Are you really going to use the bespoke knitted tea cosy your Granny gave you for Christmas? Thanks all the same Granny, but it has probably joined the estimated two million unwanted gifts nationwide.
Some gifts may be awful, others might be a double-up on something you already own and some could be plain unusable (too-small iPhone covers, anyone?).
Rather than letting them languish in the cupboard unused, you can sell Santa’s mistakes online.
National Online Retailers Association founder and executive chairman Paul Greenberg tells The New Daily the online market is “hot” right now for unwanted gifts.
“There is significant search activity by online shoppers looking to snaffle up those unwanted Christmas gifts,” Mr Greenberg says.
Online marketplaces like eBay and Gumtree have positioned themselves over the last 10 years as “the perfect platforms” for both sellers and buyers of these unwanted gifts, he says.
Last year, Australian-based Gumtree saw a 25 per cent increase in the number of listings on its classifieds website over the holidays, and it expects even more this year.
Here’s how you can join in the big online sell-off:
Pick the right website
For smaller items that are easily shipped Australia-wide, Mr Greenberg recommends eBay.
The popular online marketplace allows you to auction your gift to the highest bidder or offer it at a set price.
If you don’t already have an eBay account, be aware it can be a little time-consuming to set one up, and the website does take a small percentage of the sales price.
However, eBay’s huge website traffic does expose your gift to plenty of potential buyers, and its in-built payment system is trustworthy.
Other auction websites include:
For bigger gifts that you would rather sell locally – with a pick-up option – Gumtree could be the best fit, Mr Greenberg says.
Posting an ad to Gumtree is much like placing an ad in a newspaper, except there is no charge. The downside is that you must arrange payment outside of Gumtree, usually cash on pick-up.
Another popular classifieds website is Craigslist, which is based in the US but has a page dedicated to each of the major Australian cities.
When listing your gift online, Gumtree suggests that you fully describe the product you’re selling, including its features, a brief history and your reasons for selling the item.
The more information you provide, the more likely you are to make a sale at the price you’re looking for, according to Gumtree.
eBay says writing an effective title for your gift is very important in order to make a clear and compelling first impression.
Use descriptive keywords and include the item’s brand name, artist or designer.
Also, be specific. For example, if you are selling a phone, include such things as its size, colour, condition and model number.
Make your ad visual
You will have more success with potential buyers if they can visualise the item you are selling, so it is very beneficial to include a range of photos, says Gumtree.
Sell at a fair price
Don’t oversell the product or price it at more than its worth, Gumtree recommends.
A great way to ensure your pricing is competitive is to research what similar products are selling for online.
Potential buyers may ask questions about the item over email or through the site, so it’s important to be on hand to answer their questions as soon as possible.
If they seek clarity on any feature, it might also be helpful to update the item page to include the information they requested.
If you are responsive, honest and accessible, this will increase your trustworthiness in the eyes of the buyer.