What to do with your unwanted Christmas presents

Christmas gift box on gold background

You might get everything you wished for this Christmas, but the chances are you'll also get a few gifts that you're not so happy with, no matter how well-meaning. Rather than letting them clutter up your home, here are a few tips on what to do with unwanted pressies.

Return it
The thoughtful gift-giver might have provided you with a gift receipt (which doesn't display the price), and that means you can simply return the unwanted item to the retailer, but that's not always the case. That said, many of the big-name retailers, including Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and sometimes John Lewis, will offer refunds or exchanges even if you don't have a receipt, though usually at the staff's discretion. It's worth a try though, even if you only get a voucher or exchange to the current, potentially cheaper value of the item.

Donate it
In the spirit of season, why not donate your unwanted gifts to a local charity shop? Books, CDs, games and clothes are almost always welcome and will contribute towards a good cause. Sadly electrical products and perishables often won't be accepted.

Sell it
It might seem slightly unethical to sell on something that was given to you as a gift, so try to think of it less as making money , and more as de-cluttering without waste. If you sell locally, Gumtree and Preloved are great online options, while local free papers often offer free listings if the item is priced under a certain limit. Alternatively, you could make more by listing on eBay. You'll have to pay a fee to list and work out how much you'll charge for postage and packing, as collection only means you'll be narrowing buying market. Another option is to try the increasing number of websites prepared to pay for new and second-hand CDs, DVDs, games, clothes, books and even mobile phones - try the likes of Musicmagpie or Mazuma for an instant quote.

Swap it
If you received the odd gift that just isn't you this year, the chances are you're not alone. Friends or family members might be in the same boat, but one man's rubbish is another's treasure, so organise a gift swapping party to see if everyone can find something they'd prefer. Ask each guest to bring a minimum and maximum number of items, have a glass of vino, and you might just find a few hidden treasures. Just remember to make a list of who gave you what before you start inviting people - trying to swap something with the generous friend or relative who gave it to you is embarrassing to say the least.

Though you may be disappointed with some of your presents, there's always a chance someone you know might appreciate it. And if you haven't got enough for a swapping party, it's time to think about regifting. If you think of someone who might like one of your unwanted items, save it for a birthday or even next Christmas and save yourself some cash into the bargain. Obviously you'll need to re-wrap, since crumpled paper is a dead giveaway, and once again, the list of who gave you what is an absolute essential if you plan on recycling.

What do you do with your unwanted Christmas presents? Leave your comments below...
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