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Rush to offload unwanted Christmas gifts

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10:02 CET+01:00

More French people are putting unwanted Christmas gifts up for sale online, often barely before the wrapping paper has hit the floor, according to e-commerce sites.


Daily newspaper 20 Minutes reported that PriceMinister, one of the best-known sites for buying and selling goods in France, saw a 50 percent leap in the amount of products on its website over the Christmas weekend versus the same period last year.

“It started yesterday evening [Christmas Eve] really strongly,” said the site’s cofounder Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet on Sunday.

The first wave of unwanted presents went online between 9pm and midnight, with a second wave starting at 8am on Christmas Day.

The site expects to have a total of 3 million gifts up for sale over the course of the week against around 2 million in 2010.  

Ebay also reported an increase in sales on Christmas Eve and expected an overall increase of 10 percent this week.

The most popular gifts included books such as the Steve Jobs biography or the latest novel by popular French author Marc Levy, “L’ étrange voyage de Monsieur Daldry” (The strange journey of Mr Daldry).

A spokesman for ebay explained that while people were happy to receive the latest books, they didn’t want “several copies.”

Other popular gifts to go online are DVDs. This year they include the final film in the Harry Potter series and popular French comedy “Rien à dèclarer” (“Nothing to declare”) by Dany Boon.  

A recent opinion poll found that 30 percent of people admitted to having sold an unwanted Christmas gift, up from 20 percent a year earlier. Around three-quarters said that reselling gifts was more acceptable than in the past.


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