Finance Consumer The rise of regifting and buyer’s remorse: Australia’s best and worst sales season buys

The rise of regifting and buyer’s remorse: Australia’s best and worst sales season buys

Bargain hunters are out in force this week, but a discount tag doesn't mean that an item is good value. Photo: AAP
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Research has revealed the items most likely to be regifted this holiday season, as well as the presents Australians are happiest to receive – or buy for themselves in the post-Christmas sales.

Anything to do with exercise or health gets a bad reputation, becoming a hot potato that is passed from person to person.

Meanwhile, according to the survey, many Australians are hoping to unwrap experience-based presents or technology. These are also the items consumers are least likely to regret buying in the holiday sales season.

It is a minefield of discounts and per cents off in shopping malls and websites across the country. So what’s the best way to navigate the plethora of so-called bargains, avoid buyer’s remorse and being regifted?

The rise of regifting

The concept of “regifting” – where poorly chosen or unwanted gifts are passed onto another, sometimes unsuspecting, recipient – has become an entrenched part of the holiday season.

Nearly a quarter of Australians (23 per cent) regift, according to Sydney-based research firm McCrindle.

This means that an estimated 4.7 million “recirculated gifts” were handed out over Christmas.

McCrindle found when it comes to gifts, Australians valued experiences over “just more things”.

For the past three years, experiences and technology have dominated the top three “most hoped for” Christmas gifts.

It’s these items that represent the best overall value for money during the post-Christmas sales, according to the Dodo Bang for Buck Survey, which polled more than 1000 Australians to find the most worthwhile products and services.

So if you’re planning to splurge this sales season you’d be wise to walk right past the racks of cut-price designer clothes – more than a quarter of those surveyed said splashing out on expensive fashion items was not worth it.

Questionable health supplements, and exercise equipment likely to end up gathering dust also made the list of bad buys, with a third of respondents labelling health and fitness products a “waste of money”.

Instead, shoppers should consider spending those hard-earned dollars on experiences and outings – like an overseas holiday, or concert tickets. One in four respondents said they can’t go without event-based experiences, such as nights out with friends, going to the theatre, heading to a sporting match or eating out at a restaurant.

Tips for avoiding buyer’s remorse

  • Read product reviews before making a purchase
  • Research online to try to find a better deal
  • Set yourself a cash allowance

Four out of five Australians have bought something they considered to be a waste of money, Dodo found, and three in five have bought something they haven’t used in the past year.

As much as $2.4 billion was spent on Boxing Day in Australia last year. And while post-Christmas price drops can be tempting, it pays not to get caught up in the shopping madness.

So what’s the key to skipping buyer’s remorse and making smart spending decisions instead?

Just because something has a discount sign attached to it, that doesn’t mean it’s a good deal, Dodo general manager Andrew Wynne said.

“Bargain hunters can be smarter with how they spend their money these holidays by only purchasing items they will really value,” he said.

“By only thinking about how much money you are saving, you can easily forget to consider how much you are actually spending.”

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