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How to turn a bad Christmas present into $89

Jessica Yun
Turn a bad Christmas gift into some extra cash. (Source: Getty)
Turn a bad Christmas gift into some extra cash. (Source: Getty)

Australia is a nation of gift-givers – but that doesn’t mean each and every present is well-placed.

Once the Christmas season is done and dusted, we’re left with 18 million unwanted gifts to deal with, according to 2018 figures commissioned by Gumtree. That’s more than half of Australian adults.

And despite the record Boxing Day sales this year, there’s evidence that Aussies are saving, not spending the money we have in this sluggish economic environment.

So what do money-conscious Aussies do if they’ve received an unwanted gift?

The solution is simple: find someone else who actually wants it, and will hand over money for it.

According to Gumtree research, Australians who sold unwanted Christmas gifts from last year made $86 on average by selling them.

Most of these gifts were wrongly sized clothes (31 per cent), personal care products (25 per cent), books (13 per cent), and household items like furniture, decor or homewares (10 per cent).

This not only saw money saved but injected the equivalent of $395 million into the Australian economy – just by selling unwanted Christmas gifts.

“Unwanted Christmas gifts aren’t necessarily a bad thing. They can easily be sold online to make some extra cash to spend over the silly season or to help recoup the cost of Christmas,” said Gumtree Australia spokesperson Amanda Behre.

“You can avoid the Boxing Day sales by uploading an unwanted item with one hand, and purchasing something else with the other.”

Some Australians are making more than others: one in ten Australians who didn’t like their Christmas gifts ended up raking in more than $200 by selling them.

Aussies are a bunch of pranksters too: nearly one in five (19 per cent) of unwanted gifts were intentionally undesirable as a joke, while others wanted to entertain (10 per cent) or deliberately annoy the recipient (8 per cent).

The good news is that the number of unwanted gifts has come down by 17 per cent since last year, meaning that Australians are becoming more conscientious about their gift-giving and its environmental impact.

“Savvy shoppers can dodge the Boxing day sales madness and shop within their own community for considerably less,” said Behre.

Recent research from Gumtree revealed that the average Aussie stands to make $5,300 from unwanted or unused items simply lying around the house.

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