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Brits Expected to Waste £5 Billion on Unwanted Gifts this Christmas

Brits Expected to Waste £5 Billion on Unwanted Gifts this Christmas
2 January 2018 James Brooke
  • Over half of Brits receive at least one gift they didn’t want
  • 1 in 10 knowingly give unwanted gifts
  • Unwanted gifts are worth £41.70 each on average
  • Friends and parents are the worst gift-givers

Research by price comparison site, has found that £5 billion will be wasted on unwanted Christmas gifts this holiday season.

According to a survey of 2,000 UK adults, people received on average three gifts they didn’t like, amounting to £41.70 each. Clothing and accessories were the least liked type of gift (25.03 percent), followed by cosmetics and fragrances (17.63 percent) and household items (11.49 percent). Technology, music and literature ranked among the safest gift options.

Friends are the worst gift-givers, with one in three unwanted gifts given by friends (30.63 percent), followed by parents (13.92 percent) and parents-in-law (11.31 percent). One in 10 Brits also singled out their partner as the worst at choosing gifts with men more likely to deliberately buy an unwanted gift (11.85 percent) than women (7.16 percent).

Almost a quarter of Brits (23.20 percent) opt to keep unwanted gifts, with another quarter regifting them (22.50 percent), and just one in 20 (4.69 percent) choosing to give the unwanted present back.

Finder’s research also revealed that over half of women, 54.77 percent, have received an unwanted gift compared to 46.41 percent of men, however men are more likely to give back an unwanted gift with 7.81 percent returning the gift to the gift-giver, compared to 2.24 percent of women. On average, unwanted gifts were more expensive for men costing £45.58 compared to £38.69 for women.

Across the UK Londoners are the most likely to buy an undesired present on purpose with 24.37 percent giving gifts they knew would be disliked, followed by those from the East Midlands (10.29 percent) and the West Midlands (9.87 percent).

Millennials turn out to be the pickiest generation when it comes to receiving gifts. Nearly three-quarters (71.06 percent) of millennials claimed to receive at least one gift they didn’t like with the total number of millennials receiving an average of four unwanted gifts each.

As for what people are really looking forward to at Christmas, two in five Brits (43.80 percent) say spending time with family is most exciting, followed by getting time off work (17.22 percent), the festive atmosphere (13.34 percent) and food (9.26 percent), compared to the joy of receiving presents (4.13 percent).

Jon Ostler, CEO of finder UK said: “Christmas is a great time of year but, if you’re not careful, can cause strain on your finances, particularly with gifts. Instead of buying gifts for the sake of gift-giving, make your gifts count. The easiest way to do this is find out what your loved ones want or need. Don’t be afraid to ask for a wishlist – it could make all the difference. If you’re on the receiving end of a bad gift, don’t stash it in a cupboard to gather dust. Look into donating it or perhaps re-gifting, so it’s not going to waste.”

For more information about finder’s study, please visit

To find out more about finder, visit


Notes to editors:

  • Jon Ostler, CEO (UK) at is available for comment, opinion or interview regarding this research.
  • Survey of 2,000 adults across the UK, carried out by Mortar London on behalf of

For further press information, please contact:
Yasmine Triana/Aaryn Vaughan
Rooster PR
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930
E: [email protected]

About finder
finder, Australia’s #1 comparison site, launched in the UK in February 2017.

Founded in 2006, finder has over three million MUUs and has helped consumers make 15 million decisions over the past decade.

finder is entirely independent, offering consumers unbiased content, comparisons and, wherever possible, a full market view.

So much more than just a comparison site, finder provides in depth guides, advice and editorial content to help consumers better understand all the options and products available.

Committed to educating and empowering consumers to make informed choices and ultimately, to make savings, finder’s success is based on the provision of up to date and relevant information supplied by dedicated, round the clock research teams.

Categories currently available in the UK include money transfers, travel money, gas & electricity, mobile, broadband, and TV streaming. New products (including insurance, credit cards, loans, mortgages and pensions) will be rolled out over the coming months.

finder now operates in 10 countries including: the UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Chile, Spain and Mexico, and employs over 120 staff worldwide.