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‘You really shouldn’t have’: Alarming survey reveals Australia is a nation of regifters at Xmas

Reviewed by expert, David Koch
4 min read
11 Dec 2023
Australian woman unhappy with christmas present

Christmas is meant to be the season of giving, but new research from Compare the Market reveals that a surprisingly high number of Aussies don’t keep the gifts they receive over the festive period.

In fact, 1 in 5 Aussies admit to regifting duplicate presents or gifts they don’t like at Christmas.

Around 16% of respondents who said they regift do so immediately, while 83.9% wait and regift after some time has passed.

The data found that Millennials are the hardest to please with gifts at Christmas, with 23.8% of the cohort admitting to regifting their unwanted presents. In contrast, Gen Z is least likely to regift (15.6%), followed by Baby Boomers (19.3%) and Gen X (23.1%).

Compare the Market’s Economic Director, David Koch, said it was a surprising statistic, given that the average Australian will splash $715 on Christmas presents in 2023.

“Christmas can put a lot of financial stress on Aussies who are already battling the cost-of-living crisis and it’s quite surprising to see that so many people admit to giving away the presents they receive,” Mr Koch said.

“In a time where every dollar counts, and we’re seeing prices increase across the board, people may be shocked to know that many of their lovingly purchased and prepared gifts are going to someone else.”

“Personally, I think regifting isn’t in the spirit of Christmas as some one has thought about, and paid for, something they think will be special for you. But my adult kids reckon I’m old fashioned and believe it’s better to exchange a gift for something you like or save money by regifting to someone who may appreciate it more.”

According to the latest findings, 59.1% of Australians say they don’t even keep the presents they receive if they don’t like them or when receiving duplicate items. Keeping the shopping receipt handy is advised, with 5.9% of people admitting they return their gift and 8.9% preferring to exchange them for something they like better.

The rate is much higher for Gen Z, with 13.5% of the cohort saying they return unwanted presents and 15.6% exchanging them for something better at the store. At the other end of the scale, Baby Boomers are the least likely of any generation to exchange or return an item to stores.

“This data shows us that if you’re spending big over the festive season, always keep your receipts in case a present ends up on someone’s naughty list,” Mr Koch said. “Retailers have their own returns and exchange policies, but, in most cases, they’ll require you to have a valid proof of purchase.”

Some good news is that around 13.8% of people say they donate unwanted presents to charity. Baby Boomers are most likely to donate their unwanted pressies to charity (17%), followed by Gen X (14%), Millennials (12.8%) and Gen Z (7.3%)

“It’s going to be a difficult Christmas for many families due to financial pressures hitting them from every angle, so it’s great to know that many people will donate their unwanted presents to the less fortunate at a time when they need it the most,” Mr Koch said.

“Many charities will accept donations in the lead-up to Christmas, but it’s best to check if there are any limitations on the types of items they’ll welcome.

‘But, don’t just go dumping presents at charity bins; ensure that you’re following the rules and guidelines. Help the charities who are assisting those most in need during the Christmas season.”

Meanwhile, the data also shows:

  • 7% of Aussies don’t do anything with their unwanted presents
  • 6% sell them
  • 2% throw them out
  • Less than 1% (0.9%) decline the gift.

“To avoid throwing your money down the drain, consider asking people what kinds of presents they want, participating in Secret Santa or investing in gift cards and vouchers so people can buy what they want,” Mr Koch said.

“The last thing we want to see is Aussies wasting their money on presents that may end up in the bin.”

For more information, please contact:  

Phillip Portman | 0437 384 471 | [email protected]

Compare the Market is a comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We make it Simples for Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy insurance, energy and travel products from a range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool helps you look for a range of products that may suit your needs and benefit your back pocket.

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avatar of author: Phillip Portman

Written by Phillip Portman

When he’s not busy writing, Phillip can usually be found at the movies, playing with his Italian Greyhound Wilma, hanging out with his cockatiel Tiki, or talking about everything pop culture. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Journalism and has previously written about health, entertainment, and lifestyle for various publications. Phillip loves to help others and hopes that people learn something new from his articles.

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