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Appears in Collections:Marketing and Retail Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: "You Really Shouldn't Have!" Coping with failed gift experiences
Author(s): Branco-Illodo, Ines
Heath, Teresa
Tynan, Caroline
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Keywords: Gift-giving
Gift failure
Relationship Management
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: Branco-Illodo I, Heath T & Tynan C (2020) "You Really Shouldn't Have!" Coping with failed gift experiences. European Journal of Marketing, 54 (4), pp. 857-883.
Abstract: Purpose – This paper examines coping approaches used by receivers to deal with failed gift experiences, thereby dealing with misperceptions between givers and receivers that could affect their relationship. Design/methodology/approach – This study employs a sequential, multimethod methodology using background questionnaires, online diary method and 27 semi-structured interviews. Findings – Receivers cope with failed gift experiences through concealing, disclosing or re-evaluating the gift experience. These approaches encompass several coping strategies, allowing receivers to deal with their experiences in ways that help them manage their relationships with givers. Research limitations/implications: Informants described gift experiences in their own terms without being prompted to talk about coping, thus some insights of coping with failed gifts may have been missed. Multiple data collection methods were employed to minimise this limitation and the research findings suggest new avenues for future research. Practical implications: The present research helps retailers and brands to minimise gift failure by promoting gifts that emphasise aspects of the giver-receiver relationship, assists givers in their learning from gift failure by making them aware of the receiver’s preferences, and reduces the cost of gift failure by offering further opportunities to dispose of unwanted gifts. Originality/value – This paper contributes to the emerging topic of consumer coping by providing a novel and rounded understanding of coping in the context of failed gift events; identifying new reasons for gift failure; highlighting receivers’ ethical considerations when responding to failed gifts and; proposing new insights for the coping literature.
DOI Link: 10.1108/EJM-05-2018-0309
Rights: Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in European Journal of Marketing by Emerald. The original publication is available at: This article is deposited under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial International Licence 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0). Any reuse is allowed in accordance with the terms outlined by the licence ( To reuse the AAM for commercial purposes, permission should be sought by contacting
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