Research & Reports

Gumtree calling on corporates to foster more eco-conscious employees this Christmas

Gumtree’s annual Smart Santa research report has revealed the majority (65 per cent) of Australians would be happy to receive a second-hand gift this Christmas, with the nation expected to spend a whopping $9.8 billion on gifts this Christmas.

On this basis, Gumtree is calling on corporates to foster more sustainable practices by encouraging their employees to be more eco-conscious this year.

Christmas disappointment is shown in the gifts given in the office for Kris Kringle (Smart Santa), with many of those ending up in the bin.

Five per cent of Kris Kringle gifts are thrown away within the first week of receipt, whilst others have stated that they tend to bin unwanted gifts if they are not good enough to re-gift (12 per cent) and some say they hang onto the gifts for a bit but then put them in the bin (13 per cent).

As many as 62 per cent of Aussies have said that they experience disappointment when Christmas doesn’t live up to expectations, with many disappointed by the amount of waste – such as food scraps, wrapping paper, presents, etc. – and unused items being thrown out (25 per cent).

Key stats of the report include:

The silly season shopping bill

  • The average Australian who celebrates Christmas spends around $670 on Christmas presents each year, equating to over $9.8 billion.
  • Australians spend almost $22 billion on gifts in the last year, with the peak spending period in the lead up to Christmas.
  • The average person buys around eight Christmas gifts each year, equating to 124 million gifts changing hands at Christmas time.

Christmas expectations

  • Christmas can be a stressful time, and the most stressful part of Christmas is finding the perfect gift for everyone (57 per cent).
  • On average, Australians spend 16.8 hours on shopping and buying gifts each Christmas, with women spending notably longer shopping for gifts each Christmas (21.7 hours), compared with men (11.9 hours).
  • Most Australians (62 per cent) have experienced disappointment when Christmas doesn’t live up to expectations, with many disappointed by the amount of waste and unused items being thrown out (25 per cent).
  • Many of the gifts given at Secret Santa/Kris Kringle end up in the bin, with five per cent throwing away their gift within a week of receipt, others will be binned if they are not good enough to re-gift (12 per cent) and some say they hang onto the gifts for a bit but then put them in the bin (13 per cent).

Sustainable and unique gifting

  • Australians recognise the cost savings associated with buying second-hand. The average person believes they could save almost a third (31 per cent) on the purchase price of presents over the course of the year if they bought used goods rather than brand new. This represents a saving of around $440 per person or $6.7 billion nationwide.
  • Buying second-hand gifts could be one way to reduce the cost of gift giving, but only 36 per cent of Australians admitted to doing so this, and typically only once or twice (16 per cent). However, more than 700,000 Australians say they give second-hand gifts regularly.
  • The occasion where second-hand items are most likely to be given as gifts are work events, such as leaving presents for Secret Santa/Kris Kringle (14 per cent), Christmas (13 per cent) and birthdays (13 per cent).
  • The principle reason for buying second-hand over new would be if they found the perfect gift (50 per cent). Others would be more likely to buy second-hand if the make or model was no longer available (29 per cent) or if the item was still in the original packaging and the recipient couldn’t tell that it was second-hand (27 per cent).
  • Many people are deterred by the perceived stigma attached to giving second-hand gifts, with some assuming that others would think they are cheap (31 per cent), whilst others are put off because it might look second-hand (31 per cent).
  • Most people (65 per cent) believe there are occasions where it is acceptable to receive a second-hand gift. These include Christmas (40 per cent), birthdays (40 per cent) and work events (31 per cent), with one in 10 (11 per cent) believing that it’s acceptable to receive a second-hand item as a gift on Valentine’s Day.
  • Given the choice, Australians say a high-quality or unique second-hand item (62 per cent) beats a lower quality brand new item (14 per cent). On this basis, those that prefer quality second-hand items outnumber those that prefer new by a factor of four to one.