If the best part of gifting is giving, the hardest part is feigning delight when it’s something you know you’ll never use or need. Year after year, a small-but-growing pile of unwanted presents ends up hidden away in a designated corner of the wardrobe.
It’s hard to know what to do with unwanted gifts. But times are tough and, short of regifting next year, what else can be done with these things?
No matter what you’re trying to politely pass on this festive season, there’s somewhere that will happily buy it from you.
On Music Magpie you can resell CDs, DVDs, games and books and get paid on the same day. The website pays for postage or collection and takes both new and used items. If you’re looking for instant money, check out your local CeX shop . With many chains around the UK, CeX takes all types of tech products.
Once upon a time it was impossible to sell on unwanted giftcards, meaning you’d invariably end up with a lot of extra pairs of socks from Next, or a few random albums from HMV. Now, there are a handful of websites allowing you to sell them on to a new owner. Zeek is the most popular, and most cards (94%) are sold in the first 24 hours. Users pay £3 to list their giftcard, but usually get around 90% of the value back. Another popular choice is CardYard, which doesn’t charge a listing fee, but controls how much the giftcard can be sold for in the first place.
Ebay and Depop are both popular choices for selling clothes, and both have their pros and cons. Ebay, with 168 million active users, is still far more popular but app-based Depop can be more prosperous. Both take a 10% cut of the final selling price but, while Ebay’s maximum lifetime for a sale is 30 days, Depop sales will stay up infinitely. Ebay offers both auction and ‘buy it now’ sales while Depop only offers a set price. However, users can barter on Depop through a messaging system. This means Ebay is better for a quick sale, but it might be at a lower price than you’d find on Depop.
Bigger items can be more difficult to shift, and if you’ve recently been gifted furniture that’s not to your taste it can be a struggle to move it on. Gumtree has around 15 million visitors a month as the UK’s biggest classified ads site, and it only takes a few minutes to list an item. It’s also free to use. Preloved has around six million members, making it another popular choice. Out of the two, it’s thought Gumtree can bring a faster sale, but Preloved might garner a better price if you’re willing to be patient.
If selling on your gifts seems slightly too mercenary for the Christmas season, consider swapping them instead. Swapz is the UK’s largest online swapping marketplace, and lists everything from watches to bikes and games. It’s free to join and includes tips on how to ensure an authentic swap, and how to make sure you don’t get scammed. If you’re stuck with a lot of well-meaning but unsuitable clothes then Swishing could be the answer. The website is owned by Futerra, the UK’s leading sustainability communications agency, and describes itself as the place to go for ethical (read: free) shopping for men and women’s clothes. There are ‘swishing’ events all around the UK, although at the moment they’re not that frequent.
Although it’s possible to donate to most charities, British Heart Foundation will arrange collection of your unwanted goods, meaning you won’t even have to leave the house. They have a variety of shops, ranging from clothes and accessories to furniture and electrical items, so you can easily pass on most things without hassle. Great Ormond Street Hospital is another popular option for donations, and accepts toys and games for children and young adults up to the age of 18. Their website has a helpful guide of what can and can’t be donated.
If you’ve got a receipt for your goods, you might be lucky and be able to get a refund. If not, it’s not the end of the world; many places offer store credit if you return within 28 days. Around Christmas-time, some shops have an extended returns period meaning you’ve got even more time to decide whether you’d be better off returning something that doesn’t look right. Bigger stores like Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Amazon are all offering an extended return policy, but check individual shops for each specific guide.
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