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What to do with unwanted Christmas gifts

What to do with unwanted Christmas gifts


If you received any unwanted gifts this Christmas, don’t leave them to collect dust. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so find a new home or purpose for your present. As well as preventing wastage, you’ll save space and potentially make money! Learn how below.


If your present came with a gift receipt, most shops will allow you to return your item for an exchange or refund (cash or store credit). However, they are not obliged to accept non-faulty items.


One of the most obvious options is selling your item on a platform like eBay or Amazon Marketplace. To decide whether it will be worthwhile, investigate selling prices of similar products, shipping costs and seller fees.

Avoid dissatisfied buyers by providing a detailed description, using appropriate packaging supplies to ensure there’s no damage in transit, and paying for a tracked shipping service.

For items that are difficult to ship, you might have more success with classified ads. Check your local paper or submit an ad to Gumtree. Consider Freecycle if you don’t mind giving your item away.

Trading in

Many businesses will buy second-hand items and sell them on. CeX, Amazon and GAME are good places to start. You can usually get more money if you exchange products for a gift card, but cash exchanges are available.

To get the best possible price, keep your item in the original packaging and in tip-top condition.


Know someone else who might like your gift? Save it for their birthday or next Christmas – just make sure they don’t know the original giftee!


If you’re into crafts or DIY, think about repurposing your gift. Take a look at Pinterest for inspiration – could you turn an unwanted T-shirt into a cushion cover, for example?


Another option is donating your gift to a charity – just make sure to check that they accept your item. Barnardo’s is currently holding a donation drive for unwanted Christmas presents.

You could also keep hold of your items for school raffles and shoebox appeals.


Throwing away your unwanted gift should be a last resort, and any recyclable materials should be disposed of responsibly.


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