Five Ways to Recycle Unwanted Christmas Gifts for Cash


Millions of people throw away unwanted Christmas presents, and two in five admit to having thrown away a present in the past five years.

Britons threw away gifts worth an average of £59, a Tesco Bank survey has found. The most commonly thrown away items were aftershave and bath bombs, followed by chocolate, clothing, mugs and candles.

This despite the fact that half of us supposedly would like to have a more ethical and “green” Christmas.

But instead of throwing the gifts away for good, there are ways to recycle gifts and other unwanted items that will leave you with a clearer conscience, as well as some extra money in your pocket.

Here are five ways to turn your recycling into cash.

1. Sell old gifts

Every year a new gadget goes on sale, making older technologies obsolete. But if you’re buying your kids the latest phone or games console, you can offset some of the cost by trading in older devices or selling them on the second-hand market.

A digital edition of the PlayStation 5 is currently restocked at retailers priced at £359.99, for example, but trading in a “Slim edition” PlayStation 4 slashes that price by just over £100 to £258, £99, according to NetVoucherCodes., a coupon site.

Old DSLR cameras are a great gadget to cash in on and a Canon EOS 250D in good condition can be worth up to £232, he said.

2. Whisk out leftover litter

Broken tiles, cups and saucers sell on craft sites like Etsy, especially those with interesting or colorful designs. They tend to be picked up by artists and crafty types, who use them for mosaics and other works of art.

You can even get cash for cardboard. On eBay, a pack of 50 rolls of toilet paper sells for £5 and a stack of 150 half-dozen egg cartons for around £13. Shoe boxes from sought-after designers such as Gucci previously sold for between £15 and £30.

3. Save your caps

Lots of 50 used wine corks are listed on eBay for around £8 – enough for another bottle to start collecting again. These are often used by artisans and even pub owners or wedding planners who have used them to create decorative accents and centerpieces.

4. Turn on tree lights

Scrapyards such as Argall Metal Recycling in Leyton, east London, will take your old wires, chargers, drainpipes, festive decorations and even old razors – anything you can scrap metals from such as aluminum, copper and steel. The electric motor of an average microwave oven or a group of 10 wires would set you back £3-5.

5. Recycling ink cartridges

Websites such as will exchange your printer cartridges for cash. He’ll pay up to £5 for an unused HP 62XL color cartridge, for example, and £2.50 even if it’s been used. As a bonus, they will come and collect them for free.


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