Thursday, May 29, 2008

Canadians, Tech Industry, Love "Chachkas"

A new study conducted by Leger Marketing for eBay Canada, says that Canadians love clutter, with many citizens having accumulated enough of it to get a tax return of over $1,200! I would bet that a large percentage of these consumers are from the CE industry. Why?

Attend any press conference, trade show, or media event and you'll almost never leave empty-handed. You might receive a product to review (if you're a journalist) or a tiny USB flash drive with product information (I must have at least 50-100 of these by now!) Other popular "giveaways" in the tech sector include T-shirts (great for lounging around the house!), DVDs, and portable gadget cases. These items are lovingly known to the media world as "chachkas". I say lovingly because, for the most part, they really are cool items that you want, or just simply know you will use "one of these days". I can't count how many times I've given a "chachka" to someone else, only to find myself in a situation where it could have come in handy shortly thereafter. Sometimes, however, these trinkets just sit around, collecting dusts for years (e.g. cases or skins for devices that I don't own, but hey, you never know, someday I might buy one!)

Anyone who's been in the CE industry for any length of time has likely accumulated, and accumulated, and accumulated until a drawer or portion of the closet becomes deemed the "chachka" area. In fact, the study found that the closet is the most popular hiding spot for clutter (64% of respondents use it), followed by the basement (48%), garage (34%), spare bedroom (29%), and backyard shed (20%).

Leger also found that the most popular clutter items in people's homes include old books, magazines, and files; knickknacks and souvenirs; old electronics; DVDs and CDs; and children's toys. It's worth noting, however, that going forward, the amount of clutter accumulated from out-of-town trade shows and events might be considerably reduced. Various airlines (see related stories here and here) are charging additional fees for both carry-on and checked luggage in order to offset rising fuel costs. I guess that means no more chachka-filled, CES bags flowing 'round the baggage claim!

It's no surprise that these survey results come just in time for annual "Spring Cleaning", nor that the survey was commissioned by eBay, the spot where you can buy and sell literally anything. My advice: try to clear out your chachka collection at least once a year; and keep only what's absolutely necessary. If, like me, that tends to mean every chachka you receive, than hey, enjoy!

Bookmark and Share

1 comment:

Lee_D said...

An installer friend of mine needs to bring three suitcases to CEDIA Expo: one for his clothes, one for all the glossy pamphlets and free AV magazines, and another just for the chachkas like flashlights, pens, and thumbdrives. He's like a magpie for all those little shiny things!