Originally created 12/14/01

See how you stack up as a shopper



Twenty-two percent of men and 9 percent of women leave holiday gift-buying until the last minute.

- Bernice Kanner

With a big holiday shopping weekend looming, it's nice to know what your gift-buying competition is thinking.

Personally, I have no idea, but Bernice Kanner does.

Ms. Kanner is the author of Are You Normal about Money?, and she has compiled a wealth of statistics from a variety of sources on saving, investing and spending - particularly during holidays.

Her findings include:

  • Shopping makes us feel good. A Lutheran Brotherhood poll found that 30 percent of us shop when we're feeling blue - women almost twice as much as men.
  • Favorite item? Thirty-five percent say their favorite purchases are things for the home.
  • Seventy-nine percent of shoppers would rather buy one expensive item that will last a long time than splurge on an experience.
  • Seventy-seven percent of men and 84 percent of women regularly take a shopping list before hitting the stores. Research shows, however, that they're still likely to make spontaneous purchases.
  • Twenty percent say they'd be hurt if they found out their gift had been exchanged.
  • Most women know the size numbers for the men they shop for, but only half the men who shop know anything about women's sizes.
  • Most shoppers splurge on just one person.
  • Seventy-two percent of men say they'd pay at least $25 for someone else to shop for them. Twenty percent would pay at least $50, and 7 percent would pay even more.
  • Almost 90 percent of people who own pets buy them Christmas gifts.
  • About 31 percent of us keep unwanted gifts and try to use them. Thirty percent tuck them away. Thirteen percent toss them into the trash, and 6 percent take them back to the store and try to get cash.
  • And if you don't find what you want this weekend, don't worry. Ms. Kanner says 15 percent of adults are still shopping after 6 p.m. Christmas Eve.

    * * *

    TODAY'S JOKE: This observation on holiday gift-buying was passed along by Ruth Tewes:

    When in doubt - buy him a cordless drill.

    If you have the dough, buy your man a big-screen TV with the little picture in the corner! You'll never have to wonder where he is.

    Never buy a man anything that says "some assembly required" on the box. You still have parts from the last time, remember?

    Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or bkirby@augustachronicle.com.