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What to do with unwanted Christmas gifts

Published 31 December 2015 by

No matter how many hints you drop, adverts or catalogues you circle or lists you write, it’s likely that there’s going to be one present that you receive at Christmas that doesn’t float your boat. Whether it’s strong smelling perfume, a CD of an artist that you simply can’t stand or – the item on everyone’s wish list – a pair of socks, there’s just no way around it, you’re not going to love everything that you receive.

After politely thanking the person that gave you the gift, you may be wondering what to do with it now – here are a few suggestions:

Take it back

The most obvious thing to do when you don’t like a gift is to return it back to the store. If the gift-buyer had the foresight to give you a gift receipt then all you have to do is go back to the shop and exchange or refund the item.

If not, you could always go back to the gift-buyer and ask for the receipt, but this will make it clear that you’re planning to return it. You won’t have much of a choice if the person ordered the item online, as they’ll have to return it for you. If you’d rather not offend them, you could try your luck with the store but be warned – without a receipt the most you can hope for is store credit.


Although the gift might not be of any use to you now, think of all the upcoming birthdays and other occasions that you have coming up in the New Year. Would any of your family or friends be the perfect candidate to take the gift off your hands? If the product doesn’t have a sell-by date or it’s not personalised to you, you could easily re-gift it – just make sure that you remember who gave it to you so that you don’t end up giving it back to them!

Sell online

After the festive period, most of us are strapped for cash so why not get some use out of the gift by selling it online. A good place to start is eBay, as you’ll find pretty much anything on there. If your item is a little bit more specific then you could use a more tailored website – Amazon, for example, is ideal for selling books and musicMagpie caters to anyone wanting to sell CDs, DVDs or games.


As Christmas is a time for giving, why not donate any of your unwanted gifts to a worthy cause. Your local charity will probably be glad to take anything off your hands and while you’re at it you could see if there’s anything else knocking about your home that you no longer have use for – they’ll surely appreciate it!

Alternatively, if you decide to sell the unwanted gift you could donate whatever you make from it to a charity of your choice. You could make a monetary donation or buy a gift like a mosquito net or a hygiene kit – just go onto the charity’s website and head to their shop section to have a look at what’s on offer.