What to do with Unwanted Christmas Presents

Christmas presents

Every year, no matter how many hints we drop, it is guaranteed that we will all get one of those presents where you smile and say thank you, but what you’re really thinking is “what am I going to do with this?” It’s not because we’re ungrateful, but because we know it is going to be unused and what a waste that is! If you receive one of these presents this year, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways of ridding yourself of these presents and putting them to good use in the process:

Firstly, don’t be afraid to ask someone for the receipt so you can exchange it


If you feel that the gift giver will be offended then most retailers will exchange goods without its receipt, but it will be for its current value. If you exchange your unwanted present then you will most likely actually use the new item and won’t be wasting anything by having it sit in the back of your drawer/wardrobe/cupboard. It is unlikely that the person who gave you the present will ever actually ask to see it again so you won’t have to worry that you don’t have the item anymore!

Save the present to give to someone else next Christmas


It may seem a bit cheap or tacky, but who will ever know? As long as you don’t give it back to the same person who bought it for you the first time round, then you’re safe from anyone ever knowing that you recycled a present. This also means there’s one less present to buy for someone else and you can buy one more present for yourself!

Sell it on an online auction and shopping website


Amazon. Depop. Gumtree. Take your pick as there are so many websites that allow you to sell almost anything you no longer want. You can start a bid at 99p on Ebay and who knows how much it will eventually sell for? So that unwanted Christmas present could make a very nice, and very wanted, profit. Auction and shopping sites are also a good way to make extra money when limited edition sets or coveted clothing sells out at Christmas time. Many people will be looking out on the likes of Ebay and Depop to try and get the products they missed out on, so if you end up with something like this that you don’t actually want it can work out perfectly for you and the buyer – win-win.

Ask family members if they have an unwanted present that they would like to swap your unwanted present for

Christmas jumper

It is easier to ask family members if they want to swap anything before you decide on any other option. They are already in your house (or their house) at some point on Christmas Day so you will have plenty of opportunities to ask about swaps, especially if you need to do so in secret so as to avoid hurting anyone else’s feelings. Going back to number 3; there are actually websites that allow you to do swaps instead of selling! A general site for this is swaps.co.uk, but there are also product specific sites i.e. for books go to bookmooch.com, for clothes and accessories you can go to www.swapstyle.com, and the list continues!

Finally, I think the best option over all would be to give the present to charity


Christmas is the season of giving after all. You can do this in a number of ways; you can take it into a charity shop, put it in a charity bag, or you can even go somewhere in person to take the present to a children’s hospital or a hospice for example. If your present is unwanted, you’re not losing out on anything by giving it to charity and you can be satisfied that it will be a welcomed gift to someone else!

Of course, it would be a Christmas miracle if our hints actually made a big enough impact to not receive any unwanted presents one year. But if you do end up with any unwanted Christmas presents this year, please don’t leave them collecting dust because that isn’t the only option. As you’ve seen, there are ways they can be swapped, recycled or given to someone who would really love them!

Written by Robyn Evans


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