FedEx Blog

FedEx Blog

Another Fruitcake? Take a Break from Holiday Returns Stress

December 26, 2012

It has happened to all of us.  The gift you never saw coming and would never use.  Mine was a Thighmaster (Yes. THAT Thighmaster!)   A well intentioned aunt (to remain anonymous) wrapped and shipped what she thought was the perfect holiday gift for yours truly.  I unwrapped the paper, opened the box and wow, if that was what she thought was the right gift for me, perhaps I should lay off the Christmas cookies!  She meant well, but one look and I knew this gift was one that would never leave the box (along with the roasting pan my grandmother gave my cooking “challenged” wife the year before). So I did what a lot of us now do – I returned that unwanted item. 

According to a holiday survey recently commissioned by FedEx, more than a third of Americans will return gifts after the holidays.  And thankfully, there won’t be too many hurt feelings.  A surprising 81 percent of people say they wouldn’t be offended if a friend or family member returns a gift they gave for a holiday or special occasion. A few more interesting stats:

  • Planning ahead – more than two-fifths of online shoppers (43 percent) report being more likely to purchase something online when free return shipping is available
  • Sorry, Honey – The worst gift-givers are a spouse/partner (23 percent), followed closely by mom (20 percent)*
  • ”Oh, you shouldn’t have!” – The vast majority of those surveyed (73 percent) would rather receive a gift without much thought such as cash or gift cards that they can use to pick a gift they’ll like, than a thoughtful gift they may not like and will need to return.

Going back to the mall?  Not high on my list of favorite things to do and probably not yours either.  To take the headache out of the returns process, consumers are increasingly choosing to ship gifts back.  57 percent of returners plan to ship unwanted gifts back to the retailer instead of waiting in lines and dealing with crowds at the store. And many will do so by stopping by their neighborhood FedEx Office. With more than 1,800 locations, FedEx Office serves as a convenient resource to drop-off all the holiday returns in one, quick stop. Specially-trained team members can help customers properly pack up unwanted gifts to ensure each arrives expertly packaged, and prices for FedEx Ground delivery are up to 10 percent less than the competition.

To learn more about the FedEx holiday survey, visit The holidays are stressful – returns shouldn’t be.


*Based on the frequency respondents return gifts given by these people


    MayLyn says:

    FedEx sure knows what to do during the Holiday returning seaseon. That is what I like and so appreciated to know all of this information! Thank you to Brain Philips for posting!

    Rose says:

    I’d rather keep the unwanted gift(though it’s unwanted)! It might hurt the gift giver’s feeling. Let me keep it as a memorabilia.. (“,)

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