Aussies say "no thanks" to 20 million gifts

SYDNEY Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:05pm EST

A shopping mall employee gift-wraps a perfume in Frankfurt November 28, 2009. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele

A shopping mall employee gift-wraps a perfume in Frankfurt November 28, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Johannes Eisele

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - How many unwanted gifts did you get under the Christmas tree? If you're Australian, the number is likely to be more than one, amounting to a nationwide total of 20 million "useless" presents, according to a survey.

The survey, commissioned by online marketplace eBay, found that although Australians spent A$8.5 billion ($7.5 billion) buying gifts this Christmas, at least A$1 billion worth of these presents will either be left to gather dust in a cupboard, binned, regifted, exchanged or sold.

Examples of unwanted gifts ranged from underwear, socks, bath products and inappropriately sexual items to a tandoori spice rub for chicken given to a vegetarian and a dog bowl for a dogless recipient, a brick and cellulite cream, an eBay statement said.

The eBay survey of more than 1,200 people also found that more women than men received unwanted gifts this year, while youth aged between 18 and 24 years got the most unwanted presents, which they were likely to throw out or hide away.

An earlier survey showed that more than 825,000 gifts will go straight into the garbage bin in Australia this Christmas because their recipients just hated them.

With Australia's economy still battling to shake off the effects of the global financial crisis, more than a third of Australians had planned to spend less on Christmas gifts this year, compared with the previous year, according to a recent survey by the Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank.

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