Avoid Christmas present fails

To avoid getting this reaction from a gift you gave, Christopher Zinn suggests choosing quality over quantity this Christmas. Photo / Thinkstock
To avoid getting this reaction from a gift you gave, Christopher Zinn suggests choosing quality over quantity this Christmas. Photo / Thinkstock

Christmas is too often leading to unwanted presents, re-gifting and refunding, says consumer advocacy group, Choice.

'The people's watchdog' commissioned a survey of more than 1500 Australians this month which discovered that 21 per cent had been given a present in the past year where the quality or performance didn't live up to expectations.

Despite this, 31 per cent said they would never return an unwanted gift, sending them instead to the scrapheap or to storage.

"A lot of people spend a lot of money buying presents for people that they don't actually want or need," Choice director of campaigns Christopher Zinn said.

Among the gifts known to annoy are popcorn makers, electric peppercorn mills and novelty items, such as Christmas-themed soap, he said.

These unwanted items can then get caught up in a "pass the parcel of worthless things", with an average of 20 per cent of Australians reporting they had re-gifted.

To prevent bad presents from being returned to you, Mr Zinn suggested pooling money to purchase quality rather than quantity and ensuring that stores have reasonable return or refund policies.

"There are also a lot of people that might gift digital radios or cameras ... but make sure you do your research first because there can be a big difference between the products."

Choice recently unveiled a Christmas Tree of Junk in Martin Place in Sydney to remind people about the amount of unwanted gifts passed out each Christmas.

- AAP

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