Unwanted Gift: 5 Top Ways to Give Your Gift a New Home

How to Get Rid of Unwanted Gifts

Photo by Betsy Weber

So, you didn’t like the sweater Aunt Mary gave you for Christmas or the nickle plated earrings that you could never wear due to your allergies. You can admit it.  You are among friends.  Over the years, I have received my share of unwanted gifts and instead of putting them away deep in my closet, I decided to hunt down ways to give them a new wanted home.  And we aren’t talking about re-gifting.

Well, the holidays are so hectic that I didn’t want to re-list my  18 ways to leave your unwanted gifts (of course sung to the tune of Paul Simon’s 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.)  So, I narrowed it down to my top five which includes a newcomer to the original 18 list.  Add to my list in the comments below.  (I know you are pretty darn crafty so don’t hold back with your ideas.)

Drum roll, please….

1. Freecycle

It is my number one site for giving away items I no longer want or need.  Your “unwant” is someones’ new love.   Over the years, I have given away many items and met some really amazing people.  At the end of the day, it warms my heart to give away something I know someone else wants.

There are chapters all over the world.  Read my article about Freecycle here.

2.  Swapstyle

Girlfriend, how many pieces of clothing have you received over the years that you have no idea where it came from?  Swapstyle is your personal fashion  haven for swapping clothes you no longer want or simply can’t exchange.

3.  Barter Place

Bartering can be lots of fun.  Check out Barter Place and see what you can barter for your unwanted gifts.

4.  Plastic Jungle

Not loving where you got a plastic gift card?  (Yeah, I know.  You told them no plastic for you.)  Check out Plastic Jungle, a newcomer to my list where you can buy, sell, or exchange gift cards.

5.  Have a Swap Party

Have an excuse to have a party and ask all of your friends to bring unwanted gifts or items from their home.  Then swap.  Gifts that no one wants can be donated to the Salvation Army or Goodwill.

Be sure to check out my many other suggestions on my prior unwanted gift blues article.

Re-Gifting Etiquette

If you want to re-gift, please read 8 simple rules for regifting.  Hopefully it will keep you out of hot water.

Join the Conversation:

  • What do you do with your unwanted gifts?
  • Do you swap your gifts?  If so, where?
  • Are you a re-gifter and what are your rules? (Maybe you will get a post of your very own on Green Talk.   *hint, hint*)

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        Yes, this is a concern. I actually bookmarked the toys a relative gave my kids (that I returned at Target) so I could buy them if I had to. Generally speaking, far-flung relatives don’t visit, but I worry about that too. Most of the stuff I regift/ donate is from not-super-close friends/relatives and I have little worry about them being in my house wondering where their item is.

        I donate wherever. Goodwill. Deseret Industries. Savers. Salvation Army. But I’d love to donate some toys (high-quality gently used by my kids — we’re choosing some to give away b/c we have WAY too many) directly to a local shelter if I could find one that wanted them…
        Betsy (Eco-novice)´s last blog post ..Eco-novice’s Top 10 Posts of 2012

  1. 9


    My SIL has given my DD Target gift cards for as long as I remember. DD can’t stand Target. She gags when she goes in the store as I do. We don’t have the heart to tell her not to give her the Target card. She usually gives her $50 card!!
    But now that my DD is older, I think she’ll stop giving it to her. We just used the last $45 of the balance last week from last year while in FL. Ironically, since the store is HUGE in FL, there was less cringing from the toxic smell.

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