Undelivered cards estimated to total almost £750,000

Undelivered cards over the Christmas period are costing consumers thousands every year, a new study finds.

In preparation for Christmas, a new study reveals that 30 per cent of people have missed delivery of parcels at Christmas and 15 per cent have sent Christmas cards that have never arrived, with costs for Christmas 2016 estimated to total nearly £750,000 in undelivered cards alone.

The team at Data Label surveyed 1008 people over the age of 18 in the UK, asking them two questions:

Are you aware of any Christmas cards that you have sent to friends or family not arriving in the last 10 years?

Have you ever missed delivery of an important Christmas parcel?

Less than a fifth (15 per cent) of respondents say that they have had Christmas cards that they’d sent to friends and family go missing and 30 per cent admit that they had missed delivery of an important Christmas parcel.

A survey by Oxfam in 2014 revealed that 88 per cent of people sent Christmas cards, so approximately 56 million people in the UK are sending Christmas cards each year.

On average, the cost of the average greeting card being around 89p, Data Label reveals that the possible cost of undelivered cards at Christmas over the past 10 years could be up to £7,476,000 for around 8,400,000 missing cards.

That means that this Christmas could potentially see 840,000 undelivered cards and almost £750,000 wasted on cards that won’t reach their intended recipient.


Philip Carlyn, managing director at Data Label, thinks that Christmas is a stressful enough time without adding the shocking amount of people who experience problems with post around this time of the year.

Carlyn adds, ‘While, of course, we’d recommend ensuring clear and correct labelling on your Christmas packages, it’s easy to see why, with the massive costs wasted on missing cards, many are now turning away from the traditional route of sending Christmas cards by post and sending their greetings online instead.’

Further reading on logistics

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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