Tips for safely exchanging unwanted Christmas gifts


Thousands of unwanted Christmas gifts have already been listed online, but police warn if you’re going to sell unwanted items be sure to do so safely.

Some of the unwanted Christmas gifts listed on TradeMe

As of 8am this morning, over 4,000 freebies had been listed on TradeMe.

Unwanted gifts included perfumes, toys, handbags, clothes, jewelry, kitchen appliances and even concrete mix.

Spokeswoman Ruby Topzand said registration numbers were in line with figures reported at this time last year.

“We had 28,000 searches on the site for unwanted gifts, so the demand is I would say higher than last year and we expect that to continue throughout the day as more more and more people are getting up and jumping in line.”

There were 46,000 searches for unwanted gifts on TradeMe in the 24 hours after Christmas Day last year.

In a statement, National Police Prevention Director Eric Tibbott recommended the following safety tips when choosing a business location:

  • Meet in a public, well-lit place or consider trading only during the day
  • Trade near or in front of a known or working CCTV camera, in heavy foot traffic, or perhaps near a police station
  • Do not go alone to the transaction
  • Make sure a friend or family member is aware of the transaction details
  • Don’t go into someone else’s house and don’t let them into yours
  • Be very careful when buying or selling valuables such as vehicles and jewelry
  • Only use cash to transact and never deposit money into someone’s account without first receiving the item
  • Trust your instincts, if it looks like a scam it probably is
  • If someone is unwilling to go to a safe trading area, it’s probably not a legitimate transaction
  • Call 111 in case of emergency

Tibbott said police would rather intervene to prevent a crime from happening, rather than after the offense has occurred.

If anything illegal happens now, call 111, and if it has already happened, call the non-emergency police number 105, Tibbott said.


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