Summer spending to heat up as Canadians head into busy gift giving season

TORONTO, April 19, 2016 /CNW/ - Spring and summer is the second busiest gift-giving time of the year in Canada. Starting with Mother's Day and then Father's Day, the summer months are also the most popular for birthdays and weddings. Consequently, baby showers and anniversaries make things even busier, putting an extra strain on Canadians' wallets this time of year. Starting with Mother's Day on May 8th, Canadians will soon be looking for the perfect gifts for Mom and Dad, aiming to spend an average of $63 each on Mother's and Father's Day this year, according to a recent poll by Ebates.ca.

The poll looked at Canadians' gift giving habits for occasions including birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, housewarmings, Mother's Day and Father's Day. Not including holidays such as Christmas and Hanukkah, it shows that 82 per cent of Canadians buy an average of two gifts per month. Women (86 per cent) are likely to be more generous with the number of gifts they buy while men spend more across all categories by about 25 per cent. When taking into consideration the number of gifts purchased, and average price, Canadians spend about $166 per month on presents.

"Gift giving can actually account for a considerable portion of a consumer's monthly budget," said Sari Friedman, Director of Marketing and resident shopping expert, Ebates.ca. "Our survey shows that Canadians are savvy about value, however, and use online shopping to ensure they are getting the best deal and selection."

Gift Shopping Trends
When it comes to gift giving Canadians tend to be a fairly thoughtful bunch, with more than half (59 per cent) who feel it's important to buy creative, unique presents that express how much they care. But nearly as important is getting bang for their buck; more women (55 per cent) than men (44 per cent) claim they try to find the best possible deal when shopping for a gift. And, according to the survey, nearly half (48 per cent) achieve this by shopping for gifts online. 

The survey also shows that universally, Canadians prefer to give and receive store-bought gifts, with the exception of weddings where cash is king. However, women, perhaps due to children or sentimentalism, were more likely than men to say they preferred homemade gifts, particularly for anniversaries and Mother's Day.

But despite their effort, it seems that Canadians' creativity isn't always on the mark. A third (36 per cent) say they give better gifts than the ones they receive, and online shoppers are particularly likely to believe they give better gifts. Despite this perception, re-gifting is commonplace, with 20 per cent of Canadians admitting they have re-gifted a birthday present, and 14 per cent re-gifted a host/hostess gift. Women are more likely than men to do this across most occasions, though the practice is lowest among Father's Day and Mother's Day gifts.  

Birthdays and Anniversaries
In just a few days, on April 24th, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau will be celebrating her birthday. Like many other Canadian women, chances are that the gift she receives will be the most expensive of the year, as our survey reveals. Birthdays and anniversaries are universally cited as the hardest occasions to shop for, which may be related to why half of the respondents say they spend the most money ($101 on average) equally on each. Store bought gifts are the most popular to give on both occasions, while gift certificates came in second for birthdays, and experience gifts, such as meals or outings, for anniversaries. While women spent more on store bought items, men gave more in cash gifts.

Mother's Day and Father's Day
Perhaps it's because they already have everything they need, but when it comes to gifts for Mother's Day and Father's Day, Canadians generally have a harder time shopping for dads. Women especially are twice as likely as men to say that Father's Day is the hardest occasion to shop for. Although the average gift ($63) is the same for both occasions, the survey found that men spend on average about 30 per cent more on Mother's Day than women ($71 compared to $54). The same doesn't hold true for dads, it seems. After store bought items, the second ranked gifts for moms are experiences such as dining our outings, while for Father's Day gift certificates were ranked second most popular.

Weddings
The summer months are most popular for weddings in Canada and one of the most expensive gift giving times of the year for many Canadians, who spend an average of $146. Men spend an average of $179 compared to $117 for women but interestingly, when it comes to weddings, single people spend more than their married counterparts by 24 per cent, a fact that's likely to be an eye-opener for many. It's also the third most difficult occasion to shop for, according to the survey. Not surprisingly, weddings are the one occasion when cash is the gift most likely to be given and preferred to receive, with one in seven couples saying that they have re-gifted a wedding present.

About the survey The Ebates Canada survey was conducted online in March 2016 with a nationally representative sample of 1000 Canadians. A sample of this size is accurate to within +/-3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About Ebates Inc. The Ebates brand supports a strong community of millions of savvy shoppers around the world. Ebates.com was founded in 1998 and has paid over $300,000,000 in cash to its global members. In 2012, Ebates began international expansion with the launch of Ebates Canada, specifically designed by Canadians for Canadians. Ebates.ca membership is free. To earn cash back, online shoppers log in to Ebates.ca and click through to a partner retail site to complete their purchase. Ebates.ca then tracks the purchase and offers back in cash a percentage of everything bought. Every quarter, Ebates.ca sends members their cash back account balance in the form of a #BigFatCheque or #BigFatPayment through PayPal. Members also have the option to send their cash back to a designated charity.
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SOURCE Ebates Canada

Image with caption: "Ebates Canada (CNW Group/Ebates Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160419_C7434_PHOTO_EN_668310.jpg

For further information: Media inquires contact: Jamie Sanders, 416-929-7740, jsanders@blueskycommunications.com


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