How to sell your unwanted Christmas gifts

Woman contemplating box which contains unwanted Christmas gift
29 Dec 2019 5 min read

Perhaps your other half didn’t get you the right hair straighteners, or your Auntie won’t take the hint from previous Christmases and you’ve another tartan scarf to add to your collection… Maybe you don’t want to risk hurting your nearest and dearest’s feelings by asking for a receipt so you can return the offending item. (We’ve more on how to return unwanted gifts here).

The good news is it’s now totally acceptable to return, re-gift or even sell presents that didn’t quite pass muster. Not only does this mean you’re not hanging on to unwanted items (taking up valuable storage space) but you’re doing your bit for the planet too, by ensuring things don’t go to waste. And if you’re still feeling a prang of guilt at selling, why not donate some or all of the proceeds of your sale to charity?

Read on for our guide on how to sell your unwanted Christmas presents.

If you’ve decided to list an item on eBay yourself, the following tips will help you:

  • When it comes to the item title, you must clearly and accurately convey what it is you are selling.
  • You have up to 80 characters for your listing (but don’t have to use them all).
  • Include any brand or designer name.
  • Include any item specifics such as size, colour and condition within the listing.
  • Don’t use words like ‘WOW’ or ‘VIEW NOW; clickbait is unlikely to get you the desired result.
  • Capital letters can work, but DON’T OVER DO IT!
  • Front-load your listing with the main keywords.

And eBay themselves provide the following advice on what not to do when listing:

  • Don’t include false or misleading information
  • Don’t include web addresses, email addresses or phone numbers
  • Obviously don’t use profane or obscene language
  • Don’t include brand names other than the specific brand name used by the company that made the item you’re listing.
  • Don’t use the words ‘prohibited’, ‘banned’, ‘illegal’ or ‘outlawed’

Using a great photo will grab the attention of prospective buyers, but it’s amazing the number of sellers use poor quality images. The following guide will help you:

  • Think about lighting – natural light is best, so take advantage of time at home over the festive period to take your shots during those shorter daylight hours
  • Use a solid background that won’t distract, for example a sheet of cardboard or bright white cloth
  • Black backgrounds can work better for highly reflective or shiny items
  • Include multiple photos from different angles (don’t just post crops of your main shot, as you’ll miss important details)
  • Use your best photo, which shows the entire item, as your main image
  • Ensure the colour in your photos represents the actual colour of your item accurately
  • If you’re suffering from Christmas wobbles, keep your camera steady with a tripod
  • Make sure photos are big enough and don’t appear pixelated when uploaded
  • Avoid using props which could give the impression they’re included in the sale
  • Don’t use text or artwork in photos
  • Stock photos can only be used for brand new items

As well as the more familiar marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Gumtree, there are a growing number of specialist resale web companies that deal in new and indeed ‘pre-loved’ luxury items, so you may find yourself rehoming something you have used. Items from premium brands (we’re talking Chanel, Mulberry and the like) that are in great condition, can sell in seconds on these sites:

  • Vestiare Collective – allows you to either list your item yourself, or sell it for you via their consignment service
  • Hardly Ever Worn It – this London-based company specialises in new and hardly worn designer items, and has many professional sellers but allows individual sellers to list their personal items and unwanted gifts too

-Ensure you check the Terms and Conditions before entering into the process and try to resist the urge to splurge yourself!

And finally…

The best time to list your items is on pay day, which for many is the last day of the month (31st December in this case) or the final Friday (27th December). Time any auction to end on Sunday, when more buyers are likely to be browsing online.

Good luck with selling, and if you’re doing so on a marketplace and looking for a shipping solution, check out our fantastic flat rates up to 30kg here.

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