We all know at least one “difficult” gift recipient within our family or social circles, the person who requires much more thought and deliberation than usual to successfully buy for.
The fear of being considered a poor gift-giver can cause us to overspend, with “finding the perfect gift” or “trying to give the best gift” as the top reasons usually given for blowing a gift-buying budget. One study found that Americans spend an average of two hours of research before buying a gift and spend $106 on it. (On the other hand, here are the 50 top tech gifts under $100.)
The most popular types of gifts, according to the study, are those that are practical or useful. Money or gift cards may not be very thoughtful, but they are also greatly appreciated by recipients.
Gift-buyer’s remorse is common and can be associated with the retailers from which gifts are purchased. To identify those that Americans are most likely to regret buying from, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed survey data collected in 2021 for “The Gifted Few Gifters: America’s Gifting Habits and Expectations Explained,” a study by WeThrift, an online search engine that surfaces popular coupons. WeThrift polled 1,010 people who are used to buying gifts for others.
Amazon proved to be the most popular of the 18 major retailers in the study. About half of those who bought from the online giant ended up having regrets about their purchases — but that still makes Amazon the retailer they were least likely to regret buying from. It is probably no surprise that people often regret buying gifts from chain pharmacies or grocery stores, but even a premium vendor like Apple ranks higher than you might expect in gift-buying regret. (Wherever else you buy, you may not want to get your gifts at one of America’s worst retailers.)
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