As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

HOWTO Return Unwanted Gifts

This article was written by in Uncategorized. 6 comments.

Here are some tips for returning or getting rid of that tacky gift that has no place in your house, the tasteless joke present that you’d be embarassed for your children to see, or any otherwise unwanted present.

Marshall Loeb from MarketWatch suggests these tips:

* Try to return the item to the store as soon after the holidays as possible.
* Check for fees and restrictions.
* Bring the receipt and creit card and make sure tags are affixed to clothing.
* Be nice to the sales representative.
* Lump your returns into one or two transactions.

Rick Lavoie adds:

* Don’t tell the giver you’ve returned the item unless they ask.

From Newgistics:

* Make sure the item has not been damaged.
* Look out for any incentives with the return designed to enourage future patronage.

Additions from Ask Andy About Clothes:

* Keep the original box in which you received the item.
* Dress nicely and wear symbols of authority (tie and jacket for example) if you expect a hassle.

Any other tips?

Updated July 16, 2010 and originally published December 12, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

Email Email Print Print
About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .


avatar derek51

Please note, some retailers have stopped accepting returns on the day after Christmas. They’ve learned that many people show up to spend their recently aquired gift cards and would rather free up all their sales associates to sell more junk.

avatar Luke Landes

Thanks for the addition, derek51!

avatar Penny

Don’t be too shocked if the item is not from the store indicated by the gift box. If that’s the case, and you don’t have a receipt or store tags, you’ll need to do some research to find a store that carries the item and will let you exchange it for something else. If you don’t have a gift receipt and they do let you return the item, you’ll be given credit at the lowest price it’s been sold for during the holiday season.