'Worst' holiday gift survey suggests people don’t like fruitcake, weight-loss items or Christmas ties

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Some holiday gifts are more appreciated than others.

A new consumer survey from ContextLogic Inc. — the parent company that operates the e-commerce platform Wish — has found that gift givers and recipients have strong feelings about holiday presents.

The San Francisco-based online marketplace commissioned Perspectus Global, an independent market research firm, to survey consumers age 18 and up in October 2022.

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The survey included responses from 2,070 adults in the U.S., 2,021 adults in the U.K., 1,029 adults in Spain and 1,023 adults in Germany.

The 6,143 respondents shared their thoughts and experiences about the "bad gifts" they’ve given and received during the holidays.

Many holiday consumers say they’ve given or received a “bad” holiday gift. Defective discount items were at the top of the “worst” list.  (iStock / iStock)

Opinions on what constituted a bad gift varied among survey respondents, Wish said — but people identified 10 items as "the worst gift ideas."

More than a quarter of respondents (28%) said defective discount items were the worst holiday gift.

Fruitcake was a close second, with 23% of respondents dubbing the festive dessert a poor gift. 

One in 10 respondents said they weren’t a fan of cheap chocolates either.

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Gifts related to weight were also sore subjects, with survey respondents not liking weight-loss items, scales and gym memberships.

Other gifts that were deemed the worst include out-of-style clothing, Christmas-themed ties, knock-off luxury goods and political items.

Many consumers believe weight-loss items, scales and gym memberships constitute bad holiday gifts. (BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Check out this list. 

These items make the ‘worst’ gifts ideas, say consumers

Defective items bought at discount (28%)

Fruitcake (23%)

Weight loss items (21%)

Political gifts (20%)

Out-of-style clothing (16%)

Cheap chocolates (13%)

Christmas ties (13%)

Weight scale (12%)

Knockoff luxury items (10%)

Gym membership (10%)

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More than one-third of the survey’s respondents said they’ve found last-minute purchasing tends to result in bad gifts.

"That moment when you open a gift is some of the most nerve-wracking seconds of the holidays," said Tarun Jain, Wish’s chief product officer and chief customer officer, in a statement.

Seven in 10 Americans (72%) said they’ve felt disappointed or confused by a “bad” holiday gift.

"Will you love it? Will you hate it? What were they thinking? Is your face giving away how awful it is?" Jain continued.

In the U.S., seven in 10 Americans (72%) said they’ve felt disappointed or confused by a "bad" holiday gift.

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Of those who’ve felt negatively about a holiday gift, four in 10 Americans said they thought the gifts they received were insulting.

Out-of-style clothing was found to be the fifth-worst holiday gift, according to a new consumer survey from Wish. (iStock / iStock)

Nearly 25% of these disappointed respondents admitted that the gift led to an argument.

Also interesting: Most Americans believe they’ve "mastered the art of the fake smile," according to Wish.

Almost 80% of the survey’s American respondents said they think they’re good at faking enthusiasm when they open a bad gift.

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While many Americans feign appreciation when they receive a "bad gift," about 20% reportedly choose to regift the item they receive instead of returning it.

On an international level, the holiday gift survey found that 23% of U.K. consumers said they’ve received bad gifts from in-laws, 45% of Spanish consumers said they’ve been shocked at how much they’ve hated a present — and 35% of German parents said they think their children have been ungrateful after receiving a gift.

One in five Americans reportedly regift a bad holiday present instead of returning it. (istock / iStock)

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Globally, more than a third of the survey’s respondents said they feel obligated to wear or display a "bad gift," so they don’t offend the gift giver.

About 75% of consumers believe they haven’t given someone an unsatisfactory gift.

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"Giving and receiving gifts should be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved," Jain said in a statement.

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