Black Friday sales are a great way to get everything on your Christmas list for less. Unfortunately, they are also a brilliant way to be tempted to buy a gift that turns out to be a total disaster. A study has found that re-gifting is rife in the UK - with 27% of people admitting to it - and hurried sale purchases are particularly likely to miss the mark.
The study, by Aviva, found that the most likely items to be either sold or given away to someone else were mobile phones - 29% of people have re-gifted them. These were followed by hair straighteners and consoles.
The top ten
Mobile phone 29%
Hair straighteners 27%
Smoothie maker 24%
Food processor 21%
Coffee machine 20%
Electric razor 19%
These things aren't cheap either, and it means that people are often splashing out hundreds of pounds for a present that ends up being ditched.
If an item is sold on, then there's every chance the seller will receive a small fraction of what you paid for it - even if you bought it on Black Friday. It means that while you're busy patting yourself on the back for getting a gadget worth £50 for just £30, your loved one has sold it on for £20. That's not a good deal by anyone's standards.
Get it right
If you are going to avoid your gifts ending up on eBay or in the loft, you need to take one of three approaches - and get started before Black Friday.
1) Ask people what they want. Some people think this isn't in the spirit of Christmas, but it's definitely better than buying them an Xbox they don't want.
2) Do some subtle digging. You could bring things up in conversation, show them a picture and ask what they think of it, or ask their nearest and dearest for tips. That way you keep the 'magic' without wasting cash - assuming nobody gets the wrong end of the stick.
3) Hang onto receipts. If you're not willing to ask first, you need to be prepared for the fact you may get it wrong. This means always ensuring you get a receipt - ideally a gift receipt. It will mean your loved ones will be able to tell what you paid for an item - but it also means they may be able to get the amount you paid back in full (although no store has to offer a refund or replacement if there's nothing wrong with an item. The vast majority will do so, but only out of goodwill).