Top 5 Worst Reactions to Unwanted Gifts and Historical Gift Shortages

Top historical gift shortages include Cabbage Patch Kids and Tickle Me Elmo 

NEW YORK—December 10, 2014 – 1010data, Inc., a leader in Big Data Discovery and data sharing, today announced results of its Holiday Study that examined national attitudes about holiday giving when it comes to gift availability. The Study of 1,004 U.S. adults discovered that more than half (52%) of Americans have experienced a negative reaction from their significant other after giving an unexpected or different holiday gift because the item they really wanted was not available, out of stock, or too expensive. Respondents most often cited receiving the silent treatment (20%) as a top reaction from loved ones, followed by complaints to friends or family (18%), making the disappointing gift a topic at a social gathering or party (11%), arguing (10%), and most severely, ending the relationship (1%).

America’s Historical Holiday Gift Shortages 

Memories of gift shortages from the past are fresh in the minds of shoppers ages 18-54. Top 5 Memorable Gift Shortages of the last 30 years include:  

  1. 1983's Cabbage Patch Kids - 18% 
  2. 1996's Tickle Me Elmo - 16%
  3. 2013's PlayStation 4 - 13% 
  4. 2006's Nintendo Wii - 11% 
  5. Xbox 360 (10%) and 1998's Furby - 10%



Expectations for Shortages in 2014

This year, nearly 3 in 4 (71%) Americans think stores will run out of items for the 2014 holiday shopping season, with 42% of respondents believing the iPhone 6 will become unavailable.  Second to the iPhone 6 is the iPhone 6 Plus (33%), followed by the Xbox One Console (24%), Samsung Galaxy S5 (18%) and  PlayStation (18%).      

“There is real concern among consumers about not getting the gifts on their shopping list this holiday season, and that’s why we want to ensure our customers and retailers everywhere are prepared,” said Sandy Steier, 1010data CEO. “Our research also shows that the experience of holiday shopping is a memorable one for most people—in some cases going back 30 years. When you consider that degree of association with a brand, you can understand how important it is for businesses to have items in stock and available to meet consumer demand.” 


The study was commissioned by 1010data and fielded by uSamp. uSamp’s online market research panel consists of 12 million highly responsive and diverse panelists worldwide with 12,000 new registrants per day, including mobile Study panelists. They are able to reach niche panelists across any demographic from 90+ countries in North, Central and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific. This study surveyed 1,004 adults ages 18 and older in the US.