Kiwis' unwanted Christmas gifts end up online

File photo / Thinkstock
File photo / Thinkstock

Now that Christmas is over, tis the season for offloading unwanted gifts for what we all really want - a bit of cash.

Trade Me expects hundreds of thousands of searches for unwanted presents over the next 24 hours, as New Zealanders trawl the online marketplace for Boxing Day bargains.

Some of the more unusual unwanted gifts today include a Christmas ham, an underwater camera case, a book about Christchurch Airport, and red and black lingerie.

In one auction, listed as "worst Christmas present ever?", Noel from Rotorua was trying to get rid of a box of "New Zealand's favourite" biscuits, which could be picked up for 50c.

The biscuits, which Noel got "in return for an unsolicited act of kindness to a stranger", were six months past their use-by date and "stale, broken and melted".

The seller lists possible uses for the biscuits as bird food, a door stop, a diet-aid and gift to offer unwelcome Christmas visitors.

Trade Me spokesman Paul Ford said more than 200,000 searches for unwanted gifts were logged on Boxing Day last year.

It is estimated two-thirds of people receive at least one gift that they don't want to keep.

"It's become a Kiwi tradition to check what is up for grabs on Trade Me on Boxing Day - a gift that missed the mark for someone elsewhere in the country could be that bargain you've been looking for.

"Trade Me also provides sellers with a low-key, painless way to make a few dollars and save a present from the bin or a lifetime condemned to the back of your wardrobe."

In terms of items likely to emerge as unwanted gifts over Boxing Day and beyond, Mr Ford said routine offenders included perfume, socks, soap sets, overly enthusiastic lingerie, household gadgets, fitness equipment, power tools, jewellery and house plants.

"A recent survey out of the UK named onesie jumpsuits as the most undesirable gift, closely followed by weight-loss DVDs.

"Both options would be asking for trouble on Christmas Day, but we'd surprised if these items were on many sensible buyers' Christmas lists," he said.

Another item that frequently re-emerged on Boxing Day was the unloved tech-related accessory.

"Despite the best intentions, that Miley Cyrus phone cover might be way off the mark on the aesthetics, or the buyer guessed the cord and charger and bought the one for the wrong gadget."

A gold iPhone 5s, a $600 keyboard and an inflatable remote-controlled dolphin were some of the unwanted gifts that flooded Trade Me on Christmas Day.

On most of the listings, the sellers were quick to admit they were trying to cash in on Christmas gifts that didn't quite hit the mark, including women's dresses, leather miniskirts and black lacy lingerie.

So far today about 30,000 searches have been conducted for unwanted gifts, with women's clothing, health and beauty, jewellery and watches, kitchenware, and toys the leading categories.

Trade Me's three hot tips for selling an unwanted gift

1. If you're selling, include the words "unwanted gift" in your listing to make it easy for buyers.

2. Don't sell handmade items, especially if your name is carved, embroidered or etched on the side.

3. Only sell brand new items, and keep the packaging as intact as possible.

APNZ, additional reporting Ben Irwin

- APNZ

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