Tim Heng hands a keep cup to Sam Koh and David Goode at the Many Happy Returns desk at the shot tower in Melbourne Central. Photo: Penny Stephens
IN THE past if you received an unwanted Christmas present you would throw it in the wardrobe or re-gift it to your cousin's husband's mother.
Online second-hand sites have been flooded by people offloading their - sometimes wacky or worrisome - burden for cash.
One person from Merrylands rejected a car - a Rav4 manual all-wheel-drive - they received, and on Christmas Day put an ad on eBay to sell it, with a starting bid of $14,500. At the other end of the price scale on eBay was a pair of Abercrombie and Fitch men's cargo jeans ''[size] 36 unwanted XMAS Gift'' selling for $39.99, plus $16 postage.
On the website Gumtree, while one vendor was flogging a glittering blue-green remote-control bionic bird for $80, batteries included, another vendor from Annangrove was selling a living, ''super tame hand-raised'' Major Mitchell parrot ''unwanted christmas pr [present]'' for $600. The ad said it was a ''super tame hand-raised beautiful feathering male still very young comes with cage, food and all accessories''.
Phil from Tempe was selling a $100 David Jones voucher for $80 ''because David Jones is not a store I generally buy from''.
Computer games, iPhones and Kindles were popular items for sale, usually because the giver hadn't inquired whether the recipient needed one.
A Bondi Junction resident put an ad on Gumtree on Christmas Day for their ''new unopened'' iPod Touch 32gb 4th Generation, worth $249, for $220, ''as it is an unwanted christmas present as I already have an iPod''.
Not all the gift offloading was being done for profit. A group of volunteers is running a stall at Melbourne Central called Many Happy Returns where you can donate the surplus item to the needy via St Vincent de Paul.
Marketing consultants Samuel Koh and David Goode and their friends are giving up some of their Christmas holidays to staff the stall, which will stand in front of the shopping centre's Shot Tower until New Year's Eve.
More eccentric items received so far include a set of chilli-infused kebab sticks, a new icy pole maker set and a Thomas the Tank Engine ''pop-o-matic'' board game.
More mainstream fare included body lotion, a pair of children's wool-lined boots and a tan leather Zara belt with the $49.95 price tag still on it.
Mr Koh, a marketing consultant, and accountant Mr Goode run their own youth charity, We Don't Care Inc.
Shopper Timothy Heng, 30, who found out about the stall on Facebook came to donate a reusable coffee cup, said: "It's a good place, a young vibrant thing and it shares the spirit of Christmas. It's very heart-warming."
Mr Goode said one woman donated a set of rotating picture frames on Wednesday, "given by a friend who gave her the exact same present last year".
Mr Koh says it is a "guilt-free" way of re-gifting. "If someone asks you what happened to that item, you can say, 'I love you but I already had one of those so I gave it to charity. It's a good cause."'