Irish festive shoppers ‘are savvy bargain hunters with selfless streak’

Survey finds consumers’ altruism can lead to overspending during Christmas period

 Seven in 10 people seek the best value when Christmas shopping, a survey has found. Photograph: Tom Honan.

Seven in 10 people seek the best value when Christmas shopping, a survey has found. Photograph: Tom Honan.

 

When it comes to Christmas shopping, Irish consumers are savvy, bargain hunters with a selfless streak and a tendency to go over budget, according to a festive survey published on Wednesday morning.

The research from Bank of Ireland suggests seven in 10 people seek the best value when Christmas shopping, with a similar number saying they resist the temptation to buy for themselves when shopping for others.

Making savings appears to be an important part of the present-planning process with 69 per cent saying they seek out bargains with price discounts and the use of loyalty schemes serving as the greatest incentives for budget-conscious consumers.

In the bid to stick to budgets, 70 per cent hold back from treating themselves while those who do have a “one for you, one for me” mentality’ or are most likely to treat themselves to new pyjamas or a new outfit for Christmas Day.

However, the survey also says all the altruism can lead to overspending with one in three consumers saying they always spend more than they intended on Christmas gifts in spite of the fact that 31 per cent set rigid budgets when planning their Christmas shopping.

Around 20 per cent of consumers still go in search of last-minute miracles and battle through the shops in the last days of the shopping season and inevitably end up paying over the odds and breaking their budgets as a result.

Presents aside, 64 per cent of respondents said they would spend most of their money on food and drink with clothes and accessories said to be the second biggest expense followed by entertainment and travel.

The spend on entertainment is set to average €267 per person with eating and drinking out costing the average Irish consumer €180 per person. People will spend an average of €41 on taxies while there is also likely to be an increase in the number of adults eating takeaway food over the Christmas period, with the expected average amount of these tasty treats totalling €46 per person.