Over 70% of South Africans may be selling their unwanted Christmas gifts for a quick buck in January, according to a poll by Gumtree South Africa. “It would appear that most South Africans feel that it’s best to let an item go rather than gathering dust,” says Claire Cobbledick, Head of Gumtree Marketing.
But Cobbledick confirms that an unwanted gift is not necessarily an undesirable item. A quick search on Gumtree reveals more than 900 items listed as unwanted gifts which include, an unopened bottle of Dior perfume, a brand new 50” plasma TV still in its box, a XBOX and a mountain bike. “We have tons of these items for sale that are going brand new off the retail shelves and onto the site at a significantly reduced price. Mostly because the receiver does not want to ask the giver for the receipt and return details!” she states. “It’s a great way to find items without paying retail prices.”
Cobbledick says the most common unwanted gifts are electronics and personal items, such as clothing, watches and perfume. “In a sense electronics have also become as personal as perfume, and not everyone’s tastes match, which is why a lot of these items make their way onto Gumtree without ever being opened.”
Pristine household appliances and baby goods also often end up on Gumtree. “A lot of newlyweds and new parents receive more than one of a certain item, and there is no point in hanging on to both.”
As to whether or not it’s impolite to sell a gift received, depends your personal view, says Cobbledick. “A gift gathering dust in a cupboard or garage can’t be used or enjoyed and will probably be thrown away eventually,” she says. “Appreciate the gift in all sincerity, thank the giver and quietly list it online to recoup some cash that you can put towards something you can use. It’s a much better alternative!”
If you aren’t sure what your unwanted cell phone, surfboard or laptop should be sold for, it’s worth using an online price checker. “This calculates the value of a secondhand item on the average asking price and how quickly it sells for at the set price and is very useful when you are trying to reach a quick sale.”
But there is good news for cash-strapped shoppers – most of the participants surveyed (51%) said they didn’t mind receiving an item purchased second hand under their Christmas tree, while 32% said it “depended” on what the gift was – with cell phones and laptops being highly desirable items, even if not brand new.
Gumtree is South Africa’s largest online classified site. For more information please contact Claire Cobbledick on 083 561 7879.