Kiwis queue up to cash in unwanted gifts

An unwanted beetroot, chocolates for a diary-free Kiwi and a broken dancing baby toy are just a few unfortunate Christmas presents that have appeared on Trade Me less than 24 hours after being unwrapped. 

Each year, thousands of gifts that missed the mark pop up on site and this year we've already seen some weird and wonderful auctions. 

  1. Unwanted beetroot

  2. A faulty dancing and singing baby

  3. Cadbury Favourites (for my dairy free daughter)

  4. Duelling light sabre

  5. Wooden maori salt & pepper shakers

For more about unwanted gifts, check out the media release below.

Media Release

Kiwis queue up to cash in unwanted gifts

Sixty per cent of Kiwis say they receive at least one unwanted gift on Christmas Day and thousands of presents that missed the mark have appeared on Trade Me today.

Trade Me spokesperson Logan Mudge said in a survey of over 550 New Zealanders, most Kiwis said they unwrapped between one and three unwanted gifts each Christmas. “When it comes to gift giving, sometimes we nail the perfect present and other times we cause some very awkward silence.”  

In 2016, there were over 550,000 searches for unwanted presents on Boxing Day as Kiwis from around the country hunted for a bargain. “It’s become a Kiwi tradition to check out the unwanted Christmas gifts on Trade Me. Every year we see a treasure trove of presents that didn’t make the cut end up onsite and we expect to see the same rush again this year,” he said.  

When asked how they typically respond to unwrapping an unfortunate present, 85 per cent of Kiwis admitted they would pretend to like it and only two per cent would be blunt about their disappointment. “Many Kiwis will have prepared their best Oscar-winning performance when they unwrapped a clanger yesterday.  

“All’s not lost for them though - they can find a happy home for that unwanted gift on Trade Me and make a bit of cash to get something they really want.”

The best unwanted gifts of all time

Mr Mudge said that each year some incredibly inventive Kiwis list unwanted gifts onsite.

“In 2014, a Trade Me member from Rotorua listed a packet of expired, broken and half-eaten Sampler biscuits which had been a present from a family member. Someone else’s Christmas card, signed and all, went up for auction in 2015. Last year it was Robbie Shefford from Ashburton stealing the show and taking the mickey with his unwanted $100 note.”

Mr Mudge said lingerie, soap and self-help books were serial offenders on Christmas Day. “This year we’re expecting to see a few fidget spinners, along with double-ups of console games, a plethora of CDs and who knows what else.”

It’s okay to regift

“We expected there to be a stigma around regifting but 53 per cent of Kiwis are all for regifting or selling unwanted presents. When we asked survey respondents how they would feel if they found out that an item they had gifted had been onsold, we were surprised that 37 per cent of us are okay with the practice,” said Mr Mudge.

“If you’re thinking about listing an unwanted Christmas gift on Trade Me, be sure to give the item a great back story and avoid items that are personalised or easily identifiable - you never know the giver could be hunting for a bargain on Trade Me too!”


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Logan at Trade Me.

Logan Mudge, Trade Me Spokesperson - 027 477 9486 or

More info: Trade Me has a dedicated unwanted gift section to make it easy for members to find and buy unwanted treasures, trinkets or disasters that missed the mark with their original recipient:


- One News: Thousands of Kiwis on the hunt for bargains on biggest retail day of the year

- Newshub: Boxing Day madness shoppers spill out the doors

- Stuff: Unwanted beetroot among more than 1,000 gifts listed on Trade Me

- NZ Herald: Christmas disappointments listed on Trade Me

- Radio NZ: Odd unwanted gifts on Trade Me

- Newstalk ZB: Kiwis lose no time selling unwanted gifts

- Newstalk ZB: Kiwis already selling unwanted Christmas presents

- Otago Daily Times: Unwanted gifts already for sale