Unwanted gifts seek new homes on Trade Me

It's becoming something of a Kiwi tradition to check Trade Me on Boxing Day for gifts that may have missed the mark for fellow New Zealanders. This year is no different, and we're anticipating a good bunch of odd things for sale from our community. 

Here's the media release below, including the results of a survey of over 600 New Zealanders. Enjoy!

Unwanted gifts seek new homes on Trade Me

Half of Kiwis have received at least one unwanted Christmas gift over the past few years, as searches for presents that missed the mark ramp up on Trade Me today.

Trade Me spokesperson Jeff Hunkin said in a survey of over 600 Kiwis, 47 per cent of people admitted they had “unwrapped a clanger” on Christmas Day. “While we might spend a lot of time and effort choosing what we think is the perfect gift, the reality is sometimes we stuff it up entirely.”

There were always thousands of searches in the aftermath of Christmas, with 530,000 unwanted gift-related searches on Trade Me on Boxing Day last year, and Mr Hunkin says the trend was expected to continue this year.

“Boxing Day has become one of the best days to hit the shops both online and on foot. Twelve per cent of people say they have on-sold or re-gifted something they’ve unwrapped on the big day, and we’re sure the anonymity of a Trade Me username helps ease the scrutiny of selling an unwanted gift,” he said.

When asked if they approve of re-gifting unwanted presents, 41 per cent of respondents had no issue with the practice, while 32 per cent disagreed and 27 per cent sat on the fence. “It shows that despite rumours of a stigma, more than two-thirds of New Zealanders are okay with selling an item that missed the mark, or not getting worked up by others doing it.”

Fake it ‘til you make it

Gifts that survey respondents said most commonly caused a raised eyebrow were items of clothing, homeware, and health and beauty products. “A new vacuum cleaner, a voucher for a make-over and even a bag of kina earned Hollywood-worthy reactions of joy according to our survey.

“When asked how people would react to unwrapping a stinker, 78 per cent of people said they would pretend to like it, while only 4 per cent said they’d be straight up with sharing their disappointment.”


Mr Hunkin said beauty products, smooth jazz CD’s, pairs of socks and women’s underwear are regular offenders on Boxing Day on Trade Me.

“We expect to see more of the same up in lights this year. Selfie sticks might make an appearance as grandparents miss the memo that their popularity peaked two years ago, while CDs and DVDs might surge as online streaming services gain in popularity.”

When asked what they would usually do with an unwanted gift, 29 per cent of respondents would put it away in a cupboard and forget about it, 21 per cent gave it away to someone else, and 18 per cent would donate it to charity.

“If you’re selling an unwanted gift on Trade Me, be sure to give it a good back story, but bear in mind that your gift-giver could be on the look-out for Boxing Day bargains too. So avoid anything personalised or easily identifiable, or consider a grin-and-bear-it approach if it’s a bit too risky.”

Other survey findings included:

  • 61% of people “put a lot of effort into gift-buying”
  • 69% of people would feel OK or unbothered if their gift was on-sold, while 26 per cent said they’d feel “angry” or “upset”
  •  36% of people say receiving unwanted gifts “is a hassle” 

Tips for sell an unwanted gift:

  1. If you’re selling, include the words ‘unwanted gift’ in your listing to make it easy for buyers to find
  2. Don’t sell handmade or highly personalised items, especially if they have your name etched or embroidered on them.
  3. Selling brand new items is easiest, make sure to keep the packaging as intact as possible