£1.7 Billion Wasted on Unwanted Christmas Gifts

eBay finds a loving home for millions of unwanted Christmas gifts and earns you cash in the process

Research released by eBay and YouGov shows £1.7 billion was spent on unwanted Christmas presents this year - equivalent to £36 per person*. With the credit crunch biting, there’s never been a better time to make some extra cash for the New Year.

The research shows that of the 10 gifts the average person will receive this Christmas, one of them will be left unloved under the tree – but that doesn’t stop us from hoarding them. Almost half (46%) of us have still got last year’s unwanted gifts around the home.

Carey Maguire from eBay in the UK adds: “Last year on the 27th of December Brits flocked to eBay to sell an estimated two million unwanted Christmas gifts. This year with the current economic climate it’s little wonder people will look to make extra cash, as a nation we are sitting on £455 million† worth of untapped income from unwanted gifts alone.”

Residents of the North of England were the most unsuccessful present-givers with over 11 million gifts going to waste - equivalent to a possible new year’s income of £114 million sitting unwanted under the Christmas Tree. Londoners wasted over 9 million gifts (£86million) whilst those in Northern Ireland got it right most of the time with only 1.2 million unwanted presents (£12 million) being given this Christmas.

For convenience and value, eBay is the best place to sell your unwanted items and buy what you really wanted. With 17 million items under one virtual roof, and with prices of new items on average 25% cheaper than the high street^, eBay is the best place to find great items for less – and if you pay with PayPal, your transaction is 100% protected.

For Christmas gift inspiration go to

Notes to Editors:

(Full survey results and regional beak downs available on request) Unwanted Gifts Top Ten 2007 - average selling price Saucepan sets - £33.67 Christmas socks - £3.34 Slippers - £6.57 Christmas jumpers - £21.03 Knitted scarfs - £5.63 Books - £5.37 DVDs - £6.00 CDs - £4.35 Dressing gowns - £4.95 Bubble bath sets - £5.10 * Source: YouGov. Amount referred to: The average amount of unwanted gifts received Christmas 2007 multiplied by the average cost per gift multiplied by the UK population and the average amount spent per gift † Source: The average price of unwanted gifts multiplied by the total population of the nation ^Source: Frontier Economics, September 2008. Figure obtained by comparing the average sold price (including P&P) of 288 new products on with the price in mainstream retail stores. In respect of each product, prices were obtained in 6 different retail stores and the average price was taken All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2040 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken 13-15 Oct 2008. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).