5 great things to do with unwanted Christmas gifts

Category: News

As you excitedly unwrap your Christmas gift, disappointment descends. It’s not what you wanted. Not even close. 

According to government figures, approximately £4 billion is spent on unwanted gifts every year in the UK.

If you receive an unwanted present but don’t want to waste it, read on for sustainable and money-making ideas about what to do.

1. Return the gift for a refund or exchange

An increasing number of retailers offer gift receipts which may give you an extended period to return an item for a refund or exchange over the holiday period. 

If the gift giver left a receipt in your parcel, check the terms and conditions for making returns to find out what your options are.

Don’t despair if you haven’t been given the receipt. Depending on your relationship with the person who gave you the gift, you might feel comfortable asking for it. They may well prefer that their money isn’t wasted on a gift that will sit gathering dust and be happy to help you exchange it for something you enjoy.

If not, some retailers might be willing to issue a credit note in exchange for goods returned without a receipt. 

2. Donate your unwanted gift to charity

Instead of leaving your gift unused, consider donating it to a charity that is important to you.

For example, your local food bank or community shop. In the current cost of living crisis there are many families who would be grateful to receive a little holiday cheer in the form of your unwanted Christmas gift. 

Whatever gift you have received, there will be a charity that would be grateful to receive it and pass it on to where it is needed most. 

Alternately, you could sell your unwanted gift and donate the money to charity. The added benefit of this option is that the charity can claim 25% Gift Aid on eligible monetary donations, which equates to 25p for every £1. In this way, you can boost the value of any items you give to charity. 

3. Recycle it

If you’re keen to live a little more sustainably this Christmas and beyond, recycling is a great way to pass on unwanted gifts. 

There are plenty of charities that deliver bags for recycling to your home. Simply fill them with your unwanted gifts and leave them on your doorstep for collection on the allotted day. Be sure to check the details on the bag as some charities specify the type of items they are collecting. 

Alternatively, if you’d like to do your bit for the environment but also earn some money off your next shop, look out for retailers who issue gift cards in exchange for your unwanted items. 

For example, Marks & Spencer and Oxfam have teamed up to offer a “Shwopping” service. This allows you to donate your pre-loved M&S clothes at one of their stores or an Oxfam shop in exchange for a £5 voucher off your next eligible £35 M&S shop. 

It’s also worth exploring your local shops to find out if there are any incentivised recycling schemes available. 

4. Regift it to someone who will love it

Your “unwanted” gift might be top of a friend or family member’s wish list.

If you know someone who would love the present you’ve received, spread some festive cheer by passing it on.

Or ask them about their unwanted gifts. They might be willing to swap your gift for something you love. Then everybody wins and nothing is wasted. 

5. Sell it through an online marketplace

There have never been so many online marketplaces for selling second-hand goods. Whatever you’re looking to sell, there’s likely to be an interested buyer waiting for you to post your ad online. 

Some platforms, such as eBay, charge a percentage of the sale price for selling on their website, but there’s generally still plenty of scope for making money. 

Alternatively, Facebook doesn’t charge sellers. You may just need to be patient with buyers who are slow to respond to messages or fail to collect your item as agreed.

You can even sell gift cards online. Websites such as Cardyard buy big name gift cards for a percentage of their value. So, if you’ve received a gift card for a retailer you never shop at, this could be a good way to recoup some of the value of your present, which you can then spend elsewhere.

Get in touch

If you’d like to discuss ways to manage your money better this Christmas, please contact us by email at info@lloydosullivan.co.uk or call 020 8941 9779 to see how we can help you.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.