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It’s the Thoughtlessness That Counts

Potpourri? A Chia Pet? An oversized Pobody’s Nerfect T-shirt?

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The ease of online shopping — a boon for year-end e-commerce sales — might be increasing your risk of getting a really lousy gift, a Shopzilla study showed Monday.

“Gift-giving is truly an art form and not everyone has the time or skill to search for that perfect gift,” said Helen Malani, the Los Angeles, California-based comparative shopping site’s chief shopping expert. Increasingly, Malani said, those who either “lack the talent or the patience” are being drawn to the Internet.

Conducted by Shopzilla’s BizRate Research, the point-of-sale survey of over 1,000 online Internet users found 47% had received an “inappropriate” holiday gift (in the study’s diplomatic terminology) — about half got the same tacky present several times over.

The items, mostly from distant friends and co-workers, were deemed inappropriate for being simply off base — candy for a diabetic! — or sexually suggestive, the study found.

Topping the list was home decorations, followed by non-refundable items and clothes that don’t fit.

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