Christmas is over! Now it's time to handle all of the gifts that you're stuck with. Hopefully you have a family full of awesome gift-givers, and you want to keep everything you got. But the fact is, most of our families are terrible gift givers, and you probably have a bunch of Christmas gifts you don't want or need.
So what should you do with these unwanted gifts? Well, not all hope is lost. Here are some ways that you can turn those unwanted Christmas gifts into cash.
Are you ready to earn money from those unwanted gifts? Read below.
Related: If you're tired of giving and getting "stuff", consider giving the gift of stock next year.
Return The Unwanted Christmas Gifts
The first (and easiest) option is to simply return the Christmas gifts that you don't want. Hopefully, your family gives you the receipt for the stuff they bought you. But we all know family members and friends that never send a receipt along with the item. This can make returning the item a challenge.
Combine that with the fact that every store has a different return policy, it can be hard to get your money back for a gift you don't want. For a handy reference, Consumer World has all of the major retailer return policies listed in one place.
If you can't get cash back for your Christmas gift (which is sadly all too common), you'll likely be left with a gift card to the retailer. This could be good or bad. A gift card is like cash - if you like the retailer. If you don't shop at that store (which probably happens with bad gift givers), you're stuck with a gift card to a place you'll never shop... unless..
Sell The Unwanted Gift Cards
Do you have a bunch of gift cards to places that you will never shop at? It's time to sell those unwanted gift cards. This is the best strategy to convert unwanted Christmas gifts into cash.
Our favorite place to sell unwanted gift cards is Cardpool. We like Cardpool for a couple of reasons. First, they offer some of the highest redemption values we've seen. They also offer two options: you can simply type in the card number or you can mail the card in. If you mail it in, you get a higher payout. Plus, Cardpool has been giving a bonus if you convert your gift card to an Amazon gift card. An even better way to earn more for your gift card.
Sell The Unwanted Gifts
Finally, if you can't return the gifts you've received (maybe you have no idea where it came from), you can always sell your unwanted Christmas gifts for cash.
There are a few main ways to sell your unwanted gift:
- Sell on Amazon: If you received a book, movie, or something pretty standard, Amazon is a great way to sell online because their marketplace allows you to quickly list and sell items. After it's sold, they have a great backend that allows you to easily ship and get paid as well.
- Sell on eBay: As an alternative to Amazon, you can always sell on eBay as well. This is a little more complicated - you need to put together your own detailed listing, and you need to setup a PayPal account to get paid. However, for the right items, it can make sense.
Before you list, it never hurts to browse each site and see what the item you have is selling for. And remember, you're always going to pay some fees regardless of which platform you use (and you're likely going to pay for shipping as well).
What About Homemade Stuff?
What if you receive something homemade - like a knick-knack or chotchkie? Well, if you don't want it, and are okay to part with it, you can still sell it! It's just a little more difficult to get rid of these items.
We've found the best solution to selling knick-knacks is to sell them at a garage sale. These items are harder to sell online (unless they are some type of collectible), so your best bet is to sell them in person. You'd be surprised how well these types of items can sell to the right buyer at a garage sale.
Plus, the beginning of the year is a great time to have a garage sale to clear out any junk from the past year.
Hopefully you've found a few ways that you can turn your unwanted Christmas gifts into cash. But there are some things that you'll never be able to sell...
In that case, it can make sense to donate the items to a local charity and take a tax deduction for the gift. While it doesn't make you as much money as selling the item, it can save you in taxes - and that's always helpful. And if you make that donation before December 31, you can claim the donation on this year's taxes!
The bottom line is that you don't have to feel stuck with unwanted Christmas gifts. You shouldn't feel "bad" getting rid of something that someone got you. Yes, it's the thought that counts - but the bigger thought about gift giving is that it should be something the receiver wanted. If the giver fails, there's no harm or foul swapping it out for something that the receiver actually wants. Even if that is cold, hard cash.
Do you ever sell your unwanted Christmas gifts?
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.