Survey says: Partners hardest to buy for at Christmas

The typical Kiwi Christmas shopper finds their partner the hardest to buy for, gets their shopping done early and buys up to half of their gifts online. 

That's what our recent survey of 600 Kiwis revealed, along with some other juicy stats around habits and behaviours at this most wonderful time of the year.

Who is the hardest to buy for?

When wandering the digital or in-store aisles, shoppers find it hardest to buy for their partner (31%), kids (20%), or parents (14%). Tailing the list were extended family (10%), siblings (6%), and 13% said 'Other' which included Pets. 

This makes a good bunch of sense, as there's less effort required in selecting novelty underwear or a desktop foosball set for those a bit further down the gift heirarchy. 

Vouchers are actually OK

It seems there's a weird stigma around buying gift vouchers. While 61% of Kiwis say they 'put a lot of effort' into gift-buying, that effort is not necessarily appreciated because one in two people would be "absolutely fine" receiving a gift voucher. 

When you're standing in line at the petrol station on Christmas Eve, keep that in mind. Perusing the gift card carousel might not be a bad idea after all!

The good and the bad

We also asked shoppers for examples of gifts that lived up to their expectations, and ones that missed the mark entirely.


  • Jewellery
  • Clothing
  • Electronic items
  • Handmade gifts from kids
  • Family members coming home for Christmas as a surprise


  • A self-help book
  • A Christmas cake from a sister who can't bake which ended up buried by the family dog
  • A g-string from nana when they were 13

Other interesting bits and pieces: 

  • 77% of people think buying online is convenient
  • 58% of people think buying in-store is time consuming
  • 80% of people get a buzz out of finding “the perfect gift”
  • 41% of people receive between 4-6 Christmas gifts, 16% receive 7+
  • When asked who they find it hardest to buy for:
    • 31% say their partner
    • 20% say their kids
    • 14% parents
    • 10% extended family
    • 6% siblings
    • 6% friends
    • 13% “other”, including pets

We also pulled together a list of what our members are searching for on Trade Me for Christmas. Along with some old favourites like BBQ's and kayaks, new entrant Hatchimals appears to be taking the country by storm. 

Top 10 Trade Me Christmas searches 2016

  1. Hatchimals
  2. iPhones & iPads
  3. Lego
  4. Mountain bikes
  5. Surfboard
  6. Puppies
  7. Pokémon
  8. PlayStation 4
  9. BBQ
  10. Kayaks

Whatever you end up receiving for Christmas, remember: it's the thought that counts. And if the thought doesn't count for much, Trade Me is open on Boxing Day.