If you took part in a family gift exchange or Secret Santa, it’s likely you ended up with a few bad Christmas gifts.
Whether it’s an ugly bedazzled sweater or a creepy porcelain doll whose eyes follow you, some gifts just aren’t right for you. But rather than let bad Christmas gifts take up space in your home, consider turning them into cash instead.
How to convert unwanted Christmas gifts
While it’s the thought that counts, having unused items sitting around your home does nobody any favors. It just creates more clutter.
Therefore, after Christmas sort through gifts you receive right away. Separate the presents you will keep from the items you will sell or return.
Then, check out online marketplaces and auction sites that make it easy to exchange even the strangest unwanted Christmas gifts for money.
Afterward, use the extra funds to buy what you really want. Or, make extra payments on your student loans and get out of debt faster.
Here are five ways you can get started on converting bad Christmas gifts into cash money ASAP.
1. Sell them online
A gift that’s not a good fit for you could be the hallmark of someone else’s collection. And online sites can easily connect the two of you.
So if you get a collectible or knickknack, check out the brand and item name on auction sites like eBay.
By sorting through completed listings, you can also see what similar items have sold for. That can give you a good idea of what you can expect to get if you decide to sell your present online.
Figurines, dolls, some china, glassware, and ornaments often sell well online. In fact, you may be surprised how much you get for a weird-looking toy or quirky ornament.
Remember, what may be an odd present to you may be a valuable treasure to someone else.
2. Return for a gift card
But if you return your items for a store gift card, you can turn around and sell it for up to 92 percent of its value on resale sites like Card Pool.
Since people have more purchasing options with a gift card, they’re often willing to pay more for a store card. So if you’re willing to take the extra step and return an item for store credit then sell it online, you can get more money in your pocket.
This strategy works well for difficult to sell items like clothing, niche toys, and books. Designer items and collectibles tend to resell well on their own, too.
3. Host a swap party
If you received gifts that are interesting but just not your style, consider hosting a swap party with friends. P
Have some drinks and appetizers ready and encourage guests to bring over the bad Christmas gifts they received as well. You could sell items to one another for cash, or do a simple trade-off.
At the ned of the day, you may find that what your friend considers to be an unflattering dress could be the perfect garment for you.
4. Regift them (carefully)
If you’re careful, you can strategically regift unwanted Christmas gifts and save money, since you won’t have to buy a present in the future.
But if you decide to go this route, proceed with caution. Make sure you only regift a present if you’re sure the original gifter will never meet the new recipient.
5. Donate to charity
While that cardigan may not be right for you, it might be exactly what someone else is looking for to ward off the chill in a frosty office. And if you donate to a recognized charity, you can get a nice deduction when you file your taxes, reducing your tax burden and increasing your savings.
Goodwill accepts clothing, gently used toys, books, furniture, and even electronics at their locations nationwide. And, proceeds from the sale of donated items helps people in the community build job skills and find employment.
In fact, just last year Goodwill helped 312,000 find employment and over 35 million people used their services to access education, training, and mentoring.
With more than 7,500 centers operating across the United States, The Salvation Army also accepts donations of clothing and household items. They then sell the items and use the profits to help veterans, the homeless, and victims of human trafficking get back on their feet.
Making the most of bad Christmas gifts
While you may really mean it when you say “you shouldn’t have,” even a bad present can help you and your financial situation. With some creativity and a little extra effort, you can turn that dud into a profit in no time.
For more information on how to save money this holiday season and cut down on clutter, check out this article on how to prepare for Christmas with a pre-holiday garage sale.
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