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Study: WV’s regifting economy is worth $63M

Twenty-nine percent of West Virginians admit to re-gifting or selling unwanted presents.

Though 1-in-3 believe it is morally wrong to sell or re-gift.

The anticipation of Christmas and the excitement of unwrapping presents never grows old. But, as adults, the charm of the holiday sometimes brings a few less-than-perfect gifts — sure, sometimes Grandma’s itchy sweater or that unsolicited diet book makes us scratch our heads, but it’s all part of the holiday fun.
It’s no shock then that the market for passing on these gifts has seen a boom. Many opt to regift or sell unwanted items, sparking a fascinating trend in the gifting economy. recently carried out a study to determine the national overall and local size of each state’s regifting economy during the festive period. They found that nationally, this festive exchange is worth $17 billion with 43% percent of respondents admitting to having sold or regifted a present they had received, at an average value of $123.

When analyzed on a state level, it was found that California is the king of the gift swap with a $2 billion market, whereas Delaware’s was the smallest at $17 million.

However, when Dodo Burd weighed each state by population, it found that it was Rhode Islanders who are the biggest re-gifters, where 83% admit to doing this.

West Virginia’s re-gifting economy is sizeable too — 29% of West Virginians admit to selling on or gifting unwanted presents, making the size of it’s re-gifting economy a $63,963,654.

Top 5 regifting states

  1. Rhode Island: 83%
  2. Nevada: 59%
  3. New York: 56%
  4. Arizona: 54%
  5. Utah: 53%

Dodo Burd decided to delve a bit deeper into people’s regifting habits and uncovered some interesting insights:

  • Over two-thirds (71%) say they have received a gift that they knew immediately they would never use or wear. Whether they kept it or cleverly circulated it is a holiday mystery.
  • 38% of respondents believe it is morally wrong to sell or re-gift a present they have received. Although, out of the 62% who have sold or regifted a present, almost half (47%) have felt regret in having done so.
  • Turns out, selling those not-so-perfect presents isn’t just for laughs; nearly half do it to jingle some extra coins into their pockets.
  • But be warned, nearly half of these secret Santas have been caught. And, in a shameless holiday faux pas — 44% have accidentally regifted to the original giver.
  • Almost half of merry survey participants see flipping gifts as a savvy side hustle. It’s all about staying financially frosty over the holidays, with 49% saying it’s their secret to not breaking the bank.
  • 50% of survey participants acknowledge purchasing gifts for others while specifically hoping that these items would eventually be given back to them.

“It’s clear that regifting has become a significant part of our holiday traditions. While not every present can find its forever home the first time around, the spirit of giving continues in the form of regifting, which supports both our emotional and economic well-being during the holiday season” said Grace Healy from