We all know that feeling. You excitedly open up a Christmas gift full of expectation. You keep up the smile, you share your thanks but you secretly wonder what on earth you're going to do with what you've just been given. And you're not alone. Apparently, 47 per cent of Brits are expected to have opened one of the 99 million unwanted pressies under the tree this Christmas, according to a TNS Survey.
Unwanted Christmas presents can be awkward to deal with, especially if they're from a loved one. But there are some ways you can pass them on or give them back and diminish your guilt.
One such initiative is eBay and Argos' Christmas Confidential, which allows you to discretely drop off your unwanted gifts, while raising money for charity. On 9 and 10 January, you can take unwanted pressies to the Argos store on Old Street, London or in Liverpool One Shopping Centre. eBay will then donate £10 for every item to Macmillan to ensure that no one faces cancer alone.
Alternatively, if you can't get to one of those Argos stores, put your item up for sale on eBay (make the most of no insertion fees on all consumer listings until January 31) and you can then ship your item to the buyer by bringing it into one of 150 Argos stores throughout the UK, where it'll be shipped direct for a fixed price. You can find out more about this scheme on www.ebay.co.uk/drop-off
Finally, there's charity shops who will no doubt be delighted to receive your unwanted, but new goods.
Charities are likely to face a disposal cost for items which they can’t shift, but in the case of clothing, almost every charity shop will have a relationship with one or or more textile merchants, so everything donated can be sold on. Even if the charity shop is essentially a landfill alternative in the case of some items, you can always label a bag of clothes ‘for rag.’ Practically every donation is useful.
And when it comes to bigger things furniture and electrical items care much sought after by charity shops. However, make sure that the shop you’re planning on donating to can handle this type of donation before you trek there with some heavy cupboard in hand.
When donating items of furniture, make sure that they have a fire retardant label attached, as this will be needed for resale and will cost the charity if absent. Any electrical goods should be inspected and tested before donation, ideally by a qualified electrician. If you’re not sure if a charity can handle a certain sort of donation, always contact them first and describe the item fully so that they can judge for themselves.
And don't forget the most important bit of all – Gift Aid! Gift Aid is a tax incentive which allows anyone who pays income tax in the UK to complete a very simple declaration to this effect (do this as early on in your donation process as you can) , stating that they’re happy for Gift Aid to be applied to their donation. For most people, this adds 25% to the value of their donations, and can have a big impact on a charity’s profits and ability to help their cause so don't forget.
- There's more consumer ideas in every issue of Yours.