What Should You Do With Unwanted Gifts?

You told your friends and family you’re decluttering your house and that you would appreciate it if they only got you what you needed instead of unwanted gifts. They didn’t listen, and now you’re stuck with a duplicate hairdryer, a bunch of home décor you have no room for, and a flashlight that you have no idea what to do with. 

Of course, you’re grateful for the gift and that they got you anything at all, but it’s still not something you will use. It can even feel like a burden when you get a gift you don’t want because you know you won’t keep it, but the guilt will linger if you throw it away. 

There are ways to rid yourself of these gifts without throwing them in the junk pile or leaving it in the back of your closet. It will take some time and effort, but it’s worth it. 


Return Them

First, the obvious, try to return it to the store. It’s better to have cash than an item that will collect dust. If you’re lucky, the person who gave it to you also snuck the gift receipt in there. If not, you can ask for it. For most people, asking for the receipt is an awkward conversation to have. 

Thankfully, there are ways to return an item without one. Some stores will accept an item without a receipt as long as it is unopened and not damaged. Never open a gift you plan on returning. It will ruin your chances of a store accepting it. 

Search the item in question and see where it is sold. Once you’ve identified the stores, check each store’s return policy. You can find them online very easily. The policy is where you will find out if they accept any items without a receipt. Typically, you won’t get cash for this type of return, but you will get store credit! Then you can buy whatever your heart truly desires. 


If all of the stores are unwilling or unable to accept your item, you still have other options. There are plenty of reselling apps for you to choose from. If you have time, it’s best to do a bit of research on the apps. Then, you’ll find out which one is the best for your item.

Some apps are created to sell clothes, others focus on items, and some are designed only to show the item to people in your area. Social media is a good option if you don’t mind that the original gift-giver might see your post.

You need to decide if you are willing to mail this item or if it would be better to meet in person. This will have a big impact on which site to choose. It’s also worth mentioning that if you’re meeting up with someone in person, you should be careful and take all the necessary precautions. 


Gift Cards

If you’re looking to get rid of a gift card, you have some options. Stores won’t refund a gift card, and I’ve never heard of anyone making an exception, so you either have to use it or sell it. Lucky for you, other people do want your gift card.

There are websites where they will buy your gift card and give you a certain percentage of the amount in cash. They’ll buy the card at a discounted rate and then sell it at a discounted rate. The store the card is for will determine how much of the money you will get. The percentage is typically based on demand for that store.

If you’re going to cash in your gift cards, look up the website reviews first. There are some major scammers out there, and I want you to be as safe as possible. Just because you don’t want the gift card doesn’t mean it won’t stink to have it stolen from you. 



Sometimes, you don’t want anything for the item. Keeping your house decluttered is a reward all by itself. If that is the case, donating the item is a great option. You can get rid of it almost instantly, and it will never cross your mind again.

Please consider donating, especially if you’re trying to get rid of clothes, toys, or other highly needed items. Helping a local family is a fantastic way to end the holiday season. 

Last Resort

When the item you’re getting rid of is not returnable or wouldn’t help anyone if you donated it, you still have a few options left. Take some time and think about if you know anyone who might actually enjoy the item. One woman’s unwanted gift is another person’s treasure. Don’t regift it just to regift it. You’ll only be putting someone in the same position you’re in.

Maybe you’re lucky, and it’s something that could be a collector’s item one day. If you have the storage space, stash it in your attic and hope for the best. That random collector’s item could be a gold mine. 

If nothing else works, you can always throw the item away. 


How To Handle The Aftermath 

Once you’ve disposed of the item, never talk about it again, and don’t bring it up to the person who gave it to you or anyone else for that matter. Don’t tell anyone that you hated the gift and got rid of it. It’s not a good look for you or the person who gave it to you.  

Also, don’t lie. It’s not worth the emotional burden. If someone asks where the item is, tell the truth. You don’t have to say anything rude or pessimistic about the gift. Just say you had no real use or space for the item. That should be good enough. 

Finally, remember that these unwanted gifts are just objects. Though they were thoughtful, they don’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things. It’s the act and thoughtfulness of gift-giving that holds value during the holiday season, not the item itself. 



By HitchSwitch

About US

HitchSwitch was born of an entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to make life easier. HitchSwitch founder Jake Wolff was in his first year at Fordham Law School, where he toyed with the idea of starting a business and hoped to experience his “Eureka!” moment.
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