Skip Nav

What to Do With Unwanted Gifts

4 Things to Do With Gifts You Don't Want

Now that the Christmas rush is over, you might be less than giddy over some of the gifts you received. Every year, millions of dollars are wasted on unwanted gifts, but that doesn't mean you should let your own unwanted present go to waste. If you're eyeing a certain gift with distaste, here are a couple of options you can take:

  • Exchange or return it to the store: If the kind recipient was thoughtful enough to include a gift receipt, use the opportunity to trade the present in for an item that you actually want or to get a refund. Remember not to take too long when returning the gift, because there usually is a time frame for when the store will accept a return. Also, check the return policy to see if you're allowed to get a full refund or if you're only allowed to trade the item in for another.
  • Sell it online: Sell the unwanted gifts on sites like Craigslist, eBay, or Amazon. If you don't have much experience with online commerce, ask a savvy friend who's well versed in selling items on the web to help you out. If you're creating an account, try not to pick a username that's too obvious or your recipients may spot you reselling their unwanted gifts. If the item has been personalized for you, be honest and mention that in the description. You might also want to offer up a discount if the gift has your name engraved on it.
  • Regift it: You can also give the present to someone else if you follow regifting rules, such as making sure you aren't giving the gift back to the same recipient and that you're thinking about the recipient and not giving another unwanted gift. If the gift isn't Christmas-themed, you can perhaps give it as a thank-you gift at a New Year party if it's appropriate.
  • Donate it: When all else fails, you can always donate it so the gift will hopefully be used by someone else. Call local charities to see if they're willing to accept the type of item you're thinking about donating. Use Charity Navigator's advanced search feature to look for suitable charities near you. Remember, you can deduct this donation on your income tax return, so try to do this before the end of the year!

While you're trying to decide what to do with your unwanted gifts, keep this rule in mind: try to get rid of them as soon as you can. The longer you leave your gift sitting there, the longer it'll be part of your clutter, and you might start procrastinating and delay dealing with it.

Image Source: Thinkstock
Latest Money & Career