What to do with your unwanted holiday gifts

SAN ANTONIO – We’ve all been there: We get a gift that isn’t quite what we wanted, isn’t the right fit or it's something we have no use for. So what options do you have to rid yourself of those unnecessary gifts that may leave you with more clutter than you bargained for?


If you’re one of the lucky ones who received a gift receipt with your gift, you can always go to the store where the gift was purchased and get store credit. Many stores have 30-, 60- or 90-day return policies, so it’s best to check with the retailer before making the trip.

Target has a 90-day return policy in which most unopened items can be returned or exchanged. Items that are open or damaged, however, may be denied a refund or exchange. And some items have a modified return policy. You can always contact the store or visit its website for answers to frequently asked questions.

Walmart has a 90-day return policy on most unopened items with or without a receipt. However, some items may have modified return-by dates, so it’s best to check with the store or the date on your receipt to make sure if your item can be returned. Walmart.com says it reserves the right to limit or decline exchanges, whether a person has a receipt or not. For more information, contact your local store or visit the retailer’s website for answers to frequently asked questions.

Those who received their gift through Amazon.com may have to do a little more research to see if their gift is eligible for a return. The online retailer says many items purchased from its website, including warehouse deals, can be returned within 30 days of receipt of shipment. Some products have different return policies or requirements. Visit the retailer’s website for answers to frequently asked questions or for information to contact Amazon directly.


Regifting an unwanted Christmas present is something most of us do at some point in our lives. It can also save you time and money. You won’t have to wait in line at any store, you won’t waste gas getting to the retailer and you’ll save money by not having to purchase a gift for your next party.

You may want to consider what you’re giving away before handing it off to the next person. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to regift things that are generic and not personalized.

Candles, coffee mugs and picture frames can be generic enough to give away without the next person knowing you’re giving them an unwanted gift. Items such as clothes, fragrances or jewelry, however, may present more of a challenge when regifting, as people tend to be pickier about these kinds of gifts.


If you try to return an item to a retailer without a receipt, the store may offer you the lowest selling price. Websites and apps such as OfferUp, Craigslist and Letgo may be a better alternative to rid yourself of an unwanted gift. When meeting in person to sell an item, it may be a good idea to meet in a well-lit, public area. Some police stations even offer safe zones where people can meet to sell their items. You can contact your local police office to see if that is something available in your area.

Online marketplaces such as Poshmark and eBay will allow you to sell your items without having to meet someone in person.


If you see something your family member or friend got that catches your eye, you can ask them if they’d like to trade with you. It saves time and money and your loved one may also be eyeing what you were gifted with, as well. It may also be a good idea to be considerate of the person who gave you the gift and swap your item with someone in a different social circle.


Some people don’t want to go through the hassle of having to return or resell their unwanted present. Donating to the Salvation Army or Goodwill will rid you of your gift quickly, and you may also be offered a tax benefit in exchange for your item. Check with the organization you are giving to for more information.

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