7 Ways to Deal With Unwanted Gifts
Everyone has received at least one horrible or laughably useless gift. But what should you do if you receive a gift that you don't want or can't use? Here are seven ways to deal with gifts that don't meet your needs. (See also: Wise Bread Gift Guide: Gifts That Save You Money)
OK, this is really more of a pre-emption, and it's a tricky option, but a valuable one. If you have the opportunity to politely turn down an unwanted gift before receiving it, then you can stave off the hassle of finding a new home for it later. If your giver is an understanding type, you can simply describe how you are trying hard not to acquire new stuff in your home. Make sure to express appreciation for the gift (or at least, the thought behind it!).
If your giver was kind enough to provide a gift receipt, then you don’t have to do much explaining. Just take the gift back to the store and return it or exchange it for something that you want or need. You can even return or cash out most major gift cards.
Some gifts are useful specifically because you have the option to give it to someone else. Perhaps that skull-shaped vase isn’t really your cup of tea, but you know a person with more eclectic tastes that would love it.
Regifting can be tricky — if both the person who gave you the gift and the person you are regifting it to happen to know one another, then honesty is probably the best policy. Explain to your giver that you know someone who would be incredibly jealous of the gift and ask if it would be OK to regift it.
If the gift is of any monetary value and you can sell it without your gift-giver finding out, then by all means, earn some cold, hard cash on eBay or craigslist. Check out this article on where to sell common household items. You can even sell Groupon coupons.
So skinny jeans are in, but your aunt thought you’d like a pair of extremely flared jeans. If you can’t return them (and can’t bear to wear them), alter the jeans. People still wear jean shorts in the summer, don’t they?
Sometimes, a gift just needs a new coat of paint to make the grade. Chairs can be recovered, furniture refinished, clothing dyed, posters reframed, and brass chandeliers spray painted a brilliant shade of pink and hung in a funky bedroom or dining room. If you’ve received a well-used (or simply ugly) gift that has good bones (and you’re feeling a bit crafty) consider finding ways to shine it up and use it before getting rid of it.
Donating unwanted things to Goodwill or any charity of your choice is a win-win. Non-profit organizations are able to fund their operations, and you get a tax deduction for charitable donations. If the unwanted gift is incredibly unique, make sure to donate it to an organization where the giver won’t see it!