Is there a retail marketing opportunity in unwanted gifts?
According to a new YouGov survey, 30 percent of people rid themselves of at least one holiday present this past holiday season.
The top option for disposing of unwanted gifts is re-gifting with 42 percent passing an item on to someone else. A recent eBay survey found the most popular re-gifted items were knick-knacks; bottles of wine or spirits; DVDs, CDs or books; and bath products. Consumers were less likely to re-gift technology and electronics items, jewelry and handmade gifts.
The YouGov survey found that 32 percent of respondents felt re-gifting is unacceptable.
Many options for disposing of unwanted gifts depend on return policies. According to the YouGov survey, 40 percent returned one of their gifts for store credit, 38 percent made an exchange and 31 percent returned an unwanted item for cash. Other alternatives for dealing with unwanted gifts include storing them away in a closet or cupboard, cited by 40 percent; and donating to charity, 34 percent.
Not so surprisingly, the eBay survey pointed to selling unwanted items as another option. Of those who said they planned to dispose of an unwanted present this year, 40 percent indicated they would sell it on eBay.
The primary solution retailers seem to offer for bad gifts is a generous return policy. Target, TJ Maxx, Kohl’s and Macy’s all offer store credit for returns without a receipt, although determining the value of the item may disappoint. Macy’s offers credit on the item’s lowest selling price within the last 180 days. Walmart is among the few offering the option of a cash refund if the purchase was under $25.
Can unwanted gifts be a marketing opportunity? For the second year in a row, a Skittles Holiday Pawn Shop opened in Toronto from Dec. 26 to 30, offering to exchange candy for unwanted holiday gifts. On Dec. 26, select Burger King locations in Miami, London and Brazil let customers bring in gifts of any value to exchange for one Whopper. In both cases, the gifts were donated to charity.
- A third of people tossed unwanted holiday presents in the garbage – YouGov
- Christmas confessions: finder.com exposes the who, what and why behind America’s wasted $9.5 billion in unwanted gifts – finder.com
- eBay Survey Reveals 57 Percent of Americans Receive Unwanted Gifts for the Holidays – eBay/Business Wire
- How to sell your unwanted gift – CNBC
- Unwanted holiday gifts? Skittles Holiday Pawn Shop is back and better than ever – Wrigley
- Whopper Exchange – YouTube
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What more can retailers do to help consumers deal with unwanted gifts? Do you see unwanted gifts as a marketing opportunity for retailers?