Friday, December 09, 2016

Do people who give "bad" gifts do it on purpose?

Typically, each US consumer will buy 14 gifts this season.

New research looks into how many of these will cause dissatisfaction--and whether the gift giver gives an inappropriate gift deliberately.

Deborah Y. Cohn, a school of manager associate prof at NYIT, says that people who give bad gifts do it knowingly.

Prior research said bad gifts were mistakes. But Cohn plumbed in-depth interviews and data from message boards, and describes five categories of bad gifts:

--Gifts that threaten the recipient's self-concept (a pregnancy test for a childless daughter-in-law)

--Gifts that benefit the giver (say a big screen TV for the household but given to the wife)

--Gifts meant to offend (I Am With Stupid T-shirt)

--Gifts given out of obligation (grudging, maybe bland or regifted)

--Gifts allowing the giver to out-gift someone else (such as a gift from a grandparent that the parents do not want the child to have)

Cohn also sees an opening for retailers to score in taking back unwanted gifts or finding an easy way for recipients to give them to charity. Stores should also provide gift counselors to help shoppers. Gift counselors? They would have to be psychiatrists!

I almost got my perennially late daughter a "pointed" gift--a watch with all the numbers strewn at the bottom and the caption: "WhatEVER, I am always late anyhow."

Then I thought better of it.

Also, men--most women don't want appliances or power tools. What are you intimating--their motor needs to get revving?

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