How to money from unwanted Christmas presents – plus your refund rights if you want to return gifts

But there's no need to let them go to waste as we've rounded up how you can make some extra cash by flogging your festive failures online.

Check if you can get a refund or exchange

Before you sell your unwanted gifts, you may want to consider taking it back to the store for a refund, exchange or credit note.

It's important to remember that if the item was bought in store, shops are not legally obliged to accept returns unless the item is faulty.

This includes items that are broken, do not work after being taken out of the box and ones that fail after a few days of using them.

So you may not be able to return the gift just because you don't like it.

Most stores will have their own returns policy so it's worth checking them out to see if you are entitled to a refund.

What you need for a return?

  • Have proof of purchase: If you want a refund most shops will ask for proof of purchase, but it doesn't necessarily have to be a receipt. It could be any other official record, such as a bank or credit card statement. If you're buying for your loved ones, ask for a gift receipt so they can exchange it if it's not suitable.
  • Take the card you paid with: This is particularly important if you want a refund as it's often credited to the debit or credit card you paid with.
  • Keep the original packaging: Even if you've removed the item from the packaging, it's always worth taking it along. With some items, such as tech, retailers may refuse a refund if the seal or packaging has been broken.
  • Take it back as soon as possible: Within 30 days of purchase you're usually entitled to a refund but after that you'll probably only be able to get an exchange or part refund
  • Check the store's policy: Stores have different policies so check beforehand to make you're sure entitled to a refund

And if the gift was bought online? Under the Consumer Contracts Regulation the person who bought the gift has 14 days from when they've received it to notify the seller they intend to return it.

They then have an additional 14 days to send it back.

Lots of online retailers extend their returns period during Christmas, so check with them individually to see how long you have.

Keep in mind that you might have to tell your loved ones who gave you the gift as they may have to return it for you.

If the present was sent directly to you, you might be able to use the dispatch note as proof of purchase to claim your refund.

Make hundreds selling unwanted gifts online

But if you can't get a refund, exchange or credit note there could be opportunities to make a tidy profit out of selling your unwanted presents online.

Last year we found that Brits could make up to £470 from selling unused presents including popular gifts such as Hatchimals, Fitbits and Nerf guns.

Tips for a painless gift return experience

  • Know your rights: If the goods were bought online the person who purchased it will generally have 14 days to return it and get a full refund for most items.
  • Try your luck: Around Christmas many retailers will let you exchange unwanted items as long as they come in their original packaging, even without a gift receipt.
  • Re-gift: If you can’t take the gift back, think about who you know who would actually like the present and give it to them on their birthday
  • Quick cash: Use Facebook to see if any of your friends want to buy the item or use Facebook’s selling function to promote the gift to people in your area (make sure the person who gave you the present can’t see you do this to avoid an awkward conversation!).
  • Charity: If you aren’t strapped for cash, donate your unwanted gift to charity.

Here are some options of where you can sell the gifts you don't really like:


Online auction site, eBay, is a popular choice for those wanting to sell new or second-hand items.

You don’t have to pay to register on the site and you can list up to 20 items a month for free.

After this, you pay 35p per item, and when your item sells you have to give eBay 10 per cent of the final price, which is capped at £250.

PayPal also takes 3.4 per cent and an additional 20p for every transaction.

eBay has rounded up its fees policy on its website where you can see all the different options available.


You may also want to consider Gumtree for selling on your unwanted presents, such as clothing or tech.

It’s mostly free to use but sometimes Gumtree charges a fee depending on which category you post in and the location you’re posting from.

But generally, as a private seller, you shouldn’t have to pay to post an advert in the “for sale” section of the website.

Transactions tend to take place in person where you’ll probably have to meet the buyer to exchange the item.

When you meet them, make sure they have checked over the item you’re selling and if they pay in cash, check the bank notes to make sure they’re not fake.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook’s Marketplace allows you to buy and sell items with people in your community, offering a similar service to websites such as Gumtree.

It’s a fairly easy process to list your item – all you have to do is upload a photo, write a full description and list the price.

You don’t have to pay to list your items and unlike eBay, Facebook doesn’t take a cut of the final price.

There are guidelines on what can and can’t be sold through the social media site, including healthcare items or event tickets, which you can find on Facebook’s website.


Depop is a mobile marketplace where you can list items such as clothing, shoes, books and art through its app.

You just snap a photo of the item on your phone and then list it on the app for free.

Like eBay, Depop charges a 10 per cent fee as well as the PayPal transaction fee of 3.4 per cent, plus 20p of the final sale price.


If you’ve got some more quirky items you don’t want to hold on to, you could list them on Etsy.

The online marketplace is popular for handmade items, artwork, jewellery and clothing.

The fees are slightly higher than other online sites – you have to pay 16p for every listing and Etsy takes a 3.5 per cent transaction fee and a 4 per cent plus 20p processing free.

Similarly to eBay, PayPal also takes a cut from the final value amount.

You could also make hundreds flogging your junk, including items such as old jam jars, empty perfume bottles and old tech.

An IT consultant from Swindon revealed how he made £2,500 in one year by flogging his old phones, tablets and CDs online.

Savvy savers have also revealed their tips on how you can make money without even leaving your home.

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team? Email us at [email protected] or call 0207 78 24516. Don't forget to join the Sun Money's Facebook group for the latest bargains and money-saving advice.

Source: Read Full Article