Dear old Aunt Doris is a well meaning soul but every year she buys you a polyester nightgown and a bubble bath gift set which either a.) smells like cats or b.) strips your sensitive skin to within an inch of its life. You can’t tell her the product isn’t suitable and ask for a receipt without starting world war 3 within your family and you’d rather not have it sitting in your house, taking up precious cupboard space for time immemorial.It’s a tricky one isn’t it, what do you do when you are the recipient of an unwanted or unsuitable gift? Obviously you’re grateful for the thought that went into selecting it but it isn’t for you and you’d rather not bin it. Here are some tips for dealing with unwanted gifts.
Dealing with unwanted gifts
Someone has taken time to spend their money or make a gift for you – realise how fortunate you are. It might not be perfect or in any way relevant but you’re in an enviable position compared to most people in the world.
If the gift giver is a reasonable type of person and you think they’ll understand about any issues with the gift, ask if they still have the receipt so you can exchange it. Even without a receipt, if you know who the retailer is many will exchange the item for you, although they are not obliged to do so.
I don’t know about you but most people I know have a re-gift box. If you can’t make use of something but someone else can, re-wrap and re-gift later in the year. Be careful about who you give it to – pop a post-it not on the item to remind you who originally gave it to you and when.
4. Charity or Freecycle
If the item is in good working order and appropriate then consider donating it to your local charity shop or saving it for a door to door charity bag collection. Freecycle is another great option and it’s always a great feeling to know someone is going to make good use of something.
5. Alternative use
Crappy bubble bath makes for great bath cleaner if you’re in a bind. Plus you can always get crafty and *cough* turn that erm, tasteful vase into a garden mosaic with one careless brush of a thoughtless elbow. A quick search on Pinterest should bring up a dozen ways you could DIY something interesting with your unwanted gift.
There are dozens of options when it comes to selling something you don’t want. eBay, Gumtree and Preloved are sensible options as is hosting a stall at a bootsale. Nowadays local Facebook sales or swap groups are extremely popular too and it’s often surprising what sells at a rapid rate, lots of people like fluffy loo seat covers. It’s a bit of a dilemma isn’t it? Personally I’d try to do everything I could to avoid selling a gift but this is mainly because I put a lot of thought into most gifts and worry the other person would have done the same and may feel bruised or offended.Technically once they’ve given the gift to you it’s yours to do with as you please.
However we human beings are more than just skin lined carrier bags of blood and organs, we’re filled with emotions and looking up the price of an item on eBay 40 seconds after opening its possibly in poor taste.Lots of people are set firm in the opinion that selling gifts is in no way acceptable. And the words ‘tacky’ pop up a lot. I can kind of understand this opinion but I think it is a bit old fashioned – if the person is truly grateful for the gift and the thought but it is in no way suitable for their life why would you begrudge them selling it to someone who does love it?If selling is the option I’m left with I try to carry out the sale as discreetly as possible. Often I’ll wait a couple of months just to ease my conscious and more often than not I’ll wait until the item is seasonally appropriate for the market. A picnic set will probably sell better in the spring or summer and that blanket from Aunt Gladys will sell well in the run up to next Christmas.