Despite digging deep and splashing a reported $620 million on gifts, new research by Gumtree shows as many as seven in 10 Australians were disappointed after tearing aside the wrapping paper on Christmas Day.
Not only did the disappointed punters admit to having to feign surprise at what they found under the tree, nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) confessed to having contributed to the problem by giving a “not so suitable” present at some point.
However, despite the surge in discarded presents, very few make their way to charities like St Vincent de Paul, according to Wagga member Trevor Urquhart.
“We don’t see a lot of unwanted gifts,” Mr Urquhart said.
“People must just be taking them back and exchanging them, we don’t see even a moderate amount of toys coming in.
“I’d say there are a lot of exchanges the first day the shops are open.”
The amount was almost $100 million more than last year, despite the trend towards gift cards.
The research showed 88 per cent of people would sell unwanted gifts online instead of returning them, with Gumtree confirming a 28 per cent week-on-week increase in the number of new listings post-Christmas.
Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), said that while stores had the right to refuse refunds or exchanges when it comes to unwanted gifts, many were happy to help.
“Most retailers in this day and age are very aware that it’s Christmas, they are very aware that things are bought for gifts and that people may or may not know what they want,” he said.
“And most retailers are willing to assist in any way they can.”
Mr Zimmerman advised that in these instances it is always preferable to have a receipt.
Mr Urquhart hoped in future, more people would buy gifts from and take unwanted gifts to charities.
“All the money goes to helping the less fortunate,” he said.
“And you can find pretty good stuff in the ‘op shop’ too.”
On average, people got $72 worth of unwanted gifts this year.
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