How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Christmas Gifts

By Kim Snaith on at

I know, I know. It sounds horribly ungrateful that anybody would even consider selling the Christmas presents that their friends and family painstakingly picked out for them, (probably) went through the effort of queuing in a crowded shop for, and spent their hard-earned money on. But the fact is most of us have already got enough crap in our lives. We don't need even more useless stuff cluttering our homes. We really appreciate cousin Fred's thoughts, but that Abba LP is never going to get played, and sorry Aunt Gertrude, those bright pink Crocs are never going to see light of day.

Surely it would be better to pass the offending gifts on to someone who can get some use out of them? Luckily, there's a wealth of options available, spanning the entire breadth of the selfish-to-generous scale.

Sell them

The most obvious answer is to sell any gifts you don't want. That way, you get a bit of cash out of it and can use it to buy something you do want. But how to sell that item? There are several options available, and the best one for you may depend what the item is.

eBay: The worldwide auction house is probably the most obvious way of selling your unwanted gifts, but be prepared to lose a cut of your earnings in eBay and PayPal fees. If you go the traditional auction route, too, there's no guarantee of the price you'll get –unless you pay another fee to add a reserve price. eBay does allow for fixed price listings to be added to the site for up to 30 days, which is a better option if you have a particular price in mind, but of course there's no guarantee of a sale. The benefit of eBay is that you're generally protected as a seller if your buyer doesn't pay so you're unlikely to lose out – it's just a bit of a hassle.

Gumtree: Gumtree probably isn't quite as popular as it was a few years ago, but the national free ads are still up and running and there's still an active classifieds section. There are no fees to pay if you sell this way, but there's no protection for you if you get a dodgy buyer. It generally limits you to selling in your local area too, as most punters will want to come to your house (or a designated place) to collect the item.

CeX: Computer Exchange stores are found on most high streets these days. If the gift you're trying to ungraciously unload is a film, game, CD or some form of technology, chances are CeX will be able to buy it off you. There are no fees, and providing they actually have money in their tills to be able to give you (trust me, I've been turned away from my local for this reason several times) it's instant cash-in-the-hand. Be warned though: CeX aren't as interested in making you money as they are in profiting themselves, so you'll usually get quite a bit less than your item is actually worth. There are exceptions, however. CeX are currently giving more than RRP for PSVR (they'll buy it off you for £365 to resell at £500) and Mini NES (they'll buy off you for £80 and sell for £145 – robbing buggers).

Music Magpie: Similar to CeX, Music Magpie will let you unload all your unwanted tech items. The difference here is you don't have to leave your house to do so: they'll send a courier to you, take your items away, evaluate them and send you a payment directly into your bank account the next day. You don't always get the value that the website says you should though, and be prepared to get rock-bottom prices. Convenience is never free.

Facebook: Facebook has recently unveiled its own answer to classified ads in the form of Marketplace. Before that though, there were already thousands of groups set up all in the name of offloading unwanted stuff in your local area. Again, there are no fees, but also no protection – although the fact that most people are very public with their lives on Facebook it's easier to gauge if someone is trustworthy (and if they're not, then it's easier to track 'em down!). Not that I'm suggesting you should undergo some kind of amateur vigilantism for unpaying sellers...

To your friends and family: Maybe you've got a friend or family member who'll appreciate your gift more than you do. Perhaps you can strike a sweet deal with them. It's certainly the easiest way, but just make sure Aunt Gertrude and cousin Fred don't inadvertently find out.

Donate them

If you're feeling a bit more generous, you could donate your unwanted stuff to a charity shop. Less clutter for you, and the knowledge that you've done a good deed. Not all bad, eh? The local high street is littered with charity shops all eager to take a range of items from clothes to books to DVDs and Blu-rays. Some charities – including British Heart Foundation – even offer a pick-up service so you don't even have to drag yourself to the shop.

Regift them

The art of regifting is a favourite of mine. Got something you're not so keen on but know your mate Bob will love? Hmm, and it's Bob's birthday in a few weeks too. What a dilemma! It's a good solution as it means your item won't go to waste and you don't have to bother going through the effort of buying that lucky someone a gift, since you already have it ready and waiting. Just make sure it's not something that's going to expire one way or another. And don't regift it to the same person who bought it for you in the first place. Awkward.