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CAF is one of Europe’s largest charitable foundations. We produce research on charities and charitable giving, develop policy ideas and work with people, companies and charities to help good causes thrive.

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One in three admit they are going to waste money on Black Friday

26 November 2015

Nearly a third of people have admitted they will waste money on Black Friday, according to a poll published today by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

Figures reveal that shoppers are just as likely to give their Black Friday blunders away to charity as try and sell them on eBay. They are more likely to give them to charity than exchange them or recycled them.

The research also shows that young people are twice as likely to fritter their money away than the middle aged.

Across the UK, people living in the capital are the most likely to waste money on Black Friday.

Exactly half of Londoners said they would probably buy something they don’t need or really want during the sale bonanza.

The poll was conducted by Populus ahead of #GivingTuesday -  a global day of giving on December 1 – organised in the UK by CAF.

On #GivingTuesday people all over the world are offering their time, money or voice to  give back to the causes they care about.

Hannah Terrey, Head of Policy and Campaigns at the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “Black Friday is great for getting bargains, but #GivingTuesday is a day for giving something back.

“Our research shows people often regret the things they buy in sales, but that does give a great chance to make sure your bad buys go to a good cause.

“Whether it is some of your sale savings or pledging some time to your favourite charity, #GivingTuesday is a chance to be part of a global movement for giving. It embodies the true spirit of the festive season and is the antidote to overindulging in the shops.

“But people can get involved in other ways too - by donating their time, spreading the word or doing something as simple as helping a stranger.”

Black Friday wasters:       
  • 44 % of 18-24 year olds admit they will probably buy something they don’t need or really want;
  • 18% of 45-54 year-olds and 15% of 55-64 year-olds admitted they will probably buy things they don’t need or really want;
  •  50% of Londoners said they would probably buy something they don’t need or really want during the sale bonanza;
  •  25-34 year olds have been the biggest Black Friday wasters so far with a fifth (19%) saying that in the past they had not used  or kept something they bought on the day.
What do people do with their Black Friday cast-offs?
  • 40% gave them to friends or family;
  •  More gave the items to charity (20%) than exchanged them (18%) or recycled them (15%);• The same number gave them away to charity (20%) as sold them on eBay (20%);
  • Items that people didn’t want or need which were bought on Black Friday that ended up in charity shops: clothes (81%), books (47%), toys (25%), accessories (22%), jewellery (19%) and toiletries (19%)

Previous research by CAF suggests that one in three (35%) people in the UK plan to make a charitable donation on #GivingTuesday.

The campaign is supported by a wide range of celebrities and sports stars, including Peter Andre, Miranda Hart, Casey Batchelor, Olympic gold medallist Hannah Cockcroft, Downton’s  Joanna Froggatt, former Dr Who David Tennant, and presenter Dan Snow.

Last year  - which was the first year #GivingTuesday came to the UK – software provider Blackbaud reported that donations in the UK went up by 270% compared to last year, and were up 43% on any other Tuesday in the year.

The hashtag trended on Twitter for 11 hours, and Prime Minister David Cameron was among those who tweeted about the day.

This year more than 1,300 charities and businesses have signed up as #GivingTuesday partners. They include Cancer Research UK, NSPCC, The National Portrait Gallery, The London Philharmonic Orchestra, Facebook and the RSPCA.

Note to editors: 
  1. 20 tips of how people can get involved in #GivingTuesday can be found here:
  2. #GivingTuesday started in the United States in 2012 and came to the UK for the first time last year.
  3. Last year, the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and a number of celebrities including Helen Mirren, David Tennant and Rita Ora all publicly supported the campaign. .
  4. For more information about #GivingTuesday go to:
  5. Populus surveyed 2,118 UK adults aged 18+, on their online omnibus survey, during the 18th – 19th November 2015
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