Poll: A Third of NJ Residents Are Regifters
Economy not cited as a major reason for the practice.
Jerry and Elaine gave it a name in the '90s, and the practice is still going strong.
More than one-third of New Jersey residents admit to "regifting" in the latest Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) PublicMind Poll.
"The popularity of regifting is driven by many things for different people," said Burçak Ertimur, a professor of marketing at FDU's Silberman College of Business. "For some, it's thrift in difficult economic times, or it's a way to get around annoyingly high expectations about gift-giving. It's also awareness of, or guilt over, how much stuff goes into the landfill. But the main reason might be just the sheer volume of stuff we have."
Of those polled by FDU, which has campuses in Florham Park and Teaneck, 38 percent said they regift. But among those who admit to regifting, the majority (72 percent) said they do so just "once in a while." One in five admits to doing it "sometimes." Just a handful (8 percent) of the regifters say they do it regularly.
The majority of regifters (60 percent) said they do it primarily because the gift is better suited for someone else. Relatives (23 percent) and friends (33 percent) are the most common targets for regifts, followed by co-workers (13 percent) and then someone in the community like a child's teacher, the mail carrier or the mechanic (19 percent), according to the poll.
Twenty-two percent of those who regift said they did so to get rid of unwanted gifts. The desire to save time (5 percent), money (7 percent) or storage space (5 percent) are at the bottom of the list. Household income was not found to be correlated to admitted regifting.
"We were surprised that economic concerns do not play a bigger role in regifting," said Ertimur.
Only 10 percent of New Jerseyans said in the poll that they plan to regift this holiday season and, of those who are planning to regift, about half expect to regift items for the holidays, while half say they'll regift after the holidays.
"Regifting after the holidays just makes sense, because you may receive gifts that might better fit with someone else's tastes and that you don't really need," Ertimur said.
Eighty-eight percent of admitted regifters expressed confidence that they have not been caught.
But 53 percent of those polled said they think they've received gifted items. Just 29 percent said they think they've never been the targets of regifts. Another 18 percent weren't sure.
Nearly two out of five (38 percent) Garden Staters said they dislike the practice of regifting.
Among the survey's other findings: younger folks (18-29 years old) were more likely to admit regifting than any other age group. Forty-seven percent of 18-29-year-olds said they regift, compared with 38 percent in the 30-44 age bracket and 37 percent in the 45-59 age bracket.
The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of 601 adults statewide was conducted by telephone from Nov. 15, through Nov. 21, 2010, and including those who regift and those who do not, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Regifters numbered 227, and for that subgroup the margin of error is plus or minus 6.5 points.