Purolator Inc.

Socks, fruitcakes and oversized sweaters: Canadians surveyed keep unwanted holiday gifts out of guilt

Forty-nine per cent of gift-givers feel indifferent when a friend or loved one returns or exchanges gifts they bought for them

Toronto, ON, Jan. 10, 2013 – You could call it a case of Canadians being stereotypically polite. According to a new survey released today by Purolator Inc., 65 per cent of Canadians surveyed would keep holiday gifts they dislike because they feel guilty about returning presents from friends and loved ones. Seventeen per cent of respondents said they plan to donate gifts they dislike and 10 per cent plan on re-gifting.

While Canadians surveyed may feel guilty about returning presents, almost half of those surveyed (49 per cent) said they feel “indifferent” when a friend or loved one returns or exchanges gifts they have bought for them. However, many of these gift givers may be unaware that their presents were unwanted or undesirable. The survey found 36 per cent of respondents would keep their gift returns and exchanges a secret from the gift giver.

“The idea that gift-givers will feel offended when we return or exchange unwanted holiday gifts is a common perception,” said Ramsey Mansour, Purolator’s Vice President of Marketing. “In reality, for Canadians, exchanges and returns are seen as a generally accepted part of gift giving. The key is to make this process as easy as possible for both the giver and the receiver.”

The good news is that few Canadians felt guilty this past holiday season. According to the survey, there was much joy under Christmas trees and in homes across Canada as 77 per cent of Canadians were “very satisfied” with the gifts they received.

Young adults more likely to return gifts than mature Canadians

Results indicate that respondents aged 18-34 are the most likely to return holiday gifts that they do not like (70 per cent) and respondents aged 55+ are the least likely to return gifts they dislike (55 per cent). Although most likely to return gifts, respondents aged 18-34 are the least likely to tell the person they returned their gift (53 per cent).

Albertans are the most likely to return gifts they don’t like; Quebecers the least likely

When looking at the results by region, Albertans are more likely to return gifts they don’t like (75 per cent), followed by Ontarians (61 per cent), British Columbians (58 per cent) and Quebecers (56 per cent). Quebecers are more likely to keep gifts they don’t like (44 per cent) than Albertans (25 per cent) and Ontarians (39 per cent). Quebecers are also much more likely to feel offended if you return their gift (12 per cent) than Albertans (five per cent).

While many Canadians would keep unwanted presents to avoid a guilty conscience, 60 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they could imagine returning or exchanging a gift if they could. For these Canadians, Purolator offers a variety of shipping options to return or exchange holiday gifts. Visit www.purolator.com to access Purolator E-Ship™ Online or call 1 888 SHIP-123 to schedule a pick-up. Canadians can also visit any Purolator Shipping Centre, Shipping Agent or STAPLES location.

About the survey

From Jan. 2 to Jan. 3, 2013, an online survey was conducted among 1,012 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Purolator

Purolator is Canada’s leading integrated freight and parcel solutions provider. Celebrating over 50 years of delivering Canada, the company continues to expand its reach to more people, more businesses and more places across the country and around the world. Purolator is proud of its Canadian heritage and is positioning itself for future growth and success. As the recipient of the Logistics Quarterly Third-Party Logistics Sustainability Award, Purolator is growing globally in a sustainable manner while contributing to the well-being of the communities where its over 12,000 teammates live, work and play.

Media Contact:

Karen White
Director, Corporate Communications
905 712-1084 ext. 23241



Published: January 10, 2013
Topics: Corporate