Unwanted gifts: Should you turn to eBay?

As the festive season rolls around once more, there are many things to look forward to... Mince pies, cheesy TV shows and (if you're lucky) a few gifts to open on Christmas morning. For the most part, the presents will be thoughtful and incite squeals of joy - until you get to that awkwardly-shaped parcel from Auntie June or Grandpa Jack. You know that whatever it is, it'll be wildly inappropriate or - best case scenario - three sizes too big. Either way, it won't be something you'll want to keep past Boxing Day. In fact, eBay reports that in the days immediately following Christmas 2012, around 3,000 gifts were added to the site... So you aren't alone! What can you do with these inevitably unwanted gifts, though - and the other presents that you are really grateful, but that you know someone else could appreciate much more? There's one clear answer - get them on eBay!   
 

Make someone's day... And some cash along the way

There are many reasons to post your unwanted gifts on eBay. For one, you know that the present will go to someone who really wants it; they'll get full value and you'll know that it's going to a good home. If you can make a little money along the way, that's an added bonus! Secondly, you could opt to hand your present over to a local charity shop and whilst morally that's a great idea, consider this...
 
You hand the gift over to the local charity shop. They're delighted and you come away with a warm, rosy glow. All is well - until Auntie June heads out to hit the Christmas sales. She happens to love this charity shop and heads there first. Low and behold, she sees her carefully chosen gift in the window! Her feelings will be really hurt and she'll feel really embarrassed. Always remember the golden rule of gift recycling - never, ever let the original giver find out.
 

When should you add the gift to the site?

Well, you should leave at least a small window between receiving the gift and passing it on. How long this will be depends on how likely you are to see the person who gave you it after Christmas Day. If they're heading home on Boxing Day and you don't see them regularly, then getting into gear a few days after Christmas is fine.
 
If they aren't going home for a while, or if they live locally and you're likely to see them a lot over the festive period, wait until early January. This allows you a decent amount of time to wear the item/have it out in front of them before passing on. After all, you have to put on a bit of a show to avoid hurting their feelings.
 
Although it's good to leave a bit of time in the latter instance, don't wait until you're into mid-late January to add the gift to eBay. By then, most of us will be lacking in funds a bit and the excitement of the post-Christmas sales will have dwindled somewhat.
 
All in all, popping your unwanted gifts on eBay is an excellent idea... So this year, when you open that multi-coloured jumper or dancing cow clock, just remember - someone, somewhere will want it! 

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