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Most unwanted gifts people have received

A poll of 2,000 adults found 63 per cent receive up to seven presents each year which they’ll never use

Lucy Brimble
Wednesday 27 September 2023 08:53 BST
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The most unwanted gifts people receive are diet plans, de-icers, and bad romance novels.

A poll of 2,000 adults found 63 per cent receive up to seven presents each year which they’ll never use - with friends, in-laws and colleagues labelled as the worst present givers.

Ties, cleaning products and movies they’ve already watched were seen as other dull items to be gifted on birthdays, Christmas and beyond.

While 45 per cent don’t welcome clothing of any kind being selected by someone else.

The research was commissioned by personalised book publishers Wonderbly, who enable customers to create their own thoughtful gifts for children and adults.

A spokesperson for the brand said: “Giving and receiving gifts is one of life’s little joys.

“There’s a great deal of emotion in gift giving, the perfect gift can leave someone speechless while the wrong one can cause feelings of disappointment.”

When reacting to an unwanted present, 41 per cent graciously accept it while 18 per cent pretend to be delighted.

However, more than a tenth (11 per cent) show no emotion and simply ‘do nothing’.

Not wanting them to go to waste, 34 per cent donate their disappointing gifts to charity while 15 per cent adopt an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mantra by hiding them in the house.

And while a shameful 16 per cent rewrap and regift to someone else, 13 per cent said they have previously experienced this themselves.

When watching someone open a present they clearly don’t want, 22 per cent are filled with disappointment, while a fifth feel anxious and awkward the receiver is disappointed.

Nonetheless, 45 per cent rate their gift giving skills as ‘pretty good’ with only three per cent admitting they are ‘terrible’.

When it comes to great gifts, money, gift vouchers and something which has been made by their children have been voted as some of the best.

Partners take the crown for the top gift givers followed by children and mums.

When receiving these types of presents, 27 per cent experience pure happiness and exactly a quarter feel grateful.

The study, conducted via, also found 85 per cent prefer something that feels like a lot of thought has gone into it - with 58 per cent agreeing personalised gifts mean more to people.

More than four in 10 (42 per cent) say these types of presents show that an extra level of effort has been made and 24 per cent believes it shows they care.

A spokesperson for Wonderbly said: “Giving gifts a little more thought really goes a long way, and adding a touch of personalisation could mean the world to someone.

“Choosing a present for a friend or loved one can be really rewarding and when you get it right, the gift will be treasured forever.”

Top 20 worst gifts people have received:

(Getty Images)

1. Diet plan

2. Bad romance novels

3. Car manual

4. De-icer

5. Cleaning products

6. A tie

7. New windscreen wipers

8. Soap on a string

9. Hankies

10. Potpourri

11. Joke books

12. Children’s toys

13. New map of Great Britain

14. Movies you’ve already seen

15. Cufflinks

16. Mousepad

17. Sports memorabilia

18. Iron

19. Car maintenance kit

20. Address books

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