Consumer Alert: The best and worst gifts for your Valentine

When it comes to finding the perfect Valentine's Day gift, there are a lot of ways you can go wrong, especially when you put off shopping until the week-of. (MGN)

When it comes to finding the perfect Valentine's Day gift, there are a lot of ways you can go wrong, especially when you put off shopping until the week-of.

Since most Valentine’s Day shopping doesn't start early, most people aren’t planning ahead or buying online.

Valentine’s Day is a big holiday for brick and mortar stores. They're expecting to see a huge portion of the National Retail Federation’s projected $19.6 billion in spending.

“It's interesting with Valentine's Day is that the department stores are the leading choice for consumers to purchase gifts,” said Kristen Regine, who is the marketing professor at Johnson and Wales University.

When it comes to women in Southern New England, research indicates they’re looking for a more traditional Valentine’s Day gift.

“What ranked high in Massachusetts and Rhode Island was everything from like diamond earrings, to chocolate, to teddy bears,” said Regine.

As for men, subscription services and experiences are at the top of their wish lists.

“Never received a bad gift on Valentine's Day,” said one shopper at Garden City in Cranston, who was picking up a Valentine’s Day gift.

“Victoria's Secret, can't go wrong!” he said.

But, apparently you can go wrong if you take a similar approach when shopping for the man in your life.

“Men hate, absolutely hate to receive underwear for a Valentine's Day gift, so that kind of ranks as the top gift for men of don't buy me that,” says Regine. “Whereas women, surprisingly, it's a gift card.”

Women may love gift cards at Christmas, but Regine said, on Valentine’s Day, they want something tangible.

If you're wondering how much to spend, the National Retail Federation is predicting the average consumer will shell out $143. It’s a lot, but that does include dinner.

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