SANTA might not always get it right on Christmas Day, but there’s no need to let unwanted gifts go to waste.
One person’s junk is another’s treasure so you can make a tidy profit out of reselling them, whether it’s clothing, books or gadgets.
Alternatively, you can give them as gifts to other people or return or exchange them.
Here are our tips to help you on your quest to get rid of those unwanted presents.
Check if you can get a refund or exchange
Before you sell your unwanted gifts, you may want to consider taking it back to the store for a refund, exchange or credit note.
It’s important to remember that if the item was bought in store, shops are not legally obliged to accept returns unless the item is faulty.
This includes items that are broken, do not work after being taken out of the box and ones that fail after a few days of using them.
So you may not be able to return the gift just because you don’t like it.
What you need for a return?
HERE’s what to remember when taking your items back to the store:
- Have proof of purchase: If you want a refund most shops will ask for proof of purchase, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a receipt. It could be any other official record, such as a bank or credit card statement. If you’re buying for your loved ones, ask for a gift receipt so they can exchange it if it’s not suitable.
- Take the card you paid with: This is particularly important if you want a refund as it’s often credited to the debit or credit card you paid with.
- Keep the original packaging: Even if you’ve removed the item from the packaging, it’s always worth taking it along. With some items, such as tech, retailers may refuse a refund if the seal or packaging has been broken.
- Take it back as soon as possible: Within 30 days of purchase you’re usually entitled to a refund but after that you’ll probably only be able to get an exchange or part refund
- Check the store’s policy: Stores have different policies so check beforehand to make you’re sure entitled to a refund
Most stores will have their own returns policy so it’s worth checking them out to see if you are entitled to a refund.
If the gift was bought online, the buyer has 14 days from when they’ve received it to notify the seller they intend to return it under the Consumer Contracts Regulations.
They then have an additional 14 days to send it back.
Lots of online retailers extend their returns period during Christmas, so check with them individually to see how long you have.
Keep in mind that you might have to tell your loved ones who gave you the gift as they may have to return it for you.
If the present was sent directly to you, you might be able to use the dispatch note as proof of purchase to claim your refund.
Make £100s selling unwanted gifts online
If you can’t get a refund, exchange or credit note there could be opportunities to make a tidy profit out of selling your unwanted presents online.
How much money you can make depends on the gifts you receive but in 2017, we found that Brits could make up to £470 by selling Christmas “must-haves” like Hatchimals, Fitbits and Nerf guns.
Here are some options of where you can sell the gifts you don’t really like:
Online auction site eBay is a popular choice for those wanting to sell new or second-hand items.
You don’t have to pay to register on the site and as of January, you can list up to 1,000 items a month for free.
Items can be listed for auction for one, three, five, seven or 10 days.
If you want your auction to last fewer than three days and you’re not an eBay shop subscriber, you’ll have to pay 35p per item.
When your item sells you have to give eBay 10 per cent of the final price, which is capped at £250.
PayPal also takes 3.4 per cent and an additional 20p for every transaction.
eBay has rounded up its fees policy on its website where you can see all the different options available.
Top tips for selling on eBay
- Download the app: eBay has focused on making selling even easier and faster, especially when it comes to the app which benefits from seamless integration with your phone’s camera.
- Think like a buyer: Fill the title with as many key words as possible, take photos and write a description that really sells your product.
- Pick your price: Price for success by comparing your items to ones sold in the past 90 days – even see the likeliness of a sale for some listings
- Pick your duration: You also need to consider the duration: a seven-day auction that ends on Sunday gives more time to garner interest and watchers, but if you’re selling a unique item you might want to select ‘good til cancelled’ which gives you plenty of time to get your item in front of buyers with no end date.
- Consider allowing offers: To attract more buyers, allow shoppers to make offers on your listings. You can choose to accept, decline or make a counteroffer.
- Use eBay delivery: When it comes to packaging up and sending your parcel, eBay has secured great prices on tracked services that can be dropped off at thousands of locations nationwide. You’ll save money, be protected and can do it all through the eBay site.
- Go free: Increase your chances of selling by offering your buyer free shipping, you can always include the cost in your price.
Facebook’s Marketplace allows you to buy and sell items with people in your community, offering a similar service to websites such as Gumtree.
It’s a fairly easy process to list your item – all you have to do is upload a photo, write a full description and list the price.
You don’t have to pay to list your items and unlike eBay, Facebook doesn’t take a cut of the final price.
There are guidelines on what can and can’t be sold through the social media site, including healthcare items or event tickets, which you can find on Facebook’s website.
In May this year, research found that selling on Facebook earns you more money than eBay in nearly three times out of four.
You may also want to consider Gumtree for selling on your unwanted presents, such as clothing or tech.
It’s mostly free to use but sometimes Gumtree charges a fee depending on which category you post in and the location you’re posting from.
But generally, as a private seller, you shouldn’t have to pay to post an advert in the “for sale” section of the website.
Transactions tend to take place in person where you’ll probably have to meet the buyer to exchange the item.
When you meet them, make sure they have checked over the item you’re selling and if they pay in cash, check the bank notes to make sure they’re not fake.
If you’ve got some more quirky items you don’t want to hold on to, you could list them on Etsy.
The online marketplace is popular for handmade items, artwork, jewellery and clothing.
The fees are slightly higher than other online sites as you have to pay 15p for every listing.
Etsy also takes a 5 per cent transaction fee and a 4 per cent plus 20p processing free.
Depop is a mobile marketplace where you can list items such as clothing, shoes, books and art through its app.
You just snap a photo of the item on your phone and then list it on the app for free.
Like eBay, Depop charges a 10 per cent fee as well as the PayPal transaction fee of 3.4 per cent, plus 20p of the final sale price.
The app has been praised by a savvy shopper, who recently saved £500 by buying second hand Christmas presents or gifts from local shops.
Sell gift cards
If you’ve been given a gift card you’re unlikely to use, then you can unlock its value by selling it or swapping for a gift card at another retailer.
It could come in handy as research a few years ago estimated that retailers pocket £300million every year in “unused” gift vouchers.
There are several websites you can use, including Cardyard and Zapper.
Just keep in mind that you generally won’t get the full value in cash, so consider this beforehand.
To sell a gift card on Cardyard, you’ll just need to provide some details of the card gift and send it to the firm to validate it.
It takes a 19 per cent fee cut on gift cards if you decide to sell it for cash, or just under 15 per cent if you sell it for credit to buy another gift card.
For example, a Topshop gift card worth £20 will give you £16.20 in cash or £17.01 in credit.
Similar to Cardyard, Zapper also offers a set price for your unused gift cards.
It takes a slightly bigger cut though, as it’ll buy your gift card for around a quarter less than their face value.
Rent out your stuff
In some cases, you might be better off renting out a gift you don’t need often, rather than just selling it.
These items can be anything from stand mixers and slow cookers to toys and cameras.
By using websites like Fat Lama – you’ll be able to set your own price for your item.
Just keep in mind that the website will take a 15 per cut if someone accepts your offer.
But it also has an insurance policy to protect your items against loss, theft or damage.
Examples of items currently listed on the site include a Nikon d5100 camera for £10 a day, or a Yamaha keyboard for £25 a day.