Special Report

Retailers Americans Are Most Likely to Regret Buying From

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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. 

Click here to learn which retailers Americans are most likely to regret buying gifts from

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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18. Amazon
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from Amazon: 50%
> Share of respondents who shop at Amazon: 72% — the largest on list

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17. Target
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from Target: 51%
> Share of respondents who shop at Target: 32% — 3rd largest on list

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images News via Getty Images

16. Best Buy
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from Best Buy: 52%
> Share of respondents who shop at Best Buy: 30% — 4th largest on list

Source: Joshua Lott / Getty Images News via Getty Images

15. Walmart
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from Walmart: 53%
> Share of respondents who shop at Walmart: 43% — 2nd largest on list

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14. Macy’s
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from Macy’s: 54%
> Share of respondents who shop at Macy’s: 18% — 8th largest on list

Source: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images News via Getty Images

13. eBay
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from eBay: 54%
> Share of respondents who shop at eBay: 25% — 5th largest on list

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12. QVC
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from QVC: 61%
> Share of respondents who shop at QVC: 4% — the smallest on list

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11. Home Depot
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from Home Depot: 62%
> Share of respondents who shop at Home Depot: 17% — 9th smallest on list

Source: Spencer Platt / Getty Images News via Getty Images

10. Etsy
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from Etsy: 62%
> Share of respondents who shop at Etsy: 20% — 7th largest on list

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9. Nordstrom
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from Nordstrom: 63%
> Share of respondents who shop at Nordstrom: 12% — 6th smallest on list

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8. Apple
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from Apple: 65%
> Share of respondents who shop at Apple: 25% — 6th largest on list

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7. Kohl’s
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from Kohl’s: 66%
> Share of respondents who shop at Kohl’s: 18% — 9th largest on list

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images News via Getty Images

6. Lowe’s
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from Lowe’s: 69%
> Share of respondents who shop at Lowe’s: 13% — 8th smallest on list

Source: Dimas Ardian / Getty Images News via Getty Images

5. Gap
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from Gap: 69%
> Share of respondents who shop at Gap: 10% — 3rd smallest on list

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4. Walgreens
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from Walgreens: 71%
> Share of respondents who shop at Walgreens: 13% — 7th smallest on list

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3. Kroger
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from Kroger: 74%
> Share of respondents who shop at Kroger: 11% — 5th smallest on list

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Source: Courtesy of Wayfair

2. Wayfair
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from Wayfair: 75%
> Share of respondents who shop at Wayfair: 10% — 2nd smallest on list

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1. CVS
> Share of respondents who feel regret purchasing a gift from CVS: 75%
> Share of respondents who shop at CVS: 11% — 4th smallest on list

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