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Annual Study: American Holiday Shopping Habits

With holiday season comes looming pressure to buy your loved ones thoughtful gifts. From securing airline tickets to unboxing winter décor, how much are we willing to spend this year?

To uncover the ins and outs of holiday spending, we’ve conducted a survey to find out more about American consumers’ shopping plans. Here are some of our main findings:


151M Americans are planning to shop Black Friday this holiday


Americans plan to spend $40B shopping this Black Friday

Pie Chart

64% plan to shop Black Friday with 46% planning to shop exclusively online


26% have witnessed outrageous adult behavior on Black Friday


66% do not feel Black Friday is worth the hassle.

Cyber Monday

1/2 say they plan to skip it altogether for Cyber Monday

Is the early morning rush a thing of the past?


It looks like it’s going that way. 46% of Black Friday shoppers are going to shop the Black Friday sales online, which isn’t surprising considering how many people have experienced bad behavior!

• 26% have witnessed outrageous adult behavior

• 28% have witnessed a fight

• 23% have witnessed a stampede 


Nearly 7 in 10 don’t feel Black Friday is worth the hassle, and half plan to skip it altogether for Cyber Monday this year.

Financial stress during the holiday period

Whether Americans are preparing for Black Friday or not, more than half (56%) will set a holiday budgetHowever, close to half are likely to go over-budget, and 38% feel financially stressed about the money they’ll spend this year on holiday gifts. As a result, nearly 2 in 5 will seek additional sources of income.”


58% of Americans plan to shop for electronics this year, with 31% expressing interest in refurbished tech.

Over half of Americans plan to shop for tech this holiday, with headphones (24%) and smartphones (22%) topping the list of desired gifts. About one-third of Americans are likely to buy a refurbished tech device this year, and 2 in 5 would be open to receiving one.

Millennial parents are the most affected by holiday strain and have been reported to exhibit higher stress levels and fears of over budgeting and debt. This leaves them more open to considering refurbished tech as gifts, with 53% open to buying and 58% happy to receive.


Collectively, Americans plan to spend $143B on holiday shopping this year


The average American plans to budget $609 for holiday gifts this year


Nearly 3 in 5 plan to set a holiday shopping budget this year


38% admit they feel financially stressed about holiday spending


43% report they’re likely to go over-budget


28% anticipate accruing debt as a result of holiday shopping this year

How generous are American gifters?

Americans are super generous when it comes to buying gifts for their loved ones. In fact, the average American will spend 57% more on others than what they expect to receive this holiday season.

Aside from one’s own children, significant others top the list of gift receivers - with men planning to outspend women when purchasing a gift for their partner by 95%!



The best and worst gifts this holiday season.

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans have 10 or more people on their list of people to gift, and the average American will spend 7.5 hours holiday shopping this year.

In terms of gifts most desired by gift receivers this year, gift cards top the list – but the value should be at least $25, which is the minimum acceptable amount.

The worst-ever gifts received




Wrapped 'IOU'


Gift card with a $3 balance


Lifetime supply of staples


Belly button lint cleaner







Plastic Cup

Plastic Cup

Whoopie Cushion

Whoopee cushion

Want to save on gifts this holiday season? We have a huge range of refurbished cell phones and tech at affordable prices. Shop for a new iPhone, Samsung, iPad and so much more with Decluttr!

You can also make money by selling your old device to fund your holiday spending. Trade in cell phones, Apple Watches, iPads, MacBooks and so much more!

Why wouldn’t you?

Shop Now Start Selling

*This survey was fielded from October 15-21, 2019 and included 2,011 U.S. adults. Consumer sample provided by panel provider, InnovateMR.