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1115_lead_web.jpgRISMEDIA, Nov. 15, 2008-Soap on a rope, a dusting mitt, an electric nail file and a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire mug – these are some of the worst gifts ever as listed by respondents to a recent Webgiftr survey conducted online by Harris Interactive. The survey, commissioned by recently launched social website and Facebook application Webgiftr, also showed that a third of Americans buy 21 or more gifts in total each year.

They can’t all be good, right?

The survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults showed the overwhelming majority of respondents (over 8 out of 10) received a gift they did not want, and further, that 22% of respondents said they usually donate or throw away/recycle an unwanted gift. Among those who usually “re-gift,” the survey showed that women are more likely to do so than men (18% vs. 11%, respectively).

Gift giving is a big annual expense. More than half of those who buy gifts for friends or family spend more than $500 a year on gifts. And, of those who buy gifts for friends or family, sixty five percent buy gifts online.

“Gift giving isn’t easy and for many people, it’s become a chore like taking out the trash or paying the bills,” said Jon Siegal, creator of Webgiftr. “Webgiftr is all about finding out what people really want and helping them through the entire giving process, from reminders to gift selection to purchase and delivery.”

Women are the most generous. When asked how many gifts they buy each year, nearly four times as many women reported buying more than 50 gifts per year as men. Dads top the list of hardest loved one to shop for (14%) and are closely followed by mom at 13%.

Webgiftr allows consumers to exchange ideas and preferences for desired gifts by giving them the tools to identify specific products, retailers, interests and even preferred restaurants to potential gift buyers. Unlike traditional gift registry and social networks that focus on just part of the gifting process, Webgiftr does everything from reminding users of important gifting events, to facilitating event planning and collaborative gift buying, and even making reservations at a favorite restaurant.

The key findings of the survey include:

– 42% of U.S. adults would like to be asked what they want for a gift
– 84% have received a gift they do not want/like
– 22% usually donate or throw away/recycle a gift they did not want
– Women are more likely to re-gift than men (18% vs. 11%, respectively)
– 65% of those who buy gifts for friends or family purchase gifts online; 25% of these buy at least a quarter of all gifts online
– 1/3 of Americans buy 21 or more gifts each year, 7% buy 51 or more
– Women are almost 4 times more likely than men to buy more than 50 gifts a year (3% vs. 11%)
– 51% of Americans spend more than $500 each year on gifts; 27% spend more than $1,000, 13% spend more than $1,500

Harris Interactive fielded the study on behalf of Webgiftr from September 16-18, 2008 via its QuickQuery online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,016 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older. Data were weighted using propensity score weighting to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. Data for questions related to online use or behaviors were weighted specifically to the respective “online” populations. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.

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