With Christmas done and dusted, you might be wondering how you ended up with dodgy gifts and what you’re supposed to do with them now. You're not alone; according to Gumtree, the estimated value of unwanted gifts received last Christmas was $669 million and the new figure is set to be even higher.
Yes, receiver’s remorse is real. Research by Gumtree shows we’re currently wondering what to do with around 21 million gifts that missed the mark - crazy when you think about how we’re supposed to be trying to reduce waste and start saving our dying planet. But you can fight back. Whether it’s a nose- hair trimmer, windscreen wiper blades or a signature fragrance by a celebrity you can’t stand, we have the solution to get it out of your life, fast and responsibly.
Where to donate unwanted gifts
If you are feeling charitable don't just shove whatever you fancy into your nearest charity bin. It costs the Salvation Army millions of dollars each year to dispose of unsellable items that have been "donated". The charity has made this appeal: “Please don't donate anything that is broken, damaged, ripped, stained or in any way faulty. As a simple rule, if there's something wrong with it then we can't sell it.” Aside from damaged and faulty goods, they won't accept computer hardware, building materials, car parts, weapons and taxidermy animals, although hopefully, you don't find any of these under your tree!
It’s a similar story at Lifeline. Goods accepted at different Lifeline shops vary depending on location and season so drop by a local store and ask. Generally, they want quality clothes, furniture, books, unused manchester and bric-a-brac that someone else will buy. Find out more at lifeline.org.au.
As for dealing with unwanted cosmetics, food and other things that can spoil or have use by date, you’re best off trying to give these to someone you know rather than donating them. Think of your neighbours, friends and colleagues or anyone in your local community who could be in need of what you have.
Tech and electrical items can prove tricky to donate because different organisations have different rules. Consider selling them on Gumtree or Facebook marketplace, just be sure not to dump in a charity bin where they can be regarded as dangerous goods.
Someone else's treasure
If you're looking to rehome something electrical, perishable or otherwise un-donatable, don't feel bad. “It’s ok to sell something you don’t want and to use the money to buy something you do want. Remember, you're not a bad person for selling an unwanted gift, you just got a bad gift!” says Kirsty Dunn, spokesperson for Gumtree which sees a 30 per cent surge in new listings after Christmas. “Do your research to ensure you’re setting a fair price, be descriptive, take high-quality photos and remember to respond to questions about your listing,” Kirsty says. “Most importantly, don’t feel guilty about it!”
Gumtree isn’t the only option of course. There’s also Facebook Marketplace and buy/swap/sell groups in your local area that you can join - just remember this is Facebook and there’s every chance that because Aunty Jenny follows you, she could see you list that porcelain clown figurine she gave you last week.
- new clothes
- books (not accepted at all charities)
- household goods (note accepted at all charities)
- car accessories