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It's no secret that promotional items and swag can be a huge help in marketing your company or event. But when you're done with them, what do you do with all of those T-shirts, tote bags, and pens? Here are 10 ways to reuse or recycle your leftover promotional items so you can help the environment and stay stylish at the same time!

1.) Swap Leftover Swag With A Competitor.

As an avid recycler myself, I always make sure to save my old mugs for this purpose. A simple Google search will yield lots of people who are willing to pay cash or store credit on sites like Craigslist, Kijiji, eBay Classifieds, Facebook Marketplace, etc. for their favorite brands. Also, don't forget about your friends and family! They'll probably love to take home a free t-shirt or two for their kids.

2.) Donate Leftover Swag.
If there's no money involved in the ‘swagging' game, consider donating your leftovers to charity drives, homeless shelters, hospitals, etc. It might not put much cash in your pocket, but you can smile knowing that someone out there is getting some use out of your old logo wear.

3.) Use Leftover Swag As Craft Supplies.
Old t-shirts make great cleaning rags (dampen them first to avoid streaks), leftover fabric scraps are perfect for projects like stuffed toys or pillows, and pens can be used as paintbrushes! If you need some inspiration, check out this awesome list of craft projects from Leftover Promotional Items that require old swag!

4.) Recycle Leftover Swag.
Many cities have recycling programs for promotional products. Plastic bottles and CDs/DVDs can be recycled at most grocery stores, while a good chunk of designers also offer the option to recycle your old items through them directly. You can also use a service like SwagCycle.

5.) Rehome Leftover Swag With Your Employees/Volunteers.
This way, your leftover swag doesn't go to waste and your employees get a nice surprise! I love this method because it's so easy for everyone involved. Just consider the individual when making the selection, knowing that they would appreciate something uniquely personal, makes them feel special.

6.) Collect Leftover Swag And Give It Out At An Event Next Year (when you have more) (like a conference) (make it part of an incentive in exchange for being in the meeting, in which case it can be free with registration or paid for separately). A quick call to customer service about returning all the items will usually suffice. Or, if there's an expiration date, just ask them for a list of people who still have unopened swag that they can give it to instead.

7.) Sell Leftover Swag On A Secondhand Site
You might get a couple of bucks out of your old swag depending on what kind it is. The key is to take great photos and include all pertinent information in your description. I would recommend this method only for smaller items like pins and pens because larger things like plastic cups or bags may cost more to ship. Also, make sure you remove any personal contact info from the item before selling!

8.) Sell Leftover Swag On A Marketplace Site Like SwagCycle
SwagCycle is a startup focused on responsibly managing the lifecycle of branded merchandise. When companies rebrand or get acquired, many often dispose of their obsolete branded merchandise. Leveraging our proprietary network of partners, we make this problem go away by helping companies repurpose, recycle items in a responsible, ethical, and affordable way.

9.) Use Leftover Swag As Party Favors.
This costs nothing except your time to gather the items and attach a personal note to each guest. Just write it on their napkin or stick it in their drink as they enjoy the festivities. Another option is to attach them with a ribbon over the chair where they can sit down. This ensures that everyone gets one even if it's a large party. And because they're personalized, your guests will love it and you'll be able to start the conversation about your business in a fun and memorable way!

10.) Save Leftover Swag For Next Year
You can use these during the next year of events or set them aside to give out as gifts on special occasions or on any day at all. You don't have to use the items only around the same time you received them. It's okay if they've expired by now! Leftover swag is perfectly acceptable at any time of year! Now that you know what to do with your leftover swag, all that's left is make sure you get it – check out get your leftover swag in here!!


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