PayPal Survey Reveals Shoppers’ Woes and Wish Lists this Holiday Season
Oprah Named the Most Desired Celebrity Gift-Giver, followed by Ellen and Martha Stewart

SAN JOSE, Calif.--This holiday shopping season, gift cards are hot, but shopping for your spouse is not. This is according to PayPal's 2007 Holiday Survey conducted in October by Nielsen Customized Research, a service of The Nielsen Company.

The survey found discrepancies between men and women when it came to who tops their shopping lists. While both men and women agree that their significant other is the most difficult person to shop for during the holiday season, 34 percent of males said they actually enjoyed shopping for their partner, compared to just 17 percent of women. However, females are 30 percent more likely than males to enjoy shopping for their kids.

When it comes to receiving gifts, the survey found that 43 percent of women would prefer to receive a gift from Oprah Winfrey over Ellen Degeneres (20 percent) or Martha Stewart (8 percent). Men, on the other hand, said they would most prefer to be on talk-show host Jay Lenos gift list this year (19 percent), followed by David Letterman (18%).

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

The Nielsen survey also revealed that more shoppers are playing it safe this holiday season by buying gift cards, rather than purchasing tailored gifts for their loved ones. In fact, 64 percent of shoppers said they plan to give gift cards. But recipients dont seem to mind. Fifty seven percent of respondents said they would actually prefer to receive money or a gift card in place of the traditional present.

Consumers Get Comfy with their Computers

As gift cards gain popularity, online shopping continues to play a major role in holiday retail sales. According to the survey, consumers plan to spend roughly $412 online during the holiday gift giving season, and conduct an average of 40 percent of their holiday shopping online, compared to 28.9 percent in 2006.1

Holiday shoppers are more comfortable shopping online this year than ever before, said Susan Phillips, PayPals Online Purchase Pro. Consumers have chosen to swap the in-store rush for the online experience, citing convenience, time savings, less stress and better prices as the top reasons to shop online.

Additional findings from PayPals Holiday Shopping Survey include:

  • 44 percent of men versus 26 percent of women considered themselves last-minute shoppers.
  • Men would prefer to meet Jennifer Aniston (27%) under the mistletoe rather than Angelina Jolie (17%). Only 4% of men wanted to meet Britney Spears under the mistletoe.
  • George Clooney was the number one male that females (29%) would like to meet under the mistletoe this year, followed by Johnny Depp (22%) and Brad Pitt (11%).
  • 67% of people expect to spend the same amount on holiday gifts this year as they did last year.

1 According to the National Retail Federation 2007 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey

About the survey

The PayPal Holiday Survey was conducted by Nielsen Customized Research from October 1, 2007 to October 12, 2007 via email invitation to online panelists. The total sample size was 1000 respondents with quotas to ensure sample distribution by age and gender according to the online population.

About PayPal

PayPal is the safer, easier way to pay and get paid online. The service allows anyone to pay without sharing financial information and gives consumers the flexibility to pay in any way they prefer, including through credit cards, bank accounts or account balances. With more than 164 million accounts in 190 markets and 17 currencies around the world, PayPal enables global ecommerce. PayPal is an eBay (Nasdaq:EBAY) company. More information about the company can be found at

About The Nielsen Company

The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions and recognized brands in marketing information (AC Nielsen), media information (Nielsen Media Research), trade shows and business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, AdWeek). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and New York, USA. For more information, please visit

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