Whilst thinking of something to blog about that’s related to the season of joy and goodwill my usual, slightly cynical, outlook on life took over. My mind turned to the millions of unwanted presents that will be unwrapped on Christmas Day.
Truckloads of dubiously patterned, poor-fitting, knitted jumpers will enter wardrobes across the land never to be seen again. Thousands of pairs of Simpsons novelty boxer shorts will disappear into the back of dusty drawers only to come out when the owners have exhausted their entire supply of clean undies. And as for the Laura Ashley gift vouchers…
Being someone who is occasionally environmentally conscious it strikes me as tremendously wasteful to just bin or bury our unwanted presses.
I’m also keen that we keep the cash flowing around our broken economy in these ‘times of austerity’. Surely the unwanted present conundrum is the opposite of the Bank of England’s quantitative easing? The combined value of say £5 worth of unwanted pressies per head re-entering the market would be worth millions and could be enough to drag us out of the double dip and become an economic super power once more!
Ok, so my argument may be ever so slightly flawed, but for the good of our personal finances, and the planet as a whole we should do something useful with the gifts for which we have no personal use.
“So what should we do O wise and cynical one?” Glad you asked. Here are my five top tips for what to do with unwanted Christmas presents:
Exchange it at the storeImage from Videojug
Don’t be shy. Your relatives and friends shouldn’t be offended if you wanted to exchange your gift for something you actually want. Wouldn’t you expect them to do the same if they didn’t like your gift? Let’s face it, we don’t find the perfect gift for our loved ones on every occasion. Even if you don’t have the receipt you’ll find that most stores will exchange goods, as long as they could conceivably have sold them in the place. There’s no point returning a puppy to M&S…
Swap it for something you really want
Your mates may have the opposite taste to you and they could be willing to swap pressies or cash for your unwanted gifts. Your useless tat may be just what they need. If your mates don’t want your cast-offs you could try swapping websites like Swapz.co.uk or SwapShop.co.uk.
Sell it on eBay
If you can’t exchange it or swap it why not sell it? People will buy absolutely anything on eBay and they sometimes get caught up in a bidding frenzy which means you get more cash than you expected for something really naff. I once sold an unwanted cheap watch on eBay and it went for more than the watch was being sold for in the shops!
Give it to charityImage from Charity Retail Consultancy
Failing the monetary exchanges above why not trade your gifts for karma points by giving them to a good cause? Charity shops are always happy to receive items they can sell that haven’t been through the washing machine a thousand times already. They also accept more than just paisley ties and bad frocks. CDs, board games, books and some even accept electrical goods for recycling. You could also try and find a local good cause such as a hospice, homeless shelter, children’s home or school who may appreciate a donation, particularly for toys, games, books or clothing.
Gift voucher exchange
Yes I spotted this one on Dragons Den but what a great idea! At GiftCardConverter.co.uk you can trade your unwanted gift vouchers for other vouchers or simply donate them to charity. The website charges 10% commission which is only £2 for a £20 voucher and much better than never using the voucher at all. Perfect if you receive vouchers for stores that are located near to you or at which you would never shop.
So that’s my 5 tips for what to do with your unwanted pressies. Let me know yours!
Image courtesy of Random Factor.