Brits expected to unwrap 99 million unwanted Christmas gifts this festive season

21 December 2015 – Nearly half (47%) of Brits are expected to receive a Christmas gift that’s not on their wish list this year, according to new research from online marketplace eBay. That’s a potential 99 million1 unwanted pressies at a total value of £1,232 million1 all looking for a new home. 

But, it doesn’t take long for the disappointment to fade and turn into action with over 450,000 new consumer listings expected to go live on by the end of Christmas Day, with a further one million by the time we hit the sack on Boxing Day.

Listings are projected to peak between 7pm and 8pm on Christmas Day, as the nation takes part in some dual screening action, watching the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special whilst listing an unwanted gift.  eBay expects over 50,000 items to be listed during this hour alone.

As the festive cheer winds down on Boxing Day, the listings go up with eBay expecting over 75,000 new consumer listings between 10am and 11am and 85,000 from 8pm to 9pm.

The top listed items on Christmas Day 2014 were:

  1. Perfume
  2. Tablets
  3. Smartphones
  4. Frozen Merchandise
  5. Soaps and Lotions
  6. Women’s necklaces
  7. Women’s Shavers
  8. Vacuum Cleaners
  9. CDs
  10. DVDs


When asked what they would do with the proceeds of selling an unwanted gift, 36% will replace it with something they really want, 21% would buy something for someone else and 45% would save the money.  But, when it comes to the big reveal moment, the typical British reserve wins out and 79% wouldn’t tell someone they didn’t like their present, instead preferring to smile and politely express delight.

People in London and Manchester received the most unwanted gifts last year – 2.55 and 1.97 respectively, well above the national average of 1.79 per person.  Those in Leeds were the most discreet, with 87% saying they’d keep their disappointment firmly to themselves.

Will Weightman, Director Consumer Selling, eBay UK, comments: ‘Getting exactly the right gift can be tricky so it’s not surprising that some of us don’t unwrap exactly what we want on Christmas Day.   There’s no need to feel like a Scrooge by selling them on, not only does the gift go to a better home but you can donate part of the sale proceeds to charity using eBay for Charity.  It’s a win-win all round.”

With over 15 years of experience in post-Christmas selling, eBay is the ideal marketplace to make the most of unwanted Christmas gifts. And with 18 million people on eBay every month, it’s easy to find someone who will give your unwanted gift a better home.

Anyone planning on selling their unwanted Christmas gifts post-Christmas can take advantage of a special eBay promotion offering no insertion fees on all consumer listings running from 26th December 2015 until 31st January 2016.


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-       TNS surveyed 2,471 GB adults aged 16-64 years November 2015

-       eBay internal data

-       1Calculated using ONS population data from 2014




Juliet Cameron and Alice Carr at Launch PR – 020 7758 3900 or