From a missed birthday or an ill-considered remark to making too much noise and upsetting the neighbours, consumer in Scotland are spending more than £100 a year buying presents by way of an apology.
The new study from TopCashback.co.uk, the UK’s most generous cashback shopping site, finds the majority (68 per cent) of consumers in Scotland admit giving a gift to someone because they felt guilty or wanted to say sorry.
However, these requests for forgiveness may be more self-indulgent than genuine as 59 per cent admit they do it to make themselves feel better rather than the person they are apologising to.
A further 28 per cent believe peace offerings help make the situation better and 11 per cent simply want the person to pardon them.
It is no surprise that the most popular tokens of atonement are flowers (56 per cent), something personal (37 per cent) and chocolates (35 per cent).
Yet, these small gestures of a heavy conscience are totalling up to an annual spend of £118.
Around a third (31 per cent) of people in Scotland have overspent on gifts for an occasion they were unable to attend, forking out a staggering £34 more per event they missed.
Perhaps this is because the majority (69 per cent) of people also believe an offering makes the recipient more likely to excuse them. Furthermore, a third (33 per cent) even think showering the beneficiary with material things makes them look less guilty.
Apology presents are most commonly bought for partners (68 per cent) and friends (63 per cent). However, 34 per cent of consumers have given their parents or work colleagues (16 per cent) a token when asking for forgiveness. People have also splashed their cash when making amends with neighbours (10 per cent) and their children (seven per cent).
Natasha Rachel Smith, Consumer Affairs Editor for TopCashback.co.uk, said: “Having to apologise can be hard and often people look to gifts and cards in the hope they will say what they can’t. However, we were surprised to find consumers in Scotland are spending such a high figure on these pleas for forgiveness.
“More often than not, a heartfelt apology or making a nice meal can go a long way. However, for those who do want to buy someone a present, it’s important to be savvy and look out for voucher codes, discounts and cashback offers to keep costs down.”