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RBC Poll Asks The Ugly Sweater Question: What Do Canadians Do With Gifts They Don't Like?

Cash-based gifts are popular options this year

TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Around this time of year, Canadians may start bracing themselves to receive gifts they don't like, such as the dreaded tacky sweater. If faced with this situation, the majority of Canadians (79 per cent) will smile and thank the gift giver, regift, return the present, or throw it out, according to an RBC pre-holiday shopping poll. One-fifth of respondents (21 per cent) said they rarely face this situation since they make their wish lists known ahead of time.

"We all want to give and receive gifts that will be appreciated and enjoyed, yet we've all been faced with some version of the ugly holiday sweater present," said Anne Koski, head, Business and Prepaid Cards at RBC. "One option to avoid the guesswork and the hassles of holiday shopping is a gift card."

For gift-givers who aren't lucky enough to be provided with gift suggestions, many choose to give a gift card when they want to give choice to the recipient (37 per cent), when they're not sure of what to buy (36 per cent), when they can't decide on an actual gift (28 per cent), or when they run out of time (11 per cent).

Cash-based gifts are set to be a popular option this holiday season with almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of Canadians planning to give gift cards and one-quarter (26 per cent) handing out cash gifts.

These types of gifts may be an easy way to reduce consumer frustrations that are often associated with holiday shopping. While one-in-10 (12 per cent) Canadians surveyed said they love holiday shopping, the majority list multiple reasons on how this time of year annoys them, including the following:
  • 48 per cent of Canadians surveyed say they are frustrated by the mall and long lineups
  • 44 per cent don't know what to buy
  • 33 per cent say they have difficult people to buy for
  • 22 per cent have trouble finding the right item (such as size or colour)
  • 25 per cent feel challenged with managing their holiday budget
  • 13 per cent don't have enough time to shop

RBC Visa Gift Cards make holiday gift-giving easier than ever. Last month, RBC removed most fees on the RBC Visa Gift Card and announced funds on the RBC Visa Gift card will not expire. Available in denominations ranging from $25 to $500, RBC Visa Gift Cards may be purchased at any RBC branch across Canada. More secure than cash, RBC Visa Gift Cards can be used anywhere around the world where Visa cards are accepted, including online, and provide friends and family more options than traditional store gift cards. Learn more about RBC Visa Gift Cards at

About the RBC Poll The survey was conducted online via Ipsos Reid's national I-Say Consumer Panel to 3,375 Canadians. The results are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. Data collection was October 1 to 10, 2012. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±1.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


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