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By Chris Dang

Australia is a nation of re-gifters at Christmas – new research reveals

What do you do with unwanted Christmas gifts?

Well, according to new research from Compare the Market, 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.

He commented:

“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.

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 someone 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.”

Other findings from the research

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.

Mr Koch further said:

“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.

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%)

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Mr Koch further commented:

“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.

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.

Mr Koch concluded:

“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.

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

About Chris Dang Chris Dang is an accountant by training and has worked in the Financial Planning industry for many years. Chris brings together property, accounting, and financial planning experience to help clients of Metropole Wealth Advisory create a holistic plan for their wealth.
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