What to do with unwanted presents

Tis the season to fake enthusiasm for peculiar gifts.

What can you do when you receive two DVDs of Magic Mike XXL? (Thanks, girls; great minds think alike.)

Or a multi-pack of plain underwear? (That’s really practical.)

Or a subscription to Amazon Prime? (They don’t pay their tax, I’m not paying for their TV)

Well, read on to find out the best way to utilise your present.

Although, that ugly sweater knitted by your mum with your initials on… suck it up. You can always put it in the cat basket: “She won’t sleep without it, mum.”



Some presents that you receive are unable to be returned; maybe they’ve been bought at a craft market or maybe it’s an Amazon Prime gift card when you’re a Netflix person. It might not be right for you but for someone else, it’s perfect. Especially if their birthday is close to Christmas- luckily, by the time you read this, my birthday will already be over.



eBay generally has free listings on items in January. I haven’t seen it advertised this year but it’s one of the quickest ways to get rid of your unwanted presents. (Who wants to do a car-boot in the winter?)



There is nothing to be ashamed of with returning presents. This post-holiday season, I will be returning some cosmetics that I suspect are tested on animals and this book (okay, it’s not actually this book but putting the real book up would be mean) .


Store Policy

Most stores will have a grace period after the holidays where presents can be returned without the receipt for the current value. Be aware that this may be less than was paid for it because stores have their sales on; you can make the most of it by buying sale items.


If you aren’t keen on these options; then  as opposed to putting the items in charity shops (they get so full after Christmas), you prioritise direct action groups as money is often scarce in these places due to government budget cuts.

Items like clothing, toiletries and toys will be well received by your local homeless shelter, women’s refuge or children’s home; they can be rewrapped as presents for residents’ birthdays or used by residents in common areas.

Homeless shelters will generally advertise their locations but women’s refuges don’t so you may have to send a couple of speculative emails before you can arrange donations.

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