Holidays are not about presents, but they do exchange hands, and sometimes you put on your biggest smile and say „You shouldn’t have“. And mean every word. Quite literally. Well, you can dump the unwanted gifts in the attic, keep unused gift cards in your drawers, but you also might consider regifting or exchanging them online.
For starters, if your gift can in any way be useful to someone in need, I strongly encourage you to donate it. TheGivingEffect.com is one site where you can give your present to someone who can put it to good use and it covers a wide variety of merchandise, including clothing, books, toys, appliances, audio and video equipment, gift cards and art.
If you are looking for something more local in CEE, there is a new Croatian-based platform called Cipele46, which translates as Shoes Size 12, a non-profit trying to get together people who are in need of something with those who have something to give. There is a really great story behind it- the whole idea started by a note from a homeless man putting on a sign asking for a kind soul to hand him down a pair of shoes (size 12). Well, the man did get his shoes, and a whole lot more people got what they needed thanks to a bunch of volunteers and one heck of a hackathon.
If you know of any such organization in your country or region, please let us know so we can add it to the list.
Resell Your Giftcards
Got a Starbucks giftcard and you live nowhere near Starbucks (yes, those places still exist!)? PlasticJunglemight help you there. This site focuses on reselling giftcards, as the name suggests, and although you can do this on ebay as well, this platform makes it a bit easier. Note that you only get up to 85% of what it’s worth, but you can easily buy another card the money you get or trade for a giftcard you are more likely to use (those are discounted as well). It is really simple and quick, with as little hassle as possible.
They say barter is the first form of trade and economy and while you are not likely to exchange ten chickens for a cow over the Internet (always inspect your cow and check mileage before buying!), you can exchange unwanted gifts with strangers whose friends and family let them down as well when it comes to material goods. BarterQuest lets you post your unwanted posession and state what you do want– then you wait for a trade or an offer. You can barter anything here and find most anything, so try it out. You will need to register, though.
You can regift offline and try to get away with it, but you can also do it online and have better chances at not getting caught. Totell you the truth, it is pretty much the same as barter, but sounds nicer, doen’t it? RegiftOnline lets you pick a code name (you don’t want to get caught!), post that unwanted christmas themed sweater or an oversized teddy bear and then trade. There is also a social side to it- you can share amusing stories aboutyour unwanted gifts and re-gifting with the re-gifting community. So, in addition to getting rid of unwanted goods, you will get a good laugh out of it as well.
Here is where Amazon and ebay come in handy. You will need to sign up, if you haven’t got an account already, but if you want to make money out of missgiven gifts, you will have to work at it. Just make sure that your items can arrive in a timely manner and that the shipping fees aren’t too steep by listing items for sale in your „local“ Amazon store or the one that is closest to you.
Just a little side note to ease my own conscience, if someone put a lot of love and effort into getting you a present, even if it is the wrong one, you might want to rethink selling or trading it. Sometimes (most of the time) it’s the thought that counts.