What no man wants to receive for the holidays — and what to buy him instead, according to the data

This is the face you want when your guy opens his gifts. Getty
  • Gift Now is a service that enables customers to give gifts via email from online stores.
  • Men most exchanged candy, dress shirts, and athletic apparel.
  • Most men kept ties, wallets, and anti-ageing skincare.

Buying gifts for men can be difficult. Many are demure when asked what they would like to receive, and others offer nothing in the way of hints or suggestions.

Let us help.

To that end, Gift Now — the e-gifting platform by Loop Commerce used by Target, Ralph Lauren, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and others — shared with us the gifts that were exchanged the most and least often on its platform.

When an e-gift is sent via Gift Now, it is bought and paid for by the giver. The recipient is then notified via email, and they can either accept the gift by entering in their details, or exchange it and receive store credit for the same value instead.’

According to Loop’s data — which is based at least thousands of transactions — 54% of gifts are exchanged on the platform. Only 37% of gifts to men are accepted as is with no modifications, exchanges, or returns.

The most commonly exchanged gifts by men were candy, gum, and sweets, dress shirts, and athletic apparel.

Anything edible seems like a particularly strange gift to send via email, and we imagine most men get plenty of sweets during the holidays. They might want to spend the money on a new pair of socks, instead. Dress shirts and athletic apparel are both very size-dependent, and we imagine many of the exchanges were for different sizes, colours, or shapes.

On the other hand, men were particularly fond of ties, wallets, and anti-ageing skincare. These items had the highest rate of acceptance.

Despite common wisdom, these make particularly good gifts, as they are one-size-fits-all. Still, we imagine the men who accepted anti-ageing skincare asked for it. We worry about the implications it might give if given unprompted.

From this, it’s pretty clear what makes a good gift and what a bad one. Give wisely.