What To Do With Those Unwanted Gifts

by Guest Writer

With the holiday season in the rearview mirror, it’s now time to sift through everything that was accumulated in that short time. From clothing and toys to favorite collectibles, there’s no shortage of “stuff” that has probably found its way into your home. As gifts were torn open these past few weeks, I’m sure there were moments when you wondered if the gift-giver even thought about who they were buying items for. It happens. While it’s the thought that counts, I’m of the mindset that it also counts whether something is worthwhile. If you or one of your children received something that will likely just spend time collecting dust, then you need to take steps to move it on out of your home.

Gift Receipt? If you received a gift receipt with the unwanted item, then you’re in luck. All you’ll need to do is return the gift to the store, and you’ll probably receive store credit likely in the form of a gift card. This works well if there is something else you would like at that store. Of course, if it’s not a store where you would shop (or find an alternative item) then you might want to take another route.

If you were the lucky recipient of a gift card you have no intention of using, then don’t fret. There are a number of websites out there designed to help you get rid of the gift cards you don’t want and swap them for ones you do want. Some websites that will buy your unwanted gift cards include Plastic Jungle, Gift Card Rescue and GiftCards.com. You won’t get the full face value of your gift card, but most of these companies will give you 90% of the card’s value.

You can also find your unwanted gifts a new home. There’s always the option to re-gift something. You can hold on to the item until you need it. Just remember to try to give it to someone who might actually want it or have a use for it. In addition, I would highly recommend placing a post-it note on the item with the name of the person who gave it to you. This can help you avoid that embarrassing moment when you give the unwanted gift to the person who gave it to you (or re-gifting it in front of them).

Another option is to sell your unwanted gifts. There are a number of avenues for this. From ebay to buy/sell groups on Facebook there’s no shortage of ways to sell your items. Personally, I prefer local buy/sell groups on Facebook for a number of reasons. First of all, Facebook doesn’t take a cut in your sales (like ebay does), so whatever you sell your item for is what you get for it. I also like the Facebook groups because they keep things local—the less distance your items need to travel, the less of a negative impact they will have on the environment. Finally, I like the local groups because they encourage the re-use of items, as opposed to buying new. What better way to help Mother Earth? To find a local buy/sell group on Facebook, you can go here (you must be logged into Facebook for the link to work properly), and then refine your search by adding your town name, county name or other name that your area is known by.

Lastly, next time you’re shopping for gifts and aren’t sure what to get someone, then wait. Think about what a hassle it is when you get something you can’t use. Listen to the little things people say, and use those for ideas on what to give someone. Maybe your intended recipient has a favorite place to go—give them a gift card to go to that place. While it’s nice to have options for unwanted gifts, it’s so much nicer to avoid unwanted gifts altogether.

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