What Moms Want for Mother's Day and What Amazon Is Selling

Somewhere between 60% and nearly 90% of Americans plan to celebrate Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 14, in case you forgot) by presenting their mothers with a gift. But what does mom really want, and how much will it cost? And where can you buy it?

We looked at three websites that address the first two questions and then one site where you can buy nearly anything. is a website that provides details on deals as well as coupon codes, discounts and other offers from more than 16,000 stores and brands. RetailMeNot Inc. (NASDAQ: SALE) bills itself as a savings destination for online and in-store purchases, and the National Retail Federation (NRF) is a professional organization of retailers.

According to, more than 20% of moms want a massage/day spa treatment or a personalized gift. Flowers were named by 18%, and a dinner out was the choice of 14%. Only 12% said they wanted jewelry. The firm’s survey indicated that the average spending for a gift for mom would be $67.59, compared with spending of $90.67 for wives. Some 59% of moms can expect a gift this year.

The NRF estimates average Mother’s Day spending of $186.39, not that far away from the combined total for moms and wives estimated by The vast majority (78%) will purchase a greeting card while nearly 69% will purchase flowers and 56% plan a special outing for dinner or brunch.

RetailMeNot’s survey indicated that 88% of moms will receive a gift this year. The firm’s survey also showed that 27% of moms want a gift card and 13% want that spa day treatment. According to a press release:

A majority of moms appreciate a sentimental gift. In fact, more than half would rather receive something sentimental (58%) rather than something creative (19%,) experiential (13%) or expensive (6%).  Proof that what you give mom doesn’t have to cost a lot.

And that’s where Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) figures in. When we searched “gift ideas for mom” at the Amazon website, the most expensive item presented — a Luxury Bamboo Wooden Utensil Set — cost $38.47 (maybe we’re just tagged as cheap by Amazon). Most of the items presented on the results page cost less than $20. There were no spa visits among the 16 results, but with nearly another 163,000 items to choose from, there might be one tucked away in there.

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