Christmas may seem like a distant memory now but thousands of us are still sitting on gifts that we simply don’t want (or, to put it more kindly) have little use for.


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So don’t let your unwanted presents sit there for months and months like the bare tree which lies in the corner of the garden – put them to good use or maybe even make a little profit of your own.

Here are five ways that you can shift those gifts you never asked for in the first place.

1. Give them back

Yes, that’s right. Why not give the gift you don’t want/need back to the person that gave it to you?

It’s not actually as ridiculous as you might think. I mean, how many times have you bought a present for someone and thought: “I’d like that”?

Once the friend or relative that spent all that time and effort in getting the gift gets over the initial shock (and awkwardness) they will actually be left with something they probably wanted all along – or their money back at the very least.

2. Sell them

If you’ve tried to get a refund on your gift but failed miserably due to the fact that your friend never actually put the receipt in with the item (although it can be done), how about trying to make money out of it some other way?

You never know, you could end up getting more than the item’s original value!

With auction sites like eBay about, there’ll always be someone, somewhere who would like your gift – even if it is junk.

3. Use online cash converters

As well as some well-known online auctioning websites, there are also websites happy to give you cash in exchange for specific items like books, mobile phones or CDs.

There are many of these websites so be sure to “shop around” like you would for any other deal in order to get the most for your item.

How would you find these types of websites? Try Googling “Cash for” and then your type of gift. So, “Cash for clothes” or “Cash for CDs”, you get the idea.

4. Re-gift

What’s so wrong about giving something you don’t want to someone who might be delighted with it?

Birthdays, weddings, christenings and Christmas are a great time to “recycle” your unwanted items, so be sure to make sure you keep the original packaging and minimise any damage!

Re-gifting, if done properly, is actually a perfectly good method of redistributing items, but it might be worth keeping a list of who gave what – as you re-gifting that toaster that Aunt Enid gave you back to Aunt Enid just isn’t worth thinking about.

5. Find another use

If you gift is simply that awful that no one else wants it, maybe you’re too ashamed to re-gift it or your profits for an online sale simply wouldn’t be worth the bother – it may be time to think creatively.

Like kids that find they have more fun playing with the packaging the item came in rather than the gift itself, this is your chance to improvise and make the most of what you have to work with.

Have you ever thought of all those things you could do with that pair of socks you were given? Or maybe considered your resourceful options when it comes to that ugly-looking table lamp?


Well, nor have I, but now you have the perfect excuse to experiment. Again, use Google to your advantage. Try searching “Creative uses for” and then your product name.

6. Swap with family members

If your family is anything like mine, tastes vary massively (me and my brother would buy our own presents to ensure maximum delight, and of course minimum surprise).

So if you’ve been given something you really don’t want, how about offering it around and seeing if you have any takers, you could even host a present swap party and invite all the friends and neighbours round.

Just be sure to be selective when it comes to your invite list.

By Matthew Wood