Worst Christmas Gift Ideas: What Presents Are Returned After The Holidays?

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A woman carries shopping bags at South Park mall in Charlotte
As shoppers scramble to find last minute gifts, many consumers have rushed to stores to return items that they already find too big, too small, the wrong color or the wrong gift. Here are the five worst Christmas gift ideas and the most often returned items: clothing, home items, beauty products, electronics, and jewelry or watches top the list.

As shoppers scramble to find last minute gifts, many consumers have rushed to stores to return items that they already find too big, too small, the wrong color or the wrong gift.

CNN Money reports that shoppers will return more than $46.28 billion this year, a record amount for holiday returns according to the National Retail Federation.

Similarly, a survey taken by Western Union taken last year found that 75 percent of Americans claimed to have lied at least once about liking a gift that they really did not like.

Faced with the predicament of a return-heavy culture, what are shoppers supposed to buy their friends, family and co-workers?

MSN Money took a closer look at two surveys taken by Pr-inside.com and MarketTools. The two polls found similar patterns in what gift receivers like and hate.

Here are the five worst Christmas gift ideas and the most often returned items.

1. Clothing

Shy away from clothing purchases this year. It is nearly impossible to buy clothing for another person. What color should you buy? What size? What style? What brand? 74 percent of respondents in a survey taken by Pr-inside.com said they returned clothing and 62 percent returned clothing and shoes in a survey conducted by MarketTools.

2. Home items, toys, games and hobbies

Gift receivers tend not to like presents that are not exactly what they want. Home items, toys, games and hobbies are usually difficult to buy if they are not quite right. Eleven percent of respondents told Pr-inside.com they would return items purchased for their home. Sixteen percent in the MarketTools survey said they returned toys, games and hobbies and 13 percent said they would return kitchen and bath supplies.

3. Beauty items and perfumes

What do you buy for a girl who has everything? Apparently not beauty items or perfumes. Eight percent of respondents said beauty items and perfumes would be returned in the Pr poll while 10 percent concurred in the MarketTools survey.

4. Consumer electronics

Although consumer electronics are usually a popular gift for Christmas, 5 percent said they would return electronics in the Pr survey, while 14 percent said they would in the MarketTools poll.

5. Jewelry and watches

While close friends and family members may exchange jewelry and watches, it might not be the best gift idea. Two percent said they would return jewelry and watches in the Pr poll and 10 percent said they would in the MarketTools survey.  

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