Have you noticed just how many times a year people buy you a gift? There are birthdays, anniversaries, Valentines, Christmas and other festivities. Then you may get the odd thank you gift or celebration token. No matter how well-meaning they are, people can sometimes get it wrong. Unwanted gifts can soon pile up. But it’s not just the clutter you may be worrying about. It’s how to part with something someone bought you with the best of intentions.
What to do with gifts you don’t need
Giving your unwanted gift away to someone else isn’t a bad idea. However, you may prefer to give it someone who isn’t acquainted with the person who gave you the gift. Selling it on is another option. It means you can use the cash value to buy something for yourself that you might enjoy more. It’s unlikely this would displease the person who gave you the gift. However, if you tell them the gift isn’t right for you, most gifters would be happy to help you exchange it.
If you have a large collection of unwanted gifts from years gone by, it’s time to have a clearout. Some gifts you may have forgotten about. You might not even remember who gave them to you. Others may have been carefully selected for you and getting rid of them may cause upset on both sides. How you manage this tricky situation is up to you, but sensitivity and discretion are sometimes desirable.
There are several ways to clear your home of unwanted gifts. Some people may find a use for your unwanted items. This is particularly true for practical housewares or gadgets. You can peruse the Wanted column in your local paper. Or you might choose to post the items on an internet auction site. If you feel too guilty to exchange the gift for cash, consider a thrift or charity support store. Gifting your unwanted items can help raise funds for worthy causes.
New and unworn fashion can sometimes be given to friends. Often clothing that is bought as a gift isn’t the correct size, or may simply not be to our taste. Friends may enjoy wearing these items. It’s usually best to be honest about where the item came from. As you have no receipt, you can’t exchange a wrong size without asking the gifter to help. But if you really don’t like an item, someone else can be given the opportunity to love it.
Many of us prefer to give gift cards for well-known stores. But even that can become a faux pas if the recipient doesn’t shop there. If you check out websites like cards2cash.com, you can find ways to pick up a cash value for store cards you can’t or won’t use. This gives you the chance to shop then at your preferred store to buy something nice to celebrate your special occasion.
Would you refuse a gift as it’s handed to you? In some situations a polite ‘no thank you’ is a good idea. Corporate gifts, in particular, can be tricky to accept. Your company is likely to have a policy about accepting non-cash gestures from suppliers, customers, and business partners. It’s important you’re fully acquainted with this documentation. It could put your company in a difficult legal position if you accept gifts. Gifts are often sent during holiday periods or provided during entertainment events. If you are entertaining on behalf of your business, make sure you have rehearsed tactful refusals.
Refusing gifts on a personal level is also socially awkward at times. There is a concern that accepting a gift may have a deeper meaning of your intentions or relationship. If you really don’t want a gift, don’t take it. There will always be a risk of hurting someone’s feelings, but sometimes it can’t be helped. If you’ve opened or seen the gift already, why not offer a polite excuse about why you can’t take it? Honesty could be the best policy here.
There are some occasions when lots of gifts have been delivered at once. Wedding presents, baby shower gifts, or kids birthday party presents. Chances are similar gifts will be offered that you simply won’t have a use for. If you’re willing to do a little extra work, you may be able to find people who do have a use for things. It’s not considered environmentally friendly to fill up your trash can after all. Re-wrapping a gift and giving the impression you purchased it for someone may seem a step too far for some people. Instead, you could offer the item as an unneeded gift. People usually appreciate the honesty.
Beyond the usual garage sales, yard sales and online preloved items listings, there are other ways to sell what you don’t need. What may be more of a concern is how you use the cash raised. Would you spend it on something nice for you and the kids? Would you pay outstanding bills with it? Or would you raise the cash for a charitable cause? There is nothing wrong with saying yes to any of these questions. But some people feel it could be a sensitive issue.
There is also an option to use an item in a different way. Fashion, for example, can be altered to better suit your tastes. Decorating, adjusting, or simply dying a top or sweater could radically alter the style. The same could be said for crockery or glassware. Changing its use and appearance could be an excellent way to fall in love with an unwanted gift or duplicate item.
Would you ever willfully destroy unwanted items? You might be tempted to break something you didn’t want so you have an excuse for it not being on display in your home! Of course, it’s not the most honest approach to a difficult unwanted gift situation. This concept often provides some light comedy in films and TV shows. But in reality, a specially chosen gift may have a lot of sentiment behind it for the person giving it to you. Would refusing it and returning it be the better option here?
How do you handle an unwanted gift?
Note: This is a contributed post that has been edited to align with the opinions and style of this blog.