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December 26, 2016

How to get rid of unwanted Christmas presents

by John_A

We’ve all been there. Christmas day is done and dusted and along with a pile of fabulous pressies and a turkey and Christmas pudding hangover, you’ve got a few gifts that are so terrible, you know you’ll never use them.

Whether it’s a pair of novelty socks, a smoothie maker or a Mamma Mia Blu-ray, you’d rather have the cash. It may sound rather Scrooge-like and far be it from us to put a dampener on the festive spirit but in these troubled times we could all use a little extra wonga.

It’s better that someone should get some use out of our presents rather than them sitting on a shelf gathering dust, right?

We’ve put together a handy guide for converting your unwanted gifts into cash. Bah Humbug.


Ah, eBay. The handy online auction site that’s absolutely perfect for getting rid of unwanted pressies. Somewhat depressingly, post-Christmas is one of the busiest times of year for the site, with misers the world over listing their unwanted gifts before the leftover turkey has even been scoffed.

All you need to do is set up a listing along with a picture of the item (many pictures for items are provided for you by eBay), then select a ‘reserve’ or minimum price that you want your item to sell for. You can wait to see how the auction pans out or offer a ‘Buy it Now’ option for impatient bargain hunters. In some instance using a smartphone you can simply scan the item barcode and eBay will fill in all the details for you. If you’re a new user, then make sure you come up with a suitably covert user ID otherwise your money-making schemes could come crashing down around your ears if a loved one sees the carefully selected present that they bought for you turning up on eBay. You have been warned.


Remember that eBay isn’t the only place to sell your stuff online. Many retail websites offer a sellers section, with the best example being Amazon Marketplace.

Listing items is straightforward and Amazon takes care of a lot of the admin for you so all you have to do is make sure that you send the item out once someone has bought it. Again, be careful what you choose as your public ID as you don’t want any eagle-eyed relatives spotting your poor unwanted pressies on there.


Established in 2000, Gumtree was previously a London-based site for people that had just moved to the city. It’s now one of the UK’s biggest local classified ad sites and also operate across several other countries. Not only is this a great place for looking for homes to rent and buy, or jobs and services, it’s also a good place to sell unwanted goods (for free) and maybe even pick up a bargain yourself.

The idea is to meet local buyers face to face to cut out postage cost. This site is well suited to bigger items such as furniture. If you’re going to sell on Gumtree then make sure that you stick to the site’s safety tips such as exchanging the money and goods at the same time and taking a friend with you to meet up with the buyer.


The big boys of social networking – Facebook and Twitter – have fast become the first port of call for gathering information. Need to know the footie score? Tweet it. Want to know who’s going to the party tonight? Update your status.

This is also a great way to let your friends and followers know that you’ve got goods for sale or maybe even some stuff to swap or give away for free. Facebook also recently launched Facebook Marketplace, making it even easier to sell your unwanted gifts. Just be careful that the person that gave you the unwanted present in the first place isn’t on there or you could land yourself in hot water.

  • What is Facebook Marketplace and how can you use it to buy and sell?

Charity shops

If you’re feeling bad about getting rid of your unwanted pressies but you want to retain a little self-respect, then why not donate your gifts to a charity?

Your local charity shop will be more than happy to accept anything that you don’t want, as long as it’s in good condition (and it’s nothing dodgy or illegal, of course). By giving your goods to a charity shop, you may not benefit financially but at least you know that someone who’s less well off than yourself will get themselves a bargain and a charity will get the profits. You can look up your local charity shops here.


Regifting may be a ghastly word, both in the sense of heartlessly giving away presents and in the sense of using the word ‘gift’ as a verb, but it can be a handy way of clearing out those unwanted pressies. Not only does this free your home from stuff that you don’t want, but you’ll also save money on buying new presents for people.

It goes without saying you should make sure that you don’t ‘regift’ your item to the person that gave it to you, or anyone that they live with or see on a regular basis. Also, make sure that the gift is still in pristine condition and that you re-wrap it and use a new label.

A word of warning…

We’re not suggesting that you immediately offload all of your presents the second you’ve finished your Christmas pud. Hopefully most of your presents will be accepted with good grace and a smile on your face, even if they weren’t exactly the 55-inch 4K OLED TV that you were after.

Make sure you think carefully before ditching any of your pressies, and if you are going to sell or swap them, be discrete and considerate of your nearest and dearest’s feelings. You don’t want your Great Aunt Mabel spotting the Rudolph socks that she spent half her pension on through the local charity shop window now, do you?

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