One in Four Indian Homes Receive Gifts They Have No Use For: OLX-IMRB Survey

The trend of thoughtless gifting and re-gifting is on the rise in India

New Delhi, December 21st, 2016: If you find yourself with an assortment of gifts that are of no use to you at the end of this wedding and festive season then you’re not alone. A survey done by OLX and IMRB reveals that the trend of receiving unwanted gifts in India is on the rise. The average incidence rate of receiving an unwanted gift is at 26% in 2016 — up from 16% in 2014 as per the same study. This means that approximately one in four people received an unwanted gift last year.

OLX is India’s #1 online classifieds, and IMRB International is a leading market research and consultancy firm. The findings have been revealed as a part of OLX’s Consumer Research on Used Goods and Selling Trends (CRUST), an annual study that estimates the size of the used goods market in India, and examines key attitudes towards used goods. As an extension of CRUST, OLX and IMRB analysed key trends around the unwanted gifts accumulated in Indian households.

The survey defines unwanted gifts as the ones that the user has failed to use in the last one year. The predominant attitude towards these gifts according to the survey is that of stocking them with almost half the receivers of unwanted gifts resorting to this behaviour.

Indians are also increasingly re-gifting the gifts rejected by them, which OLX likes to call Omnipresent because of their ubiquitous presence. As many as 24% of the surveyed households said that they re-gift their unused presents (up from 20% last year). In addition to this, 14% admitted to throwing their unwanted gifts away, 7% said they sell them, and 5% claimed that they give it away as a part of charity.

Said Amarjit Singh Batra, CEO, OLX India, “As India’s largest marketplace for unused goods we are always keen to explore emerging trends pertaining to unused items lying at home. We became curious to know more about unwanted gifts, and what happens to them, especially since gifting is such an integral part of socialization in India. We discovered that a majority of unwanted gifts are either lying unused at home or are re-gifted. Thought-less gifting and re-gifting have increased in the last one year.”

“Interestingly, the survey also reveals that in the last one year selling of unwanted gifts has more than doubled. This is corroborated by the Ads we have seen on OLX. Unwanted gifts are being sold on OLX by people who want to buy something more personalized either for themselves or for others. There is a growing minority that is rejecting the idea of mindless gifting and re-gifting. At OLX we are making this behavioural change possible by connecting the seller of an unwanted gift to a buyer who may actually have a need for it,” added Batra.

While re-gifting is on the rise, there are image-conscious people who are reluctant to pass on an unwanted gift. According to the report, 31% of the respondents cited reasons such as ‘I’ll be judged’ and ‘Lack of knowledge about the value of gift’ as their primary reasons for not re-gifting.

On the other hand, reselling has doubled in the last one year from 3% to 7% households confirming that rising trend of people selling their unwanted gifts to get money for more personalized gifts.

The Most Unwanted Gifts

Clothing, food items, and kitchen appliances topped the list for the most gifted items that were unwanted.

Most Stocked Unwanted Gifts

Among the unwanted gifts, bed linen, electronics, and personal items were the most stocked.

Number of Unwanted Gifts Per Household:

The report concludes that on an average every Indian household stocks approximately 4 food items, 3 gift vouchers, 3 clothing items, 2 kitchen appliances, and 2 toys as unwanted gifts.

Cities with Highest Incidence of Receiving Unwanted Gifts

With 71% households claiming to have received at least one unwanted gift in the last year, Hyderabad topped the charts when it came to receiving unwanted gifts. Chandigarh stood second with 50%, and Mumbai with 38% of households claiming to have received unwanted gifts.

Cities with Lowest Incidence of Receiving Unwanted Gifts

On the other hand, only 2% of the households in Chennai claimed to have received unwanted gifts followed by 6% in Bhubaneswar and 7% in Chennai.

The Most Re-Gifted Items

The top most items that are re-gifted by Indian households are clothes which has risen from 5% in 2014–15 to 33% in 2015–16. Clothes are followed by gift vouchers in which 1 in 3 are re-gifted. Overall, the most re-gifted categories are electronics and show pieces, which households have received at least 2 of each in the last year.

OLX- IMRB CRUST Methodology

CRUST included a qualitative research followed by a quantitative study across 16 cities in the country covering 3 town classes –Metros, Tier 1, and Tier 2. The towns covered included, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Patna, Guwahati, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Indore, Kochi, Bhubaneswar and Pune. The product coverage in the sample study included, Kitchen Appliances, Clothing, Books, Mobile Phones/Smart Phones, Home Appliances, Watches, Baby & Children Products, Bicycles/2 wheelers, Furniture, Musical Instruments, Camera, Sporting Goods, Computers/Laptops, and Cars/Car Accessories.

A random sampling methodology was used to identify the 5800 sample across these 16 cities, using the electoral rolls as a sample selection frame. From the electoral rolls, appropriate number of addresses, representing the starting points were identified, ensuring randomness within a sample town, as well as geographic dispersion. The sample was spread across both Males / Females, in the age group of 18–60 years, belonging to SEC A/B/C households.

Pen & Paper interviews were conducted among the selected respondents. IMRB International conducted the study across 16 cities across the four regions of the country. The research surveyed about 5314 consumers, chosen randomly across the age group of 19–60 years.

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