Spends with Benefits: 3 in 10 cheeky Brits admit gifts benefit themselves


  • 45% of savvy Brits say they have bought or would buy others a gift that directly benefits themselves; otherwise known as “boomerang gifting”
  • Over half of sneaky Brits (54%) claim to have shared or given a gift to the person that gave it to them
  • A quarter of 18-24 year olds admit to borrowing gifts that that gave, and never returning them
  • Freebies will make up 30% of gifts given this Christmas


“Boomerang gifting”, the tactical art of buying a gift which eventually benefits the giver, is on the rise as our nation is becoming savvier; 45% of sneaky Brits say they have or would buy others gifts that directly benefit themselves, according to a survey from Tesco Mobile.

The most popular gifts that TV mad Brits give away to others to benefit themselves are box sets, films and chocolates, whilst  a quarter of us budding Jamie Olivers have gifted a kitchen appliance so that we can use it ourselves. What’s more, a quarter (26%) of crafty 18-24 year olds admit to borrowing these gifts that they’ve given and never returning them.

Men are the most penny-pinching of sexes, with almost twice as many men (40%) than women (23%) claiming that the reason that they buy gifts that benefit themselves is because it saves them money in the long run, whereas 73% of women said it was because they knew the person receiving the gift would like it too.

Bristol turned out be the “boomerang gifting” capital of Britain with over a third (38%) admitting to tactical gifting to benefit themselves. Peeved Londoners are the most likely to report that they have been bought a gift that they felt benefitted the gift giver more than themselves, with almost half (47%) claiming this, compared to under 3 in 10 of people in Wales (28%). Meanwhile, Belfast is the city with the least faith in their friends and family with 25% admitting they “boomerang gift” in case they’re disappointed with their own presents.

But boomerang gifting isn’t just limited to gifts you can use yourself, as more than a fifth (22%) of us admit to buying our partner a gift to encourage them to change their appearance (smell, look etc.), with women more likely to gift these subtle hints.

And whilst it might be the season of giving, 60% of indulgent Brits like to treat themselves to something whilst out shopping, with a whopping 57% of savvy shoppers also claiming to get offers with free gifts that they can either keep for themselves or give away as a gift. Freebies given to unsuspecting giftees make up a huge 30% of presents each year.

A Tesco Mobile spokesperson says, “With “boomerang gifting” on the rise, we’ve launched a promotion whereby anyone who gets a 4G handset can also pick up a gift such as board games or gadgets for their loved ones to ensure a very happy Christmas. Or, if they fancy, treat themselves for no additional costs”.