How To Flog Your Unwanted Christmas Tech

By Gary Cutlack on at

Had a good Christmas? Get lots of things you like? Good. Get lots of things you don’t like and want to sell for money? Even better!

Any keen tech enthusiast should instinctively sort his presents into two piles on Christmas morning -- one of things to keep, plus one of things to keep sealed in their boxes to sell immediately.

That way, you get a second Christmas a few days or weeks later when the money rolls in. It could be the difference between running out of liquid capital on January 15th and being able to keep yourself going until the next pay day. Here’s how to dump that duplicate USB cup warmer you don’t need.

Community action

Most areas, towns and villages have some sort of online trading group, usually in the form of a Facebook page where people can post up things for sale locally. If they don’t have one near you -- start one. This way you can sell stuff quickly and without worrying about having to go to the sodding post office and queue until the middle of February.

They’re amazingly addictive, and once people start selling and giving things away locally, it makes you wonder how internet shopping ever took off. Things up for sale can be picked up from neighbours within minutes, delivering the sort of instant shopping gratification -- and instant cash for the seller -- the internet can’t get near.

Plus there’s no commission taken and no delivery fees or worry about stuff going missing in transit. Just the mild panic of having to go outside and actually meet a real person.

Sell online

The eBay iOS and Android app is so easy to use nowadays you could disdainfully and emotionlessly take a photo of the unwanted item on the floor amid the pile of wrapping paper it just emerged from and have it listed for sale within 60 seconds.

The only thing to bear in mind is that the site's cheap listing fees mask some heinous post-sale commission demands, making it a fairly poor way of selling expensive gadgets. Getting billed for 10 per cent of the sale price of an iPad Mini in commission is quite the bill shock to receive at the end of January.

Or you could go legit and become an Amazon seller. Anyone can do it, you just need patience and a trustworthy-sounding company name. The good thing about listing on Amazon is the way listings stay up in perpetuity until they sell, so there no relisting hassle.

Plus Amazon is a little less restrictive than eBay, allowing, for example, knives with locking blades to be listed and sold. Which is useful in case you end up with an embarrassment of multi-tools this year.

Trade it

If your family didn't read the tweet in which you announced you’d switched entirely to digital distribution this year, you may have some physical media to bin. The quickest way is to head to the high street with your rucksack of unwanted gifts, with the likes of Game and CEX offering decent enough cash returns for instant trades.

To make it even easier Game also offers online trades-ins, although with just £8.40 on offer for the likes of Destiny on PS3, you may find eBay, or standing in the street outside the shop trying to hawk it to children, is a better bet.

Return to Seller

UK returns policy can be your friend at this difficult time of year. Avoiding selling fees and the pain of dealing with complete idiots by simply requesting a return and refund of your item is the first thing you should try.

If your gift was bought online, you have much more of a chance of getting rid. Distance selling regulations mean you’re allowed to ask for a refund within 14 days and the government says you don’t even have to provide a reason. It being a gift from someone else means the money will go back to them, though. Which might be a bit embarrassing.

Get a headstart on 2015

The good thing about getting old and the quickening of the passing of time is how it's easy to make plans for next Christmas already.

If your unwanted item won't be embarrassingly last generation by Christmas 2015, why not box it up and save it to re-gift to some other sucker? Saving the future you the time, money and mental expense of having to think about things next year.

Failing that it, takes unwanted things and turns them into donations for good causes, should the crappy unknown brand Chinese mobile that someone ruined your Christmas with prove impossible to sell in austere January.

Image credit: Bad Christmas presents from Shutterstock