Consumer Reports Poll Reveals What Shoppers Loathe About The Holiday Season

Dec 20, 2013, 06:00 ET from Consumer Reports

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Crowds, Bad Traffic, Parking Lot Aggression top list of Holiday Dreads; 22 Percent of those who got Bad Presents Re-gifted them

YONKERS, N.Y., Dec. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For all the cheer and jolliness of the holiday season, there are some aspects of it that drive shoppers nuts. A new Consumer Reports poll revealed some of the biggest holiday dreads, which included crowds and long lines, bad traffic, aggressive parking lot driving, and even gift shopping itself.

According the Consumer Reports poll, the biggest holiday dreads are:

  • Crowds and long lines (61 percent)
  • Bad traffic (54 percent)
  • Aggressive or thoughtless driving in store parking lots (48 percent)
  • Gaining weight (34 percent)
  • Getting into debt (31 percent)
  • Fake holiday cheer (30 percent)
  • Gift Shopping (18 percent)
  • Seasonal movies playing repeatedly on TV (15 percent)
  • Receiving gifts from people you didn't anticipate (13 percent)
  • Seasonal music (13 percent)
  • Disappointing gifts  (12 percent)

Additional results from the Consumer Reports poll can be found at

The Consumer Reports poll also revealed that one in five respondents received a disappointing gift last holiday season. When asked what they did with those bad gifts, the results were as follows:

  • Found some way to use them (26 percent)
  • Re-gifted them (22 percent)
  • Donated them (21 percent)
  • Stored them in the basement or somewhere else out of view (19 percent)
  • Returned/exchanged them for something else 15 percent)
  • Threw them out (8 percent)
  • Posted a picture of them online/social media (2 percent)
  • Returned them to the gift-giver (1 percent)

When asked what their go-to gift was for someone they didn't know particularly well or someone that they hadn't planned to give a gift originally, 29 percent said gift cards. Other popular unplanned go-to gifts include: wine/other alcohol (16 percent), chocolates/dessert/candy (15 percent), and home accessories (11 percent).

Consumer Reports Poll Methodology
The Consumer Reports National Research Center designed a survey to explore general sentiment and shopping behaviors for the upcoming 2013 winter holiday season. In December 2013, GfK Custom Research administered the survey online to a nationally representative sample of over 1,500 randomly selected adult U.S. residents who said they plan to shop for the holidays. The data were statistically weighted so that respondents in the survey were demographically and geographically representative of the U.S. population. The margin of error for the full sample is +/- 2.5% points at the 95% confidence level. Fifty-four percent of the sample was female, and the median age was 47 years old.

Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually.  Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications.  Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

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SOURCE Consumer Reports