Trends & Data

Festive slump paves way for UK’s first official ‘Boxing Up Day’

New research from online marketplace eBay reveals that Brits will receive 115 million gifts that are not right for them this Christmas – worth a massive total of £2.2bn*.

The research and analysis pinpoints Thursday 29th December as the best day to sell-on gifts that don’t quite hit the mark, which eBay and experts have named ‘Boxing Up Day’.

Working with Patrick Fagan, consumer psychologist and associate lecturer at Goldsmiths, University London, eBay conducted research with 2,000 adults .The study  looked at everything from ‘festive spirit’ and financial pressure - through to gift attachment and family weariness.

Boxing Up Day on 29th December 2016 is the best day to sell gifts that aren’t to our taste whilst also feeling good about it by donating to your chosen charity through eBay.  The research showed a number of factors pointing towards the 29th:

-        Festivity is at its lowest on 29th December, with 76% of people saying they no longer ‘feel festive’ by this point

-        The 29th is also a day ‘without purpose’; 64% of us associate it with neither Christmas, nor New Year

-        Boredom sets in for many during this period - with 41% feeling bored and 68% stating they ‘just wanting to do something’

-        It’s also the time when financial pressure hits, with 66% saying they feel cash poor

-        And finally, our attachment levels to our gifts are also on the wane with 31% saying they feel ‘little or no attachment’ to certain gifts by 29th December

Patrick Fagan comments, “The Christmas period can be an emotional roller coaster and studies indicate that receiving gifts that aren’t right for you can add stress.  But, this research shows that there is a specific time to tackle this.  There’s an important changeover period, when people are putting Christmas behind them and moving on to New Year.  Not only are people ready psychologically, but the financial benefit also boosts happiness.”

eBay data from 2015 also supports this year’s Boxing Up Day timing.  Last year there were 2,302 listings** in the post-Christmas period with the highest volume on the second working day after Christmas (this being the 29th December for 2016) The post-Christmas gift reshuffle is the ideal time to sell with last year’s figures showing there was one search every twelve seconds on the 29th December alone.

With 20 million shoppers on eBay every month it’s the ideal way to find a new home for a gift and you can even keep the seasonal giving spirit alive by donating to your favourite charity.  Every time you list an item for charity on eBay, you improve your chances of selling - and save on fees.  So if you donate 50% of your selling price to charity, eBay will waive 50% of your fees.

Using the eBay app makes the whole process  even easier with four simple steps: upload a photo, write a short description, select your charity and donation percentage and make your listing live.

Will Weightman, Director at eBay says, “We all receive gifts that aren’t quite right at Christmas, and this year we’re calling on people to ‘box up’ their items on 29th December, list on eBay and donate to charity at the same time.  You can choose the amount to donate and simply select your favourite charity, so whilst your festive spirit may have disappeared - you can still feel the warm glow of giving.”

Service expert and multi award winning maitre'd of hit Channel 4 show Fred Sirieix is helping to support eBay with the Boxing Up project and comments: “Christmas is all about being close to your nearest and dearest, and creating unforgettable memories. It’s also the season of giving and altruism but sometimes, our precious gifts just don’t quite hit the mark. This year, eBay has pinpointed the 29th December as ‘Boxing Up Day’ – the perfect day to box up and sell your gifts on eBay so they can be cherished by another. Go onto the eBay app and in a few simple steps, upload your gifts and get that petit cash injection that we all need at this time of the year. There’s an option to donate to your charity of choice too. Mine is the Dame Maureen Thomas foundation for Young people. Et voila! All the convenience of selling your gifts online without the guilt!"

Keep an eye out for Fred’s video which will be uploaded onto eBay’s YouTube channel on the 26th December to show how easy it is to sell your gifts online.



For more information: 0207 758 3900 or email

NOTES TO EDITORS                                                                                    

eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) is a global commerce leader including the Marketplace, StubHub and Classifieds platforms. Collectively, we connect millions of buyers and sellers around the world, empowering people and creating opportunity through Connected Commerce. Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay is one of the world's largest and most vibrant marketplaces for discovering great value and unique selection. In 2015, eBay enabled $82 billion of gross merchandise volume

eBay / Censuswide research conducted with 2,000 UK adults December 2016

*Figures based on an average of 2.31 unwanted gifts per person, at a value of £18.95 each

** Figures based on eBay internal data

Patrick Fagan is a consumer psychologist who lectures at Goldsmiths University London and the University of Arts London.  He is also Head of Emotion Sciences for emotion-capture company CrowdEmotion.



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