Americans Have Wasted $10.5 billion on Unwanted Mother’s Day Gifts

John Howard

Mother's Day Gift

Happy Mother’s Day to all! Well, at least at the time of writing…

What did you get for your mother/wife for Mother’s Day? Have you considered buying flowers? Because if so, you might want to reconsider and get them another gift they’d love!

That’s because 64% of people have disappointed moms for getting them flowers on Mother’s Day. In other words, around 2.56 million US dollars are wasted on flowers yearly, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Similarly, how much do Americans spend on unwanted gifts rated by moms? We asked 1,000 American moms a few days ago and here’s what we found.

How Much did Americans Spend on Unwanted Mother’s Day Gifts?

Overall, Americans have wasted $10.5 billion U.S dollars on unwanted Mother’s Day gifts.

Surprisingly, 14.40% of American mothers don’t want jewelry as gifts which amounted to 1.51 million US dollars wasted on Mother’s Day but 34% of people have considered buying it.

Similarly, 25% of survey takers have also considered houseware or gardening tools as gifts but 19.5% of American moms don’t really like it, amounting to a whopping 5.27 million US dollars wasted.

Do you belong to the 64% of survey takers who have considered flowers as a gift? Well, you might want to reconsider because 13.10% of moms don’t like it, which resulted in 2.56 million US dollars wasted.

The same goes if you’ve considered giving them books or CDs because 710,000 US dollars are wasted due to 11% of moms that dislike those kinds of gifts on Mother’s Day. But 24% of people are still likely to buy them for these occasions. Unless, of course, if they’re personally into reading books and such.

Gift cards are among the least disliked items on Mother’s Day as only 8.7% of moms don’t like it or 2.87 million US dollars wasted. So you might want to consider it and be a part of the 49% of people who’ve considered this as a gift on Mother’s Day.

Clothing and accessories are also fine as only 8.5% of moms dislike it. This also means that about 2.56 million US dollars are wasted on Mother’s Day. If you’ve considered them, then you belong to the 39% of people who’ve also considered this as gifts on Mother’s Day.

7.10% of American moms dislike consumer electronics or about 2.93 million US dollars wasted and if you’ve considered giving your mom this, you belong to the 19% of people who also considered buying them.

The most considered gift on Mother’s Day is greeting cards. And these are great considerations on Mother’s Day as only 7.10% of moms dislike it. Since these aren’t that expensive, only about 1 million US dollars are wasted. So, if you’ve considered this, you belong to the 74% of the survey takers.

Do you belong to the 26% of survey takers that considered personal services such as spas and salons? Good news for you as only 4.5% of moms dislike this. But this still means 2.1 million US dollars are wasted.

But if you wanted to give them the best gift, go out with the family as only 3.4% of American moms dislike this idea but that still amounts to 4.07 million US dollars. This gift has been considered by 46% of people.

Difference Between Buyer’s Perception and Mom’s Expectation

Do you think your mom likes your gifts? What do moms expect to get on Mother’s Day?

According to the data, 43% of buyers think moms want something unique or different but in reality, only 19.10% of moms are expecting to get this kind of gift.

14.60% of moms are expecting to get something convenient for users while 25% of buyers think this is what moms are looking to get on Mother’s Day.

The type of gift moms least expects to get on Mother’s Day are cheaper and cost-effective gifts. 7.80% of moms expected to get this while 17% of buyers also think this is what moms want for Mother’s Day.

The most expected gift on Mother’s Day is something that creates special memory and this is expected by 58.50% of moms. 41% of buyers also think this is also what moms are expecting on Mother’s Day.

In summary, if you want the best for your mom, then consider going on a trip to create something memorable.

Husband Gave the Worst Gifts

From parents, relatives, friends, sons, and daughters, to partners… who do you think usually gives the worst gifts?

We asked 1,000 US moms to tell us honestly who they think gives the worst gifts and here’s what we found out:

According to 1,000 US moms, their partners give the worst gifts on Mother’s Day. This is according to 34.9% of US moms.

Relatives are ranked second when asked who gives the worst Mother’s Day gifts, and this is according to 15.1% US moms. Sons and daughters do a great job of picking the right gifts because only 10.9% of US moms think their gifts are the worst.

Colleagues and neighbors are thoughtful enough to pick the right gifts for Mother’s Day because only 10.7% and 10.4%, respectively, of US moms, think they give the worst gifts on Mother’s Day.

Some friends are thoughtful enough to pick the right gifts for Mother’s Day because only 9.4% of the 1,000 US moms think their gifts are the worst.

But of all the people moms could receive gifts from, parents do a great job at finding the right gifts for Mother’s Day as only 8.6% of US moms think parent’s gifts are the worst.

How Many Unwanted Mother’s Day Gifts do US Moms Usually Receive?

Nearly half of the surveyed Moms admitted having received at least one unwanted gifts

According to 2.8% of US moms, they usually receive an average of 4, 5, and more unwanted gifts on Mother’s Day.

9% of the US moms would receive only 1 unwanted gift on Mother’s Day while 17% of the US moms receive either 2 or 3 unwanted gifts on Mother’s Day.

A whopping 51.4% of US moms said they all love the gifts they receive on Mother’s Day.

What were the Worst Mother’s Day Gifts During Lockdown?

35.7% of US moms said Free Gym/Yoga online class is the worst gift on Mother’s Day. This is followed by Spa vouchers, which according to 25.3% of US moms are the worst.

Restaurant vouchers are the worst according to 17.4% of US moms. Offline shopping vouchers should be fine because only 13% of US moms said they are the worst Mother’s Day gifts.

Only 8.6% of US moms think Healthcare products are the worst.

Mom’s Response After Receiving Unwanted Gifts

According to 1,000 US moms, 93% of them would pretend to be thankful compared to 5% that would express their disappointment. But it’s still surprising to see 2% of them would tell the buyer not to buy it again.


On Mother’s Day, we want you to stay updated with how much Americans have wasted on Mother’s Day.

But with the data presented, this should help you pick the best gift for your mom or your wife.


To come up with the data, we conducted a survey and asked 1,000 moms in the U.S and ask these questions:

  1. On average, how many unwanted gifts do you usually receive?
  2. What are the categories that you don’t want your gifts to fall into?
  3. What is your expectation on Mother’s Day gifts?
  4. Who usually gives the worst gift?
  5. What is the most unwanted gift during Covid-19?
  6. What is your response when receiving unwanted gifts?

We also used data from Statista to calculate how much money Americans are going to spend on the abovementioned gift categories. 

Together with the survey results we gathered, we came up with a conclusion on the most unwanted categories. We also used this data to calculate how much Americans are willing to spend on unwanted gift categories.

Similarly to how we predicted that 64% of Americans are going to disappoint mothers by buying flowers, we first used Statista’s data to indicate the Share of Consumer Buying Mother’s Day gifts by types 2020 and cross-referenced this to our survey results and did the calculations from there.

Moreover, to come up with the results on what consumers think is important when picking out a Mother’s Day gift in the US in 2020. We also used Statista’s data and asked US moms on what they think about the criteria and asked which among the criteria is important to them.

In the end, we are able to know the difference between the buyer’s perception and Mom’s expectation.