Monday

Holiday Gifts: Regifting and Reselling on eBay

Think twice before you stuff that unneeded gift into the back of your closet this holiday season: it could translate into cash, or become the perfect present for someone else.

With financial concerns weighing on Americans’ minds this holiday season, consumers are becoming more resourceful than ever. To cope, they are learning how to manage unwanted gifts. Over half (54%) of U.S. adults who have resold gifts online plan to do so this year, a 10 percent increase from last year (45%) according to new research released today by eBay conducted on its behalf by Harris Interactive®.

Of U.S. adults who receive gifts during the holidays, more than four in five (83%) receive unwanted items and almost half (46%) of those adults resell or re-gift, that is, give the unwanted gift to someone else as a gift. Additionally, nearly two-thirds (64%) of adults feel that re-gifting or reselling gifts is more socially acceptable now than it was several years ago.

“We’re seeing the trend in re-gifting and reselling unwanted presents becoming more commonplace in this economic climate,” said Marsha Collier, author of “Santa Shops on eBay” and “eBay for Dummies.” “For those seeking to make the best of an unwanted gift and maybe even start a small business, eBay is a great place to sell items and make some extra money; it’s also a destination for amazing deals for everyone on your holiday list.”

According to the survey, the most popular items adults would re-gift include wine, champagne or spirits (21%); trinkets or collectibles (21%); beauty or bath products (21%); DVDs, CDs or books (16%); electronics/appliances (14%); and the infamous fruitcake (14%). The most popular items adults resell online include personal electronics (12%); DVDs, CDs or books (11%); home technology (10%); event tickets (10%); trinkets or collectibles (8%); and sporting or fitness equipment (6%).

Trends in Re-gifting and Reselling:

• Re-gifting in the Air: three in five adults said they have received an item that they believe someone re-gifted.

• Green is Good: nearly three in four (73%) adults view re-gifting or reselling as a form of recycling, up from 69 percent last year.

• The End Justifies the Means: more than one-third (37%) of adults who have resold gifts would feel less guilty about reselling a gift if a portion of the profit benefited a charity.

• Know Your Recipient: Adults who have re-gifted listed these as the top reasons for doing so:
  • 68 percent said the item was a better match for someone else
  • 66 percent said they didn’t think they would use the item
  • 61 percent said it wasn’t their taste

• Re-entrepreneurs Emerge: 30 percent of adults said they would rather receive a gift that they could re-gift or resell than not receive a gift at all.

About the Survey
This re-gifting survey was conducted online for eBay by Harris Interactive between November 11 and November 13, 2008 among 2,033 U.S. adults age 18 and older, of whom 1,013 have re-gifted and 210 have resold gifts online. These online surveys are not based on probability samples and therefore no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.