We know that that it’s the thought that counts, but after the thought, you still may have gifts hanging around the house that you just, well, don’t
want need. And these gifts can be a burden in two ways if you in the midst of a separation.
1) They add to the things you have to pack if a move is in your future; and
2) They could be replacing things that you do want like other items or cash, both of which can be very valuable if you’re strapped for money due to a separation.
The good news is that by doing these 5 things, these gifts can keep on giving to you. Here’s a list as seen in the article,
5 Smart Ways to Turn Unwanted Gifts Into Extra Cash by Elyssa Kirkham (GoBankingRates.com).
1. Return Unwanted Gifts
Great for: gifts for which you have the receipt and/or know where they were purchased.
Go ahead and ask gift-givers for copies of the receipt if you need them; it might feel awkward, but if they are in a true gift-giving spirit, they will probably want you to end up with something you love. If they don’t have the receipt, you can still try and return the item as long as you know where it was purchased.
How to Return Unwanted Gifts
It’s easiest to return an unwanted present if you have the gift receipt, but there are ways to get around this.
Stores with the best return policies will accept returns or exchanges without a receipt, including Costco, Walmart, Target, Nordstrom and Macy’s. Most stores will require a valid government ID, such as a driver’s license, however. Additionally, many stores will only issue store credit for returns without a purchase receipt.
2. Resell Unwanted Presents
Great for: gifts you are unable to return, valuable or popular products, and gift cards.
If you can’t return an item, you can always try selling it. You might not get the full retail value in return for the item, but cash in hand is better than having to figure out what to do with an unwanted gift.
How to Sell Unwanted Gifts
There are a few venues you can try to resell your extra holiday goodies. The obvious choice is to sell the item yourself, through listing services such as Craigslist or eBay. This is a particularly good choice if you have items with a lot of inherent value, such as name brands or in-demand electronic devices.
If you aren’t up for the risk, responsibility or hassle that comes with selling directly to buyers, you can try the “Fulfilled by Amazon” service. You simply send in your unwanted items to Amazon, which in turn warehouses them and includes your price on the product listing. Once a buyer is found, Amazon will handle all the shipping and give you a check or credit after taking a small cut.
Lastly, if you were given a gift card to a store or restaurant you’re unlikely to frequent, there are several services that make it simple to get cash in exchange for your unwanted gift cards. Some top-reviewed sites to sell gift cards include CardPool.com, GiftCardGranny.com, Raise.com and CardHub.com.
3. Regift Your Holiday Loot
Great for: generic gifts like gift baskets, consumables (check expiration dates) or gift cards.
If you get a duplicate gift or already own a similar product that isn’t worth enough to sell, it could be the ideal candidate for regifting. Examples include accessories for electronics, entertainment media, jewelry, and health and beauty products.
How to Regift Unwanted Presents
Consider if there is anyone you know who you think would appreciate or use the item you have. If it is specific to your interests, such as sports memorabilia, chances are there is a family member or friend who is a fan of the same team. Just make sure to follow proper regifting etiquette to avoid any uncomfortable scenes.
Once you’ve decided who to regift the item to, label it with a Post-it with a reminder of the intended receiver’s name and occasion (i.e. birthday gift, anniversary, house-warming, etc.).
Items that have general appeal are ideal for regifting, as they can be given to a wide variety of people. General items can be kept on-hand as easy, last-minute gifts for any occasion. When an occasion comes up that calls for a gift, you’ll already have an item ready to be wrapped and given away.
4. Swap It For Something You Want
Great for: entertainment media, gift cards and apparel.
How to Swap Gifts You Don’t Want for Ones You Do
Gift-swapping parties are a great way to switch out something you’re not crazy about for something you are. One person’s trash is another’s treasure, after all. Arrange a get-together with friends or family and ask them to bring items they were given that they don’t love. Then guests can mingle and check out each other’s loot, and agree on a fair exchange.
If you would prefer a swapping system that is more automated, there are several swap sites out there to help get the job done, such as Swap.com or SwapAce.com for entertainment, and SwapStyle or ThredUP to sell or trade apparel.
For exchanging gift cards, try CardPool.com, which allows you to trade gift cards as well as sell and buy them.
Great for: unwanted toys, clothes and anything you feel would help someone in need.
How to Donate Gifts
There are several charities that will take gift donations, including Goodwill, the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots. In addition to those larger charities, many churches, synagogues and homeless shelters are in constant need of clothing, food and toys for needy families in their area or people without homes.
Donating gifts is a wonderful way to help those in need, but could also help you with your end-of-year finances. Many donation centers, religious institutions, educational charities and welfare foundations are 501(c) charities, which means that your unwanted Christmas present can become a tax write-off, potentially increasing your tax return next year. To make it easier to write off the donation, make sure to ask the organization for a receipt that denotes the value of the item given.
Do you have any other ideas?