What Not to Gift Your Loved Ones This Year, According to Online Data

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A new report from second-hand clothing retailer ThredUp reveals what clothing items your friends and family are getting rid of as soon as they're unwrapped.

Along with a barrage of Instagram-worthy moments — Pumpkin spice lattes! Christmas trees! Engagements! (So. Many. Engagements.) — the holiday season brings with it another inevitability: bad gifts. 

However, thanks to a new report released by second-hand digital retailer ThredUp, this year you can avoid some of those awkward, "Oh, you really shouldn't have" moments. 

During the holiday season, the San Francisco-based digital retailer sees a surge in inventory from sellers off-loading new-with-tags, straight-out-of-the-wrapping paper goods — last year as many as 200,000 never-worn items, a two-fold increase over prior seasons.

Their new "Purge Surge" report analyzed data about these rejected items, including the "most-purged" holiday gifts (activewear) and the brands with the "highest regret" rating, or those with the overall highest percentage of new-with-tags items sold (Missguided, followed by Eva Mendes by New York & Co.).

Other interesting findings include the fact that when sellers choose to use their payout to shop on the site, 61 percent put their earnings toward an item from a more expensive brand. (So gift-givers, don't scrimp on the front end!) Additionally, those who sell their gifts to ThredUp report that they do so because they find it more convenient than returning the items to the store (38 percent), or they simply don't have a gift receipt (43 percent). (That being said, returning items, often just for store credit, is still a popular choice; more than $60 billion worth of gifts were returned last holiday season.)

There are, to be sure, some factors to take into consideration when studying the report. To start, it should be noted that the data is only from one of many, many second-hand retailers, and though the company accepts goods from across the country, specific findings could vary by region. Additionally, ThredUp's bread-and-butter consists of mid-tier mall brands (think: J. Crew, Gap, Express), so don't expect these observations to ring true across all price tiers. 

Here's what ThredUp found:

SKIP

Activewear, celebrity brands: 
Three of the five brands under the "highest regret" category have a celebrity name attached to them, interestingly enough. Eva Mendes for NY&Co. clocks in at No. 2, while the Kardashian Kollection and Kate Hudson's Fabletics occupy the fourth and fifth spots, respectively. North Face fleeces, Under Armour shorts and Nike running tops were also regularly returned. (BTW, who gives shorts as a gift?)

Off-the-shoulder, cold-shoulder tops: 
These trendier tops are harder to style than say, your average sweater, so unless it's exactly the style your loved one was asking for, maybe skip these for now.

BUY 

Anything from Everlane: 
According to the report, sustainable, pricing-transparent e-tailer Everlane has the lowest "regret" rate, with less than 1 percent of pieces with tags sold to the site.  

Scoop neck tops, dark wash jeans: 
These items are rarely sold new-with-tags to the retailer, meaning there's a good chance they'll be worn.

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