree (13% strongly/44% somewhat) that `selling an unwanted gift means the gift-giver's money doesn't go to waste.'
Extended family are the worst culprits when it comes to giving gifts; a quarter of Canadians (25%, +1) say they are the worst gift givers, compared to 18% who say `co-workers' (up 2 points), 11% who mention their in-laws (down 4 points) and 7% who identify their parents as the worst gift givers (down 1 point). Fortunately, only 3% of Canadians say their partner is the worst gift-giver in their experience (down 3 points since 2010).
Commonly mentioned unwanted gifts include holiday-themed sweaters, ill-fitting clothes, and cheap looking household accessories. Ornaments, decorative plates and vases also feature among the list of unwanted items. Half (56%, -4) agree (15% strongly/41% somewhat) that `unwanted gifts become a burden after the holidays are over.' In some circumstances, recipients would simply hand gifts back. One in six (18%, -2) Canadians agree (6% strongly/12% somewhat) that they `have thought about giving an unwanted gift back to the gift giver'.
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between December 20 and 21, 2011, on behalf of Kijiji. For this survey, a sample of 1,007 adults from Ipsos' 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. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
For more information on this news release, please contact:
Associate Vice President
Ipsos Reid, Public Affairs
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