The process of giving and receiving doesn’t always go according to plan, especially when trying to keep up with your budget.

One in five cautious parents are likely to return gifts they have bought even before Christmas has arrived because they found a cheaper alternative elsewhere, according to new research.

Some 20 per cent of UK parents return gifts they have purchased before the festive day according to a survey of 2,000 parents from predictive analytics firm Blue Yonder.

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One in three customers return at least one gift a year after Christmas, rising to 40 per cent of millennials and falling to 20 per cent of over-55s.

According to Markus Juhr deBenedetti, chief revenue officer at Blue Yonder, parents are willing to spend more than usual to get their child the most wanted item on their wish list, and retailers should ensure their products are priced competitively to avoid returns.

“Inevitably during the festive period, demand for toys and gifts increases. Prices are driven by parents willing to go above and beyond to get their child the must-have toy for Christmas.

“What parents are willing to pay is the new standard in pricing, but retailers should be prudent to ensure their gifts are competitively priced to avoid the returns canyon,” he said.

According to another national survey conducted by mobile phone retailer e2save, part of the Dixons Carphone Group, over a third of people have had their Christmas Day ruined by a misjudged present.

The survey also revealed the top 10 toys children of the eighties and nineties wanted but never received.

Mr Frosty, the ice-lolly and slush maker popular, came out top with 46 per cent of respondents saying they wanted one but it never arrived. Other gifts missing from under the Christmas tree included the Lego Pirate Ship, Barbie’s Dream House, Furbies and Tamagotchis.

Top List of presents you never got (but wish you had)

1.     Mr Frosty

2.     Lego Pirate Ship

3.     Barbie’s Dream House

4.     Furby

5.     Tamagotchi

6.     Care Bears

7.     Polly Pocket

8.     Fisher Price Roller Skates

9.     Thunder Cats figurines

10.   Speak & Spell

11.   Tracy Island

12.   Boglin

13.   Cabbage Patch Kids

​14. ​Teddy Ruxpin​

 

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