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Research reveals the hardest holiday gifts to find this year

It is harder than ever to find these gifts.

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shopaholic. The girl in the store scored toys, a shopaholic. The girl bought a bunch of unnecessary things and is happy.
(Head over Heels via Shutterstock)

Half of Americans anticipate it will be “harder than ever” to find the perfect gifts for people in their lives this holiday season.

A new poll of 2,000 U.S. adults found 65% compare looking for the right gifts to hunting for treasure — 57% even keep a backup gift in mind in case they can’t find what they’re looking for.

Seven in 10 (71%) said it’s exciting to hunt for the right gifts, with 52% claiming the hunt is just as fun as purchasing.

Fifty-five percent find it “extremely satisfying” to find what they’ve been looking for.

Commissioned by BJ’s Wholesale Club and conducted by OnePoll, the study found the average person is willing to wait three weeks for their hard-to-find items before giving up.

The items doomed to be the hardest to find this holiday season include gaming consoles (31%), video games (29%), smartphones (23%), clothing (20%) and food items (20%).

Meanwhile, respondents also identified items that seem to have gone up in price but haven’t physically changed: food items (58%), clothing (46%), smartphones (43%), beauty products (37%) and shoes (36%).

Four in five (80%) have been successful in getting hard-to-find items. When the moment finally comes and they’re able to find these rarities, successful respondents said they feel a strong sense of happiness (55%), satisfaction (54%), relief (52%) and pure bliss (20%).

For 56%, hard-to-find items aren’t just thrilling to look for — they’re also more meaningful.

“There’s an undeniable amount of excitement that is associated with holiday shopping,” said Rachael Vegas, chief merchandising officer at BJ’s Wholesale Club. “It goes beyond just getting a great deal. People seem to really enjoy the process of selecting a special gift for everyone on their list.”

There’s a sense of accomplishment that our members have once they find the item they’ve been searching for – and we are happy to deliver that ‘treasure hunt’ experience, at an excellent value to our members.”

Results also found 54% are making plans and strategies for how they intend to hunt down hard-to-find items this holiday season. Forty-four percent said planning ahead for pre-released items is “worth” the wait.

And if they can’t find what they’re looking for, 51% said they’d be likely to improvise and find a different, easier-to-find gift.

“At BJ’s, we pride ourselves on truly being that one-stop shop during the holiday season,” continues Vegas. “We’re thrilled that we were able to help our members begin their holiday shopping experience early, with amazing Black Friday deals in all our key categories, including TVs and electronics, small appliances, toys, apparel, and so much more!”


  • Gaming consoles - 31%
  • Video games - 29%
  • Smartphones - 23%
  • Clothing - 20%
  • Food items - 20%
  • Smart home devices - 19%
  • TVs - 17%
  • Accessories (i.e., hats, gloves, watches, etc.) - 16%
  • Large home appliances - 15%
  • Shoes - 15%

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by BJ’s Wholesale Club between October 26 and October 31, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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