It’s going to happen. You’ll get a gift somewhere in your life that you won’t like. For me, it was my grandmother and her damned socks. Here I was hoping for a transformer (yes, they had those when I was young – we had had piles of rocks and transformers). Instead, I’d get crooked cloth tubes. To my young mind that made no sense. Didn’t she realize I had a drawer full of the things already?
Of course, socks aren’t quite the same thing as expensive Valentine’s Day gifts. Therefore, after I’d gotten them, all I needed to do was leave them lying there and start playing with the box instead.
That won’t fly with Valentine’s Day gifts. People spend a lot of money on those and it would be a terrible shame to just let it sit there, unused and unappreciated. For that reason, why not sell the thing, get back the money invested, and buy something you really want instead?
What to watch out for
Of course, offloading a Valentine’s Day gift does come with pitfalls. The biggest of which isn’t how you can make the most money. It is how to sell the gift without irreparably your relationship. For if you get rid of it and they find out you did so there will be some hurt feelings (even if nobody will admit it).
So how do you avoid that? How do you navigate this minefield? Well, as with so many things in life, there are two options.
You can lie or tell the truth. Let me come straight out and say that we prefer the truth-telling option. Not only will it likely save you heaps of trouble down the line, it’s also simply the right thing to do. Still, for the sake of completeness let’s look at both options.
If you tell the truth
If you’re going to tell the truth, then do so early on. Trying to lie about something and then telling the truth when you get discovered is not going to earn you any brownie points.
Come clean soon (not on the day of the giving, but soon) and explain your reasoning. We’re all allowed to have personal feelings, after all. Yes, even if they are entirely illogical. That’s why they’re called feelings.
So, tell them how it doesn’t suit you, how it doesn’t go with the outfits you wear, how you don’t like the company’s ethics, or how it emphases a bad point. I, for example, might mention how the gift emphases my nose (these diamond slippers make it look an oil tanker!). It doesn’t even have to make sense. Just as long as you’ve got conviction that’s generally enough.
Explain that you wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing/using/keeping it. Then, to smooth over hurt feelings, consider including them when shopping for a replacement. This has the added benefit of making it more likely they’ll give the right gift next time.
If you lie about it
Not admitting that you’re going to sell the gift is only effective if they don’t find out what you did in some other way. So that’s what you’ve got to focus on. There are two ways they can find out.
- They find out you’re selling it.
- They notice its absence.
To avoid the first trap, get somebody close to you to sell it for you. There are two desirable qualities for you to look for in this person. First of all, they need to be able to keep their mouths shut. Second, they’ don’t move in the same social circles as the original giver, so that rumor can’t reach them through third (or should that be fourth?) parties.
As for its absence, make sure you’ve got your story ready. If they ask you to wear it, or use it, or to just take it out and you can’t – well then most people will be able to put 2 and 2 together.
So, decide early on what you’re going to say. Maybe you lost it. Maybe it was stolen. Maybe you lent it to a friend. The trick is to have decided on a path beforehand – one that can’t be easily unraveled – and then to stick to it.
If that’s too much, then immediately come clean. That will limit the damage and the chance you get stuck in a convoluted web of lies not even Machiavelli can keep track of.
How to sell it
You’ve made that decision? Then let’s talk about how you’re going to get rid of it. There are many ways to go. If you’ve come clean, then you might be able to return it. If that’s not possible, because that’s not the route you took or because the store doesn’t give refunds, then get together some people who are unhappy with the gifts. Maybe you can trade amongst each other? You can even turn it into a party!
That not an option? Then try Ebay or something similar. Of course, you’re more like to get discovered here. For that reason, if you’ve chosen the less honest route, for all that is sacred don’t sell under your own name! Also, don’t highlight unique details of your item (like the inscription).
And finally, you can sell it directly to websites. If it’s gold, then sell it to one of the many gold-buying websites. If it’s a diamond? Then check out our diamond buyers! You’ll get a good price and you won’t run any risk of getting discovered.
As a final note, whatever route you choose, don’t leave the receipt lying around. It’s a dead giveaway when you’ve been lying. It might even cause some friction if you’ve told the truth. After all, you won’t be able to get full price for it and nobody likes seeing part of the money go up in smoke.