6 ways to ditch bad gifts
NEW YORK – With the holidays gone, some people still have bad gifts hanging around. Time is ticking, since many retailers have 30-day return windows. But those who have waited can still find a few ways to discard weird sweaters or duplicate air fryers.
That includes selling them on eBay, using gift-swapping sites or donating them to charity. And if they’re lucky, the purchases came from retailers with more generous return policies.
“There are more options for people who have unwanted gifts because the internet makes it easier for you to be connected to someone who does want that item,” says Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing with DealNews.com, a price comparison website.
Here are six ways to unload the castoffs:
RETURNS: There’s still time to return gifts at some retailers, as they’re more lenient during the holidays. Many allow returns and exchanges until late January, according to Alex Vlasto, vice president of marketing at StellaService, which monitors customer service at retailers. During the holidays, items shipped by Amazon between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 can be returned until Jan. 31. And for items from Zappos.com and Bed, Bath & Beyond you have one year to return. For consumer gadgets, though, it might be too late. Best Buy had set a Jan. 14 deadline for most holiday purchases.
USE SWAP SITES: Plenty of sites allow shoppers to exchange items for something else. Got another copy of a favorite book? Maybe try bookmooch.com, an online community for exchanging used and new books. The website says giving someone a book earns a point and people can get any book on offer in trade. You do have to pay the cost of mailing the book to the other person. For clothing and accessories, you can try sites like swapstyle.com, where you sign up for free and trade items. Of course, you can always get together in person to swap items too.
TRADE IT IN: Some sites allow shoppers to trade in gifts for cash — or its rough equivalent. Gazelle focuses only on electronics, and lets customers get paid via Amazon gift card, checks or PayPal. There’s also Letgo, a locally focused mobile app that lets you sell electronics, games, clothes and more. You snap a photo of the item, post it to the app and chat with prospective buyers.
SELL IT: Unload that unwanted toy or sweater on sites like ebay.com, Amazon Marketplace or Craigslist. Check the sites to see how much items similar to yours are going for — and then price it. Got a gift from a significant other who has since faded into insignificance? There’s neverlikeditanyway.com, where you can set up a profile using your existing social media ones or from scratch, create a listing and share your breakup story. You can pay $5 to get extra promotion for your item, and if it’s sold the site takes a 6 percent cut of the price. “It’s cheaper than therapy,” the site says.
DONATE: Consider donating items to churches, nonprofit groups, schools or other places. Make sure you get a receipt for income tax purchases, and remember for next time to donate before Dec. 31 to get the deduction sooner.
REGIFT: Shhh. As long as it’s not used or personalized, you can easily wrap something anew and give to a friend or family member as a birthday gift or for other occasion. Just make super-sure you aren’t presenting it to the same person who gave you the gift. Some frequent re-gifters even keep spreadsheets.