UK's most disappointing Christmas presents

Kalila Sangster
·2-min read
unhappy young woman with opened Christmas present box near Christmas tree
Most stores extend their return policy over the Christmas period, so you may be able to exchange an unwanted gift for something else or a voucher if you have a gift receipt, Which? advises. Photo: Getty

Used potato peelers, out of date Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur, carpet cleaner, a second-hand bra, and a pencil stand are just some of the UK’s most disappointing Christmas presents, according to new research by consumer group Which?

Around one in five (19%) Brits admitted they had given away or sold one or more Christmas presents they had received last year, in the survey of 2,000 people.

Younger generations were most likely to re-gift or sell unwanted presents, with three in 10 (28%) of those aged between 18 and 34 giving away at least one present they received in 2019, compared with nearly one in five (17%) aged between 45 and 54, and one in 10 (12%) aged 55 and over.

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Londoners were also more likely to re-home for their gifts compared to the rest of the UK, with a third (32%) giving away or selling disappointing gifts, compared with the national average of 19%.

Women were more likely to give away or sell their presents than men — a quarter (24%) of women decided to pass on their disappointing presents last year compared to one in seven (15%) men.

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Most stores extend their return policy over the Christmas period, so you may be able to exchange an unwanted gift for something else or a voucher if you have a gift receipt, Which? advises.

However, vouchers could become worthless if the retailer goes under, Which? warns.

The buyer is often the only one who can request a refund or exchange, however, retailers may allow gift recipients to return disappointing presents in exchange for a gift card, voucher or credit note if the item was marked as a gift at the time of purchase.

Adam French, Which? consumer rights expert, said: “Whether it is out of date booze or kitchen utensils, many of us have been left wondering how to get rid of an unwanted Christmas gift — and our research shows a fifth of people choose to give their presents away.

“We’d always advise requesting a gift receipt so the recipient has the option to exchange the present if they are disappointed.

“Often only the buyer can request a refund or exchange. But if the item was marked as a gift when ordered, the retailer’s returns policy may enable a recipient to return or exchange it.”

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