At Home Reuse

Selling unwanted gifts online

19 JAN 21 | 6 minute read

Even with the best of intentions - and a whole lot of hinting - the odd gift can still pop up under the Christmas tree that we don’t want or need.  

Our recent poll showed that most people will be choosing to regift, sell or donate any unwanted gifts this year with fewer than 1% of Scots planning to throw any away.

If you’ve found yourself with an unwanted Christmas gift or two, don’t leave them gathering dust in the back of the cupboard.

Selling online gives you the chance to pass it on to someone else who will be able to use it and earn you some pennies at the same time. 

Selling unwanted gifts online gives you the chance to pass it on to someone else who will be able to use it and earn you some pennies at the same time. #HowToWasteLess

Getting started

You’re eager to get going but taking some time to properly organise your items before putting them up for sale can pay dividends in the end.  

Do some research – look for similar products online and check the prices to give an idea of how much you should list yours for. Read the descriptions that people are using, what would make you want to buy it? Remember to be honest when writing your description, if you’ve given your perfume set a spritz to test it out then don’t list it as unopened. 

Great photos can help to sell your item quicker. Taking your own photos rather than using screenshots of the product on the original selling site let people know it’s real and what condition it’s in. Make sure your images are well lit, the area around the product is free from clutter and captured from all angles.  

If you’re going to be posting the item, then check your shipping options first. Comparison sites like Parcel2Go can help you find the best value for money. Consider if you could offer free shipping to make your listing more enticing, just weigh up whether this could leave you out of pocket first. 

Top tip: If you have a few items to sell try not to list too many at once. This will give you a chance to avoid spreading yourself too thin and selling less as a result. 

Person taking a photo of red shoes with a mobile phone

Online classified ads

Gone are the days of cutting out a form and posting it off to your local newspaper or popping a flyer on the noticeboard in the shop down the road to sell your unwanted things.  

With Preloved and Gumtree, you can sell your items for free from the comfort of your couch to buyers in your local area, cutting out the costs and emissions that would go into posting it. On Preloved you can choose to swap your gift with something of similar value, so you could grab something you’ve had your eye on at the same time. 

Like Gumtree, you can also list your items on Facebook Marketplace or one of the local Facebook groups for selling stuff in your area. This can be an easier method if you’re used to spending time on the Facebook app anyway. 

There are no selling fees with online classified ads, which can make them more appealing than the likes of eBay. You will need to meet up with the buyer in person to exchange cash, so follow Gumtree’s safety advice by not giving out personal information, meeting in a safe location and taking a friend or family member with you. Remember to follow local Coronavirus guidelines on staying at home and social distancing.  

CDs, DVDs or video games

When it comes to selling your music, games collections or consoles online you can sometimes sell them quicker to ‘buy and sell’ websites like CEX, Music Magpie, GameXchange or We Buy Games. You’ll get an instant valuation on your product and, if you decide to sell, you’ll often get a free pre-paid postage label to attach to your package which cuts out the shipping stresses.   

It definitely makes things easier if you have a bulk of things to get rid of, however, as you’re not selling to the end buyer you might get less money for your stuff than if you sold it using one of the other options above.  

The other thing to bear in mind is that you may not receive the original price quoted when it goes through a quality control check if you have damages or scuffs on the discs. 

So, to weigh up the pros and cons, it’s a guaranteed sale, simple to post out but you might not get as much for your discs as you would selling them directly to the buyer. 

Turn unwanted clothes into cash

With current restrictions, it’s been harder to get out Christmas shopping so we can forgive Aunt Maggie for getting you those boots that are two sizes too small or the dress that looked blue on the computer screen (spoiler alert…it’s beige).  

Returning clothing doesn’t always go to plan, with many brand-new returns ending up in landfill when they could have gone to someone who would love to wear them.

Fashion marketplace app, Depop, has a strong community spirit. It’s not just about buying can selling, people can like, share and comment on the stuff that’s for sale. Product photos on Depop have more of an Instagram feel, so make sure your photography skills are on point for this one. 

No fees to list an item, just pay 10% when it sells, and you can choose whether you or the buyer pays for shipping.

Sell clothing, footwear and accessories, as well as cosmetics, gadgets and homeware on pre-loved fashion community Vinted. There are no fees for listing or selling and postage is always paid for by the buyer, so you’ll receive the full balance on anything you sell.  

You will need to list the item’s condition – anything from new with tags down to satisfactory for an item that’s been well used with any flaws clearly shown in photos. 

Vinted has the bonus that you can also mark your listing to say you’d be interested in swapping the item for something else rather than selling it.  

Returning clothing doesn’t always go to plan, with many brand-new returns ending up in landfill when they could have gone to someone who would love to wear them. #HowToWasteLess

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