9 Ways to Make Money From Holiday Gifts You Don't Want

As well-intentioned as it may be, sometimes a holiday gift you receive just isn’t something you like. Instead of letting it sit around gathering dust, turn that holiday gift into cold hard cash — after thanking the gift giver for their thoughtfulness, of course!

1. Return it

The easiest way to get cash for unwanted holiday gifts, and to get the full value, is to return the item. Even if you don’t have a gift receipt, most big box stores will take items back as long as they have not been opened. Even if they have been opened, many will accept items if you let them know you were not satisfied with the product. You may have to take store credit instead of cash if you don't have the receipt, but if you get a gift card or store credit instead, you can then sell the gift card for cash.

2. Sell your gift cards

Gift card resellers like Cardpool and GiftCardGranny will buy your store gift cards and even merchandise credit (as long as it is on a gift card and never expires) and pay you back in cash. You can get up to 90 percent of the gift card’s value in cash, depending on which store the gift card comes from. To get a higher value back, some card resellers will give you an Amazon gift card instead.

3. Trade it in on Amazon

Amazon has a trade-in program for used goods that can allow you to recoup some of the value of your used items. Categories include phones, Kindles, video games, tablets, and books. You can get a decent amount of money back for unwanted gifts this way, without the hassle of selling it yourself. You’ll get paid out via an Amazon gift card. (See also: 7 Ways to Make Amazon Pay You!)

4. Sell electronics

There’s a thriving market for gently used and working electronic devices, so if you have gotten an unwanted tablet or other device (lucky you), you can sell it via sites like Gazelle and Nextworth, paid out via PayPal or a check. You can also trade in electronics at Best Buy in exchange for a store gift card.

5. Sell to online consignment sites

Sell your items to online consignment shops to make some money back. Sites like ThredUp and The RealReal make it easy to sell clothing and accessories — you just send the items to the store and get paid (in some cases, upfront, and in others once the item sells). No tedious listing of items and taking photos yourself.

Swap.com is another online consignment store that also accepts toys, games, and books. And that shade of lipstick you know you'll never wear? Glambot will buy your new or gently used makeup and makeup tools. (See also: Turn Old Clothes Into Money With These 4 Tools and Apps)

6. Swap clothes and accessories

Instead of getting a payout, sites like SwapStyle and RehashClothes allow you to trade your clothes and accessories for other items you find listed on the site. You can end up getting a better value this way by directly getting back an item of clothing that you’ll wear, instead of a cash payout. You’ll have to have something that will interest the other user in order to make a successful trade, but these sites also allow you to purchase the item for an agreed-upon price.

7. Resell clothing directly

Selling unwanted gifts yourself will allow you to get a higher value back than trading it in via third-party resellers. However, it does take a little more time and effort because you will have to take photos of the item, price it, post it, and respond to potential buyers.

Used clothing sites like Poshmark and Tradesy are popular for selling used clothing and accessories. They allow you to list your own items for sale quickly and easily, but also help you handle the shipping and return process.

8. Sell on eBay and other marketplaces

You can also sell gifts online on eBay and Amazon Marketplace. Vintage or handmade items (like that scratchy homemade sweater, as thoughtful as it was) can be sold on Etsy. For large items that would be cost-prohibitive to ship, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist allow you to sell to your local community.

To get the best value for your items, be sure to do a little price research to see what similar items are currently selling for (for example, on eBay, check the “sold listings” box in the sidebar when searching for similar items). Take well-lit, clear photos and provide as much detail as you can in the item’s description. (See also: How I Make $800 on Month on eBay Selling Used Clothes)

9. Donate it

Donating your unwanted gifts to a nonprofit organization is a great way to give back to those in need. You’ll also get a tax receipt so you can claim a deduction on your taxes (so long as you itemize your tax deductions when you file your taxes). Make your charitable donation before Dec 31 to claim the deduction on your taxes for that year. Not all charities are tax-exempt — so make sure the charity is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to claim a deduction.

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