Selling Your Unwanted Xmas Gifts: A Crime or Common Sense?

Happy Monday, Skint pals,

Do any shopping this weekend? Exchange any unwanted Christmas prezzies? Or did you get all that out of the way on Xmas morning?  Yep, apparently more than 200,000 items were listed on eBay over Christmas Day and Boxing day. 200,000! There are a whole lot of speedy people out there, put their prezzies up for sale whilst still shaking their uncle’s hand beside the tree.. 

Computer with Xmas bauble

Selling your Xmas gifts before they’ve even left the tree is now – bah humbug – quite normal, it seems.

And those eBay numbers are small beans when you compare them to music magpie‘s. That’s the online trade-in site for DVDs, CDs etc,where more than two million gifts were listed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, with the busiest time being between 10am and 11am on Christmas morning. I hadn’t even unwrapped my Chocolate Orange by then. What did all these folk do – sneak away from the tree to post their unwanted gifts from the privacy of the loo? Or is the etiquette now to brazenly sell your unwanted multiple copies of the Twighlight DVDs right in front of the givers nose?

I’m definitely not against exchanging unwanted Christmas gifts – far from it. In fact, I’m practically a regular at the M&S returns desk. But I’d normally wait till at least the 27th for decency’s sake. Still,if you’re listing stuff online I guess it’s better to do it fast before all the other Twilight DVDs show up and crash your party. The top categories of unwanted Xmas gifts for sale this festive season were clothes, accessories, music and computers – all of which do great on eBay. And if you’re not too strapped for cash, or if you just feel a bit icky about profiting from a Xmas gift, you can list the item on eBay announcing that you’ll give the money to charity. Steven Heywood of eBay says: “There’s evidence that if you sell an item for charity, you’ll actually end up selling your item for a higher price – so everyone wins.”

Selling Unwanted Gift Cards

What about if, rather than an unwanted Xmas jumper, you got a gift card for a shop you don’t fancy? Since retailers won’t take back gift cards you might think you’re stuck with trying to spend thirty quid at Christmas Jumpers R Us, but actually there’s a big market for buying and selling these online. You will need to sell the gift card for less than face value – typically 20% less – otherwise people could just buy them instore. And be prepared to answer questions about when it expires, when it was bought etc – buyers need to know the vouchers are genuine before parting with their cash. 

Similarly, there are bound to be other people right now selling their unwanted Xmas gift cards for your favourite shops for way less then retail value. It’s a great way to bag a bargain as long as you’re careful, check them out before buying, and maybe even, if the sellers are in the same city, try to meet at the actual store to verify the value of the card before you hand over your money.

So, what do you do with an unwanted Christmas gift? Return it to the shop, sell it online or fob it off on someone else? As someone with a January birthday I know I’ve received more than one unwanted Christmas ‘treasure’ over the years . . .  Or are you someone who hangs onto all of the presents you receive, taking the view that gifts shouldn’t be traded? Go on, spill the beans . . . 





About Skint in the City

Skint in the City provides stylish, practical tips and advice on how to live the high life on a shoestring budget.

3 thoughts on “Selling Your Unwanted Xmas Gifts: A Crime or Common Sense?

  1. Oh it’s certainly not a crime; if you don’t want something – aren’t going to use it and it’s going to go to waste… surely it can only be positive to exchange it for something you do want (obviously keeping this to yourself as to spare feelings may be a good idea) and give somebody something they want, in what you didn’t!

    Taste is entirely subjective and personal and when we buy each other gifts… despite trying to buy FOR another person, we’re always still going off of our OWN taste palettes, fundamentally, and it’s impossible to truly divorce ourselves from our own taste.

    So with that in mind, it’s going to be fairly difficult to get people spot-on gifts or align your taste with theirs, if your tastes differ in some way, which in SOME WAY – all of ours do.

    I think ‘general gifts’ where the taste is already implied by mindset aka an iPod or something is usually the best option. People who opt to buy each other clothes are just playing the lottery! – taste in clothes or such things is about as personal and individual as you can get… so why throw your hat in that ring! it’s Russian roulette! oh deer, what a mess… mind the blood!

  2. I don’t mind people selling gifts I gave them if they don’t have a use for it, but would probably be sorry to see a $20 gift go for $8 or less on Ebay. I think I have thrown away a few gifts but never made money off them, they were just too bad!

    • Ha, never thought of that Pauline, but you’re right. Some gifts are just too awful to find a home anywhere! And yes, I’m with you re selling off gifts for way less than they cost the giver. If I found out about that it would really feel like money down the drain. Sometimes I think we’re all better calling a halt to gift giving or at least setting a max of say £5. Not in a bah humbug way but just because I often find myself racking my brains on what to give people and I know they’re doing the same for me. Should we just call the whole thing off for adults and save our cash for things we really need?

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