Gift Returns Survey: Most Have Returned or Exchanged Items

After the holiday season, thousands of Americans head back to the mall to return the gifts they received that just weren’t quite right. How many Americans think it’s really worth it to brave the exchange line, and why do they decide to do so?


Exchanging Gifts

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 92% of respondents said they have returned or exchanged an item to a retail store. 42% of respondents said they have returned an item that they bought online, and 53% of respondents said they have exchanged a gift that someone bought for them. Gift returns were very slightly more common among women, and were less common among respondents age 18-24.

Reasons for Returns

The most common reason for gift returns or other exchanges was simply that the item didn’t fit, according to 68% of respondents. 45% said they’ve returned an item because it just wasn’t what they wanted, 37% said the quality of the item was poor, 25% said they already owned a similar item, and 15% said they have experienced buyer’s remorse.

Hassle of Exchanging

51% of respondents agreed that exchanging or returning items is always a hassle. 11% said that returning gifts to the actual store is more of a hassle, but another 11% argued that returning gifts bought online is the bigger inconvenience. 27% said that they don’t feel that returning gifts is ever really a hassle.

Though most people have exchanged or returned items, it seems they’d prefer to stay away from the customer service counter at the mall if at all possible. The widget below shows the results of the survey in full. Be sure to click “open full report” for full details.

Photo Credit: NO Refunds Beyond This Point! from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on December 27 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.