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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.

$40B bag

Americans plan to spend $40B shopping this Black Friday.


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

Boxing Glove

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
Black Friday Shopping Stat

Black Friday Shopping Stat

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 budget - However, 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.”

$143b on holiday shopping

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%!

Expected Spend from Loved Ones

Expected Spend from Loved Ones

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

Gift card with a $3 balance


Lifetime supply of staples

Lint cleaner

Belly button lint cleaner







Plastic Cup

Plastic Cup

Whoopee 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?

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