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The 6 Choices You Have When You Get a Crappy Gadget Present

Illustration for article titled The 6 Choices You Have When You Get a Crappy Gadget Present

If you're known in your extended family as the "tech guy," then some aunt has probably gotten you a terrible gadget gift in the past. What to do in this situation? Let's explore your options.


1. Grin and Bear it
The polite thing to do when you get a gift that you want nothing to do with is to smile, thank the person who gave it to you, then toss the crappy gadget in the back of your closet forever. This essentially forfeits the gift to uselessness in the name of manners, which is nice, I guess.

2. Regift
If you still want to get some value out of your crappy gift, simply give it to someone else. Then they'll have to figure out some way to make an electronic thesaurus useful, and you won't have to spend the money on another present. It's the circle of life.


3. Return it
If the person who gave you your gift won't be offended, you can always just ask for the receipt and then go swap it out for something you actually want. On the upside, they'll learn that you don't like gifts like that, but on the downside, you'll probably hurt their feelings.

4. eBay
If you're too polite to ask for the receipt but still want to turn your crappy gift into cash, eBay is the way to go. Just make sure you take nice looking pictures and put some time into making the listing look good, as that's as important as anything when it comes to getting a good price for your crappy gadget.

5. Hack it
When aunts hand you lemons, make lemonade. Why not open up that MP3 player and see if you can't make it a bit more interesting? Bust out that soldering iron and cement yourself as being the biggest geek in the family once more.

6. Destroy it
Destroying a piece of technology can be very satisfying. If all else fails, you might as well wreck your crappy gift. Blow it up, run it over with your car, light it on fire or toss it off the roof of your office building. It may just be the only way to make a 64MB USB thumb drive fun.


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I find Craigslist a faster and easier way to get rid of cheap-ish gadgets. No laptops or stereo/camera gear though, at least not without knowing how to weed out the scams "I'll send you a check for 3x the amount, you wire me back the difference plus a little for your time, will you ship to Nigeria?" If I'm selling on CL, I generally only sell locally, in public, in person.