Nearly a third of consumers plan to return, re-gift, sell or give away Christmas gifts, and a fifth do so to help manage cost-of-living pressures, according to a new survey.

Gifts worth £232million will be returned across the UK, the Post’s survey shows.

Young adults aged 18-34 are the most likely to return gifts, falling to one in 10 for those over 55. The average value per returned gift is £74, with returnees typically giving up two gifts.

The most common gifts given, given, sold or returned are clothing and footwear (21%), followed by non-electric beauty items (18%) and books and stationery (12%).

More than half (54%) said they would not tell the person who gave them their gift that they were returning it, with those over 55 the most likely to remain silent on the subject.

The survey found that the cost-of-living crisis was not the only reason for returns, with 28% saying gifts received were wasteful. Some 32% said they didn’t need a gift they were returning and 40% said it would never be used – people over 55 most likely to return their gifts for these reasons.

More than 40% of returns are sent back to small or independent businesses, the survey also found.

Kristian Latham, Letters and Parcels Manager at the Post Office, said: “We continue to see strong increases in return volumes after the Christmas period as customers trust us to return their unwanted gifts safely – especially important as our research shows that many come back and sell unwanted gifts for much-needed cash.

“Our postmasters and staff are working extremely hard to manage this increase in traffic to keep the process quick and easy.”

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