You love Grandma, but you’re not feeling that floral jumpsuit she gave you for Christmas. And that gift card from Omaha Steaks won’t quite work: Auntie seems to have forgotten that you’re a vegetarian.

Read: Fact: Christmas Does Not End On December 25!

‘Tis the season for unloading those albeit well meaning — but unwanted — holiday presents. Here’s a few tips to help you get something back in return.

First Try For a Store Return

If you know where the gift giver bought your unwanted present, check the retailers’ return policy online or by asking their customer service department.  “Retailers tend to be a bit more liberal with their return policies around the holidays, knowing people get things as gifts and don’t have receipts,” Sue Perry, deputy editor of ShopSmart, Consumer Reports‘ shopping magazine, tells DailyFinance. However, without a receipt you likely won’t get the cash back, but a store credit instead, she says.  “And one more thing to keep in mind: If the item went on sale, you probably will get the sale price and not the full price the giver may have paid.”

Unload Unwanted Gifts on eBay

The most common unwanted holiday gifts are clothing, accessories — from footwear and handbags to jewelry — and consumer electronics, Jim Griffith, dean of education for eBay (EBAY), tells DailyFinance. Here’s a basic rule of thumb to follow during the holiday unwrapping fest: “Even as you’re saying, ‘no, you shouldn’t have,'” to the gift-giver, be mindful to open all gifts carefully, keeping the packaging pristine in case you want to return or sell it later, Griffith says. Hold on to the boxes and don’t remove the tags.

While this tip might seem like a no brainer, it’s one key way “to help you realize better value” on eBay as the more merchandise appears new, versus used, the better it sells, Griffith says.


Clothing and fashion accessories that reflect specific tastes – – which might not be yours — “you either love UGG boots or you don’t” — are big post-holiday sellers on eBay, Griffith says. That’s why listing the size of an item on the site isn’t enough. Because clothing sizes varies greatly, include measurements in your product listing to maximize its resale value, he says. For tops, common measurements include underarm to underarm, and from the top of the collar to the bottom of the hem on the back of the shirt.

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