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Black Friday shoppers regifting rather than returning, study suggests


Shoppers are opting to regift unwanted Black Friday purchases this Christmas rather than attempting to return to a retailer, according to new research from Novuna Consumer Finance.

The study found unwanted Black Friday deals worth £707m will be regifted this month, as people prefer to wrap their buyer’s remorse up in a bow rather than attempt to return unwanted items to a retailer.

A third of shoppers regret at least one of their Black Friday purchases. Men are twice as likely as women to have buyer’s remorse, 43% vs 20%, and half of 18- to 34-year-olds admit there’s at least one thing they wish they hadn’t bought. Clothing (16%), shoes (13%) and computer tech (12%) were the biggest unwanted items, with a quarter (26%) of shoppers saying their partner’s annoyance at the purchase was the main reason for their regret.

Furthermore, the research highlighted that one in five people have failed to return something they wanted to in the past year, costing each of those people an average of £133 per year. They cited complicated returns policies (26%), missed deadlines (26%), and even extra difficulty returning items bought on finance (13%).

Novuna Consumer Finance said it was no wonder so many more Black Friday shoppers are opting to regift unwanted purchases (30%) than to attempt to return to a retailer (18%). For each person doing so, that’s an average of £195 of Black Friday fails that will end up under someone else’s tree this year, a chunk of the £266 average spent on Christmas presents this year.

“At a time when finances are being stretched to the limit, it’s good to see that many people have found a way to make the Black Friday sales work for them, albeit inadvertently in many instances through regifting unwanted items,” said Brian Flesk, head of retail at Novuna Consumer Finance.

“As we reflect on this year’s Black Friday sales, and the remainder of what is the busiest shopping period of the year still to come, I would urge shoppers to think twice before making unplanned purchases, always checking the returns policy to be assured they can expect a good level of after sales service.”

Londoners have the most Black Friday regret, with half (49%) of sale shoppers wishing they hadn’t bought what they had, followed by people living in Scotland (44%). The Northern Irish and North Westerners were the least regretful Black Friday shoppers, with only 16% and 22% respectively having doubts about what they’d bought.

Novuna also reminded consumers to check the returns policy before clicking ‘buy’, and to keep an eye on return deadlines during the busiest month of the year for retailers.

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