UACES Facebook Thanks but No Thanks: Tips for Dealing with Unwanted Gifts.
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Thanks but No Thanks: Tips for Dealing with Unwanted Gifts.

by Laura Hendrix - July 11, 2017

It’s the thought that counts but the fact remains - we sometimes need to return, exchange, or re-gift something we’ve received. Wrong size? Wrong color? Just not your cup of tea? Here are tips for dealing with unwanted gifts.

Return with receipt. In the best case scenario, the item is in original packaging or condition and you have a gift receipt. You should be set for an easy return. Be aware that some stores give returns in the form of a store gift card instead of cash.

Missing the receipt? If you know the gift-giver really well, you might ask for the receipt. If not, some stores will take the item if the store tag is still in place. You may qualify only for an exchange and not a return.

Don’t procrastinate. Store policies vary but there is usually a time limit on exchanges and returns. Some stores require that items are returned in as little as 15 days. Thirty to 90 days is more common. Be sure to check store policies.

Return online purchases. You may have to pay shipping charges to return something purchased online. It’s often easier and cheaper to return to the physical location. If there is a store near you, take your return there instead of mailing it. Check online policies for return options. Some companies have affiliate organizations where returns can be processed (i.e. Sears takes returns for Land’s End).

Exchange gift cards. Several websites will purchase unwanted gift cards but you typically receive less than the amount of the gift. You might consider a gift card swap with friends. Be sure to check restrictions and expiration dates on the cards before using or re-gifting.

When all else fails, re-gift. Sometimes it’s not possible to return or exchange a gift. Some stores will not take returns if the package has been opened, parts are missing, or if it’s after the time limit. Homemade gifts are also not something you can return. Re-gift to someone you know will appreciate the item or donate to charity.