The shocking place where many Christmas presents wind up 40



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The spirit of Christmas may be lost on some people, as an increasing number of Australians are selling their unwanted gifts online. This surprising new data demonstrates that Aussies are either becoming extra thrifty, or simply more selfish.

A spokeswoman from Gumtree, the country’s most popular internet classifieds, said 9.5 million Australians pass on unwanted gifts each year. In Queensland alone, this equates to about $120 million in unwanted Christmas goods.

“Our research shows each Queenslander would have received around $70 in unwanted gifts this Christmas”, Ms Kirsty Dunn said. “We’ve seen thousands of unwanted gifts advertised (on Gumtree) already”.

Gumtree has seen everything from rugs to yoghurt makers and pet rats advertised online. “No one wants to have that awkward conversation with your gift giver to tell them it’s not what you like, so people need to know that there are other options”, Ms Dunn added.

Surprisingly, even unwanted gift cards from stores such as David Jones and Rivers are being sold below their original purchase value. In fact, the Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs estimated that “one-third of gift cards” go unused each Christmas.

Minister Jane Garret explained that in many cases, people forget to use gift cards before their expiration dates. “That’s hundreds of millions of dollars – Dollars people have earned hard throughout the year and then given to people in forms of a gift card”, Minister Jane Garret explained.

This latest information has left some Aussie gift-givers seeing red. As one lady commented online, a gift “means somebody has thought enough of you to give you the present. Look up what present actually means… If you don’t want the gift, then give it to a charity shop. I think it’s just so rude”.

Would you sell an unwanted Christmas present? Are you surprised that people are trying to offload gift cards too? What happened to “the thought that counts”?

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. My family has solved that by giving presents to the children only. It also saves money in these times of financial hardship. And we can enjoy each other without presents!

    3 REPLY
  2. I expect to be slaughtered here, but I don’t see a problem. I agree the gift is a token of thoughtfulness, but if it is unwanted or unusable then I think it is a great idea to sell it and use the money (still a gift) on something wanted. My daughters do this with gifts I give them which is usually the wrong perfume. I am not offended.

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    • I don’t see a problem either Anne and I totally agree with you … the money received is still a gift and far better than putting away in a cupboard never to be seen again!

    • I agree. I would not mind if an unwanted gift was sold (though my family now only gives gifts to children).

  3. We have a large family to buy for….6 children with partners, 10 grandchildren ……all mostly all with partners, and a good handful of great grandchildren. There were gifts flying in every direction, some not knowing who the gift was from. While it was beautiful to see all the happy chaos, for the past 2 yrs, I made a decision to cut out all gifts except the little ones.. Instead, we bought gift card from World Vision and Salvation Army , wher the card has a picture of the gift given on their behalf…eg. Some chickens, a warm blanket, a goat farm, grocery parcels , seeds for food crop etc, and it was good to see how my family emraced the ideas.

  4. The sad part about this is that a lot people have purchased these gifts on their credit cards and will be paying them off for 6 months or longer, why not talk to your family and friends and make a decision to all contribute to go away for a weekend or out for a dinner instead of buying someone unwanted gifts like socks , jocks, perfumes or whatever, I know I would rather enjoy a weekend away or a nice dinner rather than a new pair of jocks.

  5. my family simply asks each other if there are anything in particular they may want. one year we were planning on doing a secret santa – we wrote our names on a piece of paper along with three things we liked/wanted etc. (if you wrote shoes/clothes you had to incl your size).

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  6. We are a more mercenary society. So many people sell all sorts of goods through Gumtree and at car boot sales and garage sales. Those items once handed on to others freely for many now have a price tag. It surprises me how well some do at it too, getting far more than would seem realistic for second hand clothes and other goods. That people sell unwanted Christmas gifts doesn’t surprise me. Some gift cards are a pain as it is difficult to get to that particular outlet. Debit cards or Coles/Myer are more useful than those that limit you to a particular store.

  7. That’s why we have converted to surprise Santa 1 gift each for adults and only children up to 18 yrs receive a gift. No unwanted at all on Xmas day. We are all on a tight budget so it was a way of overcoming the stress and time spent with family the focus. I hear if people spending 300 to 500 per person and my mind boggles. I hear what was purchased and I think such a waste of money because the recipient wouldn’t like the gifts anyway !!

  8. If you have to keep giving gifts to each other just slip in the receipt and they can change them. P.S. I think that apron is great, I have two just like it.

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