A $40 plastic gift box with a circular cutout of a cake is one of the most popular gifts for Valentine’s Day.
But, as with any plastic gift, it could be deceiving, according to a new study.
“We knew that the cutout shape was a sign of a fake, because people think that if they look carefully, they’ll see the cut out,” said Sharlene Jepsen, a professor of marketing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the study’s lead author.
But the study also found that people actually bought a lot more of the fake gift boxes.
For example, of the 726 people who purchased a fake gift box for $50 or more, 569 people bought a total of 1,547 of the 1,964 that were labeled with the cut-out shape.
The researchers said this finding suggests that people don’t trust the shape of gift boxes to be real.
But if they did, the fake boxes could be just as deceptive as the real ones.
They also noted that a lot of people, including some researchers, thought that the shape was fake when in fact it was a real one.
What you need to know about Valentine’s day gift boxes: • The shape of the cutouts on the plastic box is often called a “rectangle.”
But the shape is not necessarily a signature.
• A plastic box with no cutouts can have a square or even a circle.
• The cutout on a plastic box that has a circle may have an oval shape.
• Some researchers think the cut outs on the top and bottom are a sign that it’s a fake.
• Many people mistakenly believe the shape to be the shape they think they see in a gift card.
The research was published online March 3 in the journal Consumer Research.