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Ho Ho Hum. $13 Billion Spent on Unwanted Gifts

December 14, 2018, 6:06 PM UTC

No one’s perfect when it comes to choosing holiday gifts for a friend or loved one. But we might be even worse than we thought.

A new study from estimates Americans will spend $13 billion on unwanted gifts, with 56% of the people surveyed saying they’ll receive at least one “you-shouldn’t-have” present.

Clothes and accessories top the unwanted list, with 34% surveyed as unhappy recipients. Household items came in second at 18% and cosmetics and perfume with 14% of people grousing.

More people than you might expect tend to hang onto these unwanted gifts, with 29% keeping them versus 22% who exchange them.

So who’s hardest to please when it comes to gift giving? Millennials, of course. People born between 1977 and 1995 led the pack among age groups, with 68% receiving gifts they don’t want. Generation X came in at 58% and 41% of baby boomers are expected to receive duds during the holidays.

Nevertheless, fear of buying the wrong thing isn’t likely to slow the annual holiday shopping craze, particularly this weekend.

December 14 is Free Shipping Day, where several retailers drop shipping fees in hopes of drumming up business from procrastinators. Amazon has extended its free shipping for everyone through December 18.

Consumers have spent $80 billion in online sales alone so far this year. And Adobe Analytics predicts overall holiday online spending will top $124 billion this year.