What to do with unwanted gifts


‘Tis the season to show love and appreciation for the people around you.

While buying gifts for your loved ones this year, make sure to spend some time thinking about ideas for great gifts first. If you’re on the other side, expecting gifts, be honest about what you want or need. Create a wishlist or point something out at the store. This way, you won’t be giving or receiving any unwanted gifts!

In the case that you do, here’s what to do with unwanted gifts…

Do a gift swap.

One great option to get rid of an unwanted gift is to re-gift it. That thing you don’t like or need might be the perfect gift for someone else in your inner circle. Wait until somebody’s birthday or a special event comes around. Better yet, organize a gift swap with your friends or suitemates. You can mix in your gift in a “white elephant gift exchange” and make it into a great New Year’s get-together activity. Make sure not to invite the person you got the present from!

Donate to charity.

Most people take this time of year to give back to their community and do some good. Why not do it too? You can find out if your local charity or nonprofit can make use of your gift, and if yes, make a donation. There are tons of great places like Goodwill or organizations like St. Jude’s children’s hospital that will take most things. Besides, you’ll feel better about it than getting an exchange at the store or donating money.

Go to the store for an exchange.

Going to the store with a receipt and asking for an exchange or return is probably the most straightforward option to get rid of a gift. Most retailers accept this and issue out gift receipts accordingly. You can get money back or swap the item for something else you like at the place. It’s a good way to prevent hurting people’s feelings.

Sell it online.

When a gift can’t be exchanged, most people turn to the internet. December is one of the best times of year to sell items online; eBay even pinpoints December 29 as the best day to sell unwanted gifts online. Whether it’s eBay, Craigslist, Amazon, or Facebook, you can make some money by selling it online. Especially for general items such as toiletries and fragrances. With the earnings you make, you can decide to buy yourself something you really like or donate it!

Both buying and receiving gifts can be difficult. But hopefully with this shopping guide and these ideas of what to do with unwanted gifts, your end of the year won’t be as stressful.

Make gifting easier this year by living at Common. You can create suite wishlists, swap gifts with your suitemates, and discover local shops for gifts that no one will want to get rid of. Find our homes here.

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