Well, well – who’s sitting on all the gift vouchers then? Apparently there could be as much as £576m worth of unused vouchers gathering dust in British homes. So why aren’t we spending them?
Our very own Money Researcher Oli Smith asked whether gift vouchers were a ‘coward’s way out’ a couple of weeks back. He’d found that many vouchers went unspent, often expiring while they languished amongst other forgotten pieces of paper.
Well, it looks like he was right, with the latest research by website Groupola.com finding that most Brits have unspent vouchers. Of the 1,621 adults asked, almost three quarters said they had some at home. Deary me.
When asked how much those vouchers were worth, the average came to £20. Groupola did a little bit of maths and found that if you apply these results to the approximate 40 million adults in the UK, there could be £576m worth of unused vouchers. For the love of all nice things – go buy some books, CDs, clothes, or whatever else before the vouchers expire!
But the statistics get worse – half of those with unused vouchers said they probably wouldn’t use them, meaning they’ll all end up in the bin. When pushed further 66% said they just ‘wouldn’t get round to it’ and 13% that they’d often forgotten about them.
Yet, commenters on Which? Convo are quite taken with gift vouchers. G L Attaway was resolute that they weren’t a coward’s way out, saying vouchers were “an ideal gift for the ‘one who has everything'”. And Cathi said she loves getting a gift voucher, especially for online stores where she can “choose to spend [the voucher] as and when on what I like”.
This is reflected by 53% of Groupola’s respondents saying they often buy gift vouchers for friends and family, even though 66% said they personally prefer actual presents.
So if we’re buying them for others, why aren’t we spending them ourselves?