How to Unload Unwanted Gifts

Posted on 12/31/2008

Unwrapping all those gifts sure was fun, wasn’t it? You probably got about three things you actually wanted and 17 you could do without. If you’re wondering what to do with all of those unwanted gifts– don’t worry. Here are four things you can do with Santa’s little screw-ups because after all, isn’t it the thought that counts?

Give the Gift to Charity
Charities are making appeals for your unwanted stuff. That sweater that’s two sizes too small? Send it to the Salvation Army. The garish nightgown? Give it to Goodwill. You may not want it, but someone else probably does. And your donation can also be a tax write-off. Another option is to sell it on Ebay and support a charity of your choice. It’s called Ebay Giving Works-- all you do is sell your item and choose a charity to receive all or part of the proceeds.

Turn it into Cash
Want to try turning your crap into cash? Head to and list your unwanted gift. Pick a fair price and write a catchy description. And hopefully soon you’ll turn that ugly candy dish into what you really wanted in the first place– money.

Make a Return
According to the National Retail Federation , a lot of gifts are going back where they came from. The amount of holiday merchandise returned to stores this year is estimated to reach $47.1 billion. That may sound like a lot of waiting at the return counter, but there is some good news. Eleven percent of retailers say their holiday return policy won’t be a strict as last year. You may have a more lenient deadline for returning your stuff or this time you may not be as likely to be treated like a common criminal if you don’t have the receipt. But you will still have to wait in a long line.

Give it to Someone Else
It’s not quite the faux-pas it once was. Re-gifting is a fairly common practice these days. The easiest items to pass on are generic gifts like candles, candy or gift cards. Just make sure you don’t use them first, because while re-gifting isn’t totally tacky, passing on a gift card with $14.34 left on it certainly is.

By Alison Storm

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