New Consumer Report Highlights Most Wanted Gifts this Holiday Season

According to a new Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll, money is among the most wanted gifts this holiday season.  And to that end, 58% of people plan on giving cash as a gift this year.  Aside from cash, Americans also cited electronics and gift cards as the most desirable gifts to both give and get.  Americans plan to purchase the following for others this holiday season: clothing (68%), electronics (62%), gifts cards (62%), toys (62%) and cash (58%).

"Dropping prices on mature products like TVs and laptops, and some hot new categories like tablet computers and e‑book readers, have helped keep electronics on the top of many gift lists this holiday season," said Paul Reynolds, electronics editor of Consumer Reports.

Other highlights from the first Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll of 2010 include:

Popular Electronics

  • Video games are the most popular electronics item this year with 39% of adults considering giving them as a gift.  And in households with kids under 12, over half (59%) plan to do so.
  • Video game accessories are a hot commodity as well. Eighteen percent consider buying them.  That's not too surprising, taking into account the upcoming – and much-anticipated – Microsoft Kinect and Sony Move motion-sensitive controllers.
  • Video games aren't for everyone. Other popular electronics that people plan on giving this year include MP3 players or iPods (18%), digital cameras (14%), digital photo frames (11%), and GPS devices (10%).  Despite lower prices and new 3D technology, only 8% of people are planning on giving a TV as a gift.
  • Improved, Wi-Fi-enabled e‑book readers and tablet computers are among the newer technologies available to shoppers this holiday season.  E‑book reader manufacturers may see an increase in sales thanks to newer features and lower prices as 10% of Americans plan to give one, up 6 percentage points from last year.  Eight percent of adults are considering giving new technology – iPads and other tablet computers – as a gift.

Gift Cards: A Popular Gift that Goes Unused

  • Gift cards are a hot ticket despite drawbacks.  Many people plan on buying gift cards (62%) and many named them as their most wanted gift (13%).
  • Though recent Federal rules have placed restrictions on onerous fees and ridiculously short expiration dates, the negatives haven't disappeared completely. What's more, as of mid-October, just over a quarter (27%) of those who received a gift card last year have yet to use one of them, often because they did not have time (51%) or they simply forgot about it (41%).
[Source:  2010 Holiday Shopping Poll.  Consumer Reports National Research Center.  3 Nov. 2010.  Web.  12 Nov. 2010.]