WERE your Christmas presents more drab than fab? You are not the only one.

On average, we receive two unwanted gifts each year.

As much as £42million worth of presents end up in landfill as over a third of us end up binning them on Boxing Day.

Pongy perfumes, clothes a size too small and cringey joke books are the most likely to be chucked. But instead of adding to landfill, why not cash in?

Here, Siobhan O'Connor reveals how to make the most of rejected pressies.


EITHER arrange and host a present swapping session yourself or seek them out through community groups on Facebook.

They are a fun way to get rid of, and gain, something.

Chances are, your neighbourhood may have a Whatsapp group where you can post about unwanted items.

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To swap without the work of organising, use Freecycle. The site allows you to list whatever you wish to give away, from jars to jackets.

You can even post what you are looking for and offer your freebies in return.

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PRESENTS you don’t have any use for end up becoming clutter, so rather than let them collect dust, raise cash by flogging them.

The first platform to try is eBay, as it offers 50 free listings per month and you won’t be charged any insertion fees for these listings – though you pay 35p per listing thereafter.

Kids’ toys are the best-selling category with Hot Wheels top – the Corkscrew Crash Track Set is selling for £50 at Argos and up to £74.99 on eBay.

Perfumes sell instantly, especially top brands like Calvin Klein and Versace. Marc Jacobs Perfect Intense is going for £59.50 at John Lewis and up to £84.99 on eBay.

Facebook Marketplace is great for bulky items like kitchen appliances or bikes, as you can ask locals to collect. Apps like Depop, Vinted and Spock are other easy-to-use sites.


WHY not turn your unwanted gift into a longer-term investment by renting it out?

Whether you received a kitchen gadget you don’t need or another pair of headphones when you have several, try Fat Llama.

The site allows you to list anything from gadgets to camping gear but it does take 25 per cent from lender and renter.

Drones are the most popular to rent, for around £90 a day.

Give it a go with clothes, too, on Hurr or Rent My Wardrobe. These apps are perfect for a fancy Christmas Day frock ­­– or other big- occasion outfits.

List them as suitable for a wedding, christening or Valentine’s Day and watch the offers come in.

House of Fraser’s Biba dresses rent for between £34 and £60, while Whistles outfits get at least £50.


IF you got a sackful of cosmetics and toiletries, put them to good use by donating them to charities.

Beauty Banks and Give and Makeup are two charities that tackle hygiene poverty, passing products on to those in need.

Otherwise local raffles, hospices and charity shops are great go-tos, turning your cast-offs into life-changing aid.

Hair tools are always a great raffle win – the Revlon One Step Dryer, costing £59.99, was a top seller this year.

Women’s refuge charities often need soft toys – and now is also a good time of year to bag up clothes the kids have grown out of and take them to the local hospital to spread some cheer.


GET crafty. And if you have kids, get them involved too.

Alter clothes that might not be to your taste by chopping the length or adding motifs.

The same goes for any interior gifts or PJs – can you maybe put your own stamp on them?

Try a YouTube stitching tutorial during the festive break to fill the time.

Turn mugs into plant pots for the garden, repurpose candle jars as a place to store your beauty products and add festive touches to jewellery to turn them into Christmas decorations for next year.


ONE person’s trash is another’s treasure – so while you may not like a certain gift, it could be perfect for someone else.

Box up in a storage container items like candles or beauty gift sets (as long as they are not Christmassy) and dip into this throughout the year when you need to give presents.

Just make sure it’s suitable for the next owner, though, so that they won’t feel the need to re-gift it again.

Re-gifting has a certain stigma, but for friends who are eco-conscious and love second-hand shopping, it’s ideal.

For those who don’t, just make sure that they didn’t know you were gifted it in the first place.


WHETHER you read them first or not, books can often fill space we could desperately do with freeing up.

So put them to good use by dropping them off at the local library or school.

Look out for recent bestsellers such as The Push by Ashley Audrain, or kids’ favourite The Secret Detectives by Ella Risbridger, which will always prove popular.

Items such as craft kits, pens and notebooks can also be helpful if you have any just lying around and unused.

Always remember to phone ahead before dropping stuff off to ensure what you have is really needed – and try other locations that may appreciate them, such as hospitals, nurseries, universities and shelters.

‘I’ve made £1.5K selling books’

OFFICE worker Nicola Thrale, a mum of two, has earned so much by selling unwanted Christmas gifts, she treated herself to a trip to New York.

Nicola, 45, who lives in Luton with partner Chris, 51, a building supervisor and daughters, Gabi, 21, and Honor, 17, says: “Every year I end up with presents I don’t need, or hate.

"I’d keep them for ages, but four years ago, I realised they were just pointless and cluttering up my home.

“So I started selling them, thinking, ‘I’d rather have a tenner’s worth of petrol than something I won’t use’.

Using eBay and Facebook Marketplace, I’ve made £1,500 which I’ve put toward a holiday to New York.

“Theatre tickets were my most valuable sale, for £250. I’ve sold jewellery for £150, a fancy cutlery set for £12 and garden seat for £80.

"Not to mention soap sets, pyjamas and so on for between £5 and £20.

“It’s recycling, so a good thing to do.

“I spend up to £2k on Christmas gifts for family and friends every year so this is a way to recoup some of that.

"That’s better than chocolates when I don’t eat sweets, kitchen gadgets when I hate cooking, and bath bombs which irritate my sensitive skin.

“Every year I create three piles – regift, sell or charity. Anything I can’t sell goes to Cats Protection League raffles.

"I also make sure people get what they want, by asking them. I’d never give someone a gift I didn’t know they wanted, especially smellies, aprons or books.

"If they don’t know what they want, it’s vouchers or cash – who doesn’t appreciate that?”

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