eBay Reveals Psychology of Gifting Survey Results; Emotional Gifters Top List

Majority Put Meaning Behind Gifting This Season and Find More Joy Than Stress in Holiday Shopping

SAN JOSE, Calif.--()--A new national survey on the psychology of gifting, commissioned by eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace and a leader in mobile shopping, reveals that the majority of American women identify with one of four types of holiday gifters: Emotional, Practical, Convenience or Last Minute. Of the archetypes, more women consider themselves to be Emotional Gifters, whose shopping behaviors focus on planning, personalization and finding unique, thoughtful gifts for everyone on their list.

“Forty-two percent of women identify as Emotional Gifters, but the majority, despite their shopping tendencies, put meaning into their gifting process,” says Lisa Cavanaugh, USC professor and expert in consumer psychology. “Seventy-seven percent give unique, one-of-a-kind gifts rather than the season’s must-haves and 71 percent think it’s important to personalize the gifting experience by including a hand-written card.”

Great gifts aren’t defined solely by what’s in the box – it’s the personalization that counts. About three-quarters of women think it’s crucial to exchange gifts in person (76 percent) or to personally wrap each present (77 percent). And, despite the extra effort, 60 percent of women say holiday shopping brings more joy than stress.

“That number surprised me, especially since so many women do the lion’s share of holiday shopping,” says Cavanaugh. “More than 80 percent of married women are responsible for 75 to 100 percent of their household’s holiday shopping. The prevalence of happy holiday shoppers may be due to the increased number of possible gift options and ease of shopping online.”

Major holiday gifter profiles:

  • The Emotional Gifter: Forty-two percent of women identify with this profile and buy unique, thoughtful gifts for each person on their list to show they really understand that person, plan ahead, wrap their own presents and take the time to hand-write a card.
  • The Practical Gifter: Nearly a quarter, 21 percent, of women consider themselves to be practical gifters, often giving gift cards or cash, and prefer to allow the recipient to make the decision about what’s best to buy.
  • The Convenience Gifter: Sixteen percent of women identify with this profile, approaching holiday shopping with maximum efficiency, getting shopping done at one store or on one website. These women feel holiday shopping is something that needs to get done, rather than a joyful experience.
  • The Last Minute Gifter: Thirteen percent of women consider themselves to be last minute gifters, typically buying gifts close to the holidays. They don’t often plan ahead and hurry through the mall at the last minute.

eBay is helping Emotional Gifters – those who especially love to give – this season through the “Love to Give” campaign (http://lovetogive.ebay.com). Narrated by Samantha Bee, comedian and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” correspondent, the campaign celebrates the “unwrap attack” – the dramatic emotional response elicited from receiving just the right gift, and inspires shoppers to find perfect presents from more than 200 million listings available on the Marketplace.

“I’m a classic Emotional Gifter,” says Samantha Bee. “As a mom of three, I love to give and live for the big emotional reaction I get from family and friends when they tear open my gifts. Whether shopping online or on-the-go with eBay’s mobile apps, eBay has an incredible selection of unique, one-of-kind gifts and the season’s must-haves. It makes being a gift-giver extraordinaire a snap.”

Shoppers are not only seeking great selection, but great value, with nearly all (94 percent) women saying they price compare when shopping for holiday gifts. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) plan to comparison shop using a mobile device this year. With eBay’s mobile apps (http://mobile.ebay.com) smartphones turn into shopping malls, not only enabling people to conveniently shop anywhere, anytime, but also making it easy to compare products and prices.

On average, women have 14 people on their holiday gift list each year; and, with 70 percent of women noting they typically put pressure on themselves to find the perfect gift, eBay is here to help, no matter what type of gifter you are. eBay’s Gift Spot (http://gifts.ebay.com) offers recommendations on gifts that are just right for husbands, wives, kids, family, fashionistas, techies, sports fans and others on your list. For more, visit eBay’s holiday homepage at http://gifts.ebay.com.

About the Survey

The Psychology of Gifting survey was conducted by Kelton Research between November 10 and November 17, 2010 using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. female population ages 18 and older. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

About eBay

Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) connects hundreds of millions of buyers and sellers globally on a daily basis through eBay, the world's largest online marketplace, and PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely, easily and quickly send and receive online payments. We also reach millions through specialized marketplaces such as StubHub, the world's largest ticket marketplace, and eBay Classifieds sites, which together have a presence in more than 1,000 cities around the world. For more information about the company and our global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6533963&lang=en

Contacts

eBay
Amanda Miller, 408-376-5316
amandacmiller@ebay.com
or
Edelman for eBay
Jennifer Jefferys, 212-704-4550
jennifer.jefferys@edelman.com

Psychology of Gifting Survey from eBay. (Graphic: Business Wire)

Psychology of Gifting Survey from eBay. (Graphic: Business Wire)

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Psychology of Gifting

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Contacts

eBay
Amanda Miller, 408-376-5316
amandacmiller@ebay.com
or
Edelman for eBay
Jennifer Jefferys, 212-704-4550
jennifer.jefferys@edelman.com