Wyn Drabble: Undesirable, Fashionable and Expensive Christmas Gifts

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Wyn Drabble reflects on unwanted Christmas gifts and the art of selling online. Photo/NZME

OPINION:
I hit the Boxing Day sales but, I think, 9:30 was too early.

I was looking for a bit of buzz, even frenzy, but all I found were a few other shoppers shopping in a sober and perfectly normal way. Absolutely no bun fights.

My needs were simple. All I wanted was black rugby shorts, the kind I wear at home and in the garden. I didn’t want trendy shorts, I didn’t want cargo pockets, and I didn’t want words or emblems on them. Plain, common or garden black rugby shorts were all I was looking for.

My old ones were dead and the rubber band had disintegrated. This meant that on Christmas Eve, even though I tied the drawstring as tightly as possible, the shorts fell directly on my feet as I walked across the yard. Of course, it could have happened in a worse place.

Either way, that was all I wanted – plus a bit of Boxing Day buzz. I came home disappointed and for fun I had to resort to the Trade Me “Unwanted Christmas Gifts” category.

It’s not a category that I completely endorse; it looks ungrateful and it feels like a horse in the mouth gift but i quickly swallowed my pride and started enjoying the offerings.

A number of people were already selling various kinds of music boxes. There was, for example, a karaoke machine that was described without using punctuation except for a gratuitous apostrophe: “Fun new still in the box wireless all info in photo’s”
If you didn’t like it, there was a white vase in the shape of an owl. Or a gorgeous blue lace skirt “suitable for Christmas dinner.” If you won it, it would just have to stay in the cupboard for next year.

A number of other deals are also expected to sit on the shelf until next year. If you won the “SpongeBob Christmas ball”, for example, you would have to wait until next year to decorate your tree with it – with postal and courier services as they are.
The same goes for “Bulk Christmas Items” ($30). From the photographs, I was able to detect festively shaped ice cube trays, pieces of garland, napkins, mini Santa figurines, and a tiny Christmas tree in a plastic box.

There were choices offered for the more athletic or active traders: a rowing machine for $200 (“I just used it 2-3 times”); a kayak for $367 (“Unused Christmas gift from 2020 but a used kayak”).

And for the outdoor do-it-yourselfers, there was a sand filter and pump (don’t ask what that is) for $130 or a cubic yard of “builder’s mix” which, from the pictures below joined, I could only describe as gravel. What a lovely gift idea!

On the housewife’s forehead, I spotted an electric flour sifter. I can’t imagine how electricity can be involved in sifting flour!

And there were quite a few “dream catchers”. I had no idea what they were so I had to look them up. You can also.

$25 could snare you an Ashley Bloomfield pillowcase. It appears to be wearing angel wings but on closer inspection you will find that it is fern leaves.

But back to my Boxing Day purchase. The outlet I trusted to supply me with black rugby shorts no longer carries them. I came home with…hard to admit…black corduroy shorts! Imagine the reaction of those in a scrum!

There are no cargo pockets or emblems, so I guess I’m a winner. But, if you think they’re too trendy, let me know and I’ll list them on Trade Me.

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