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The new year is here. It is time to go back to work, take down the tree, and put away all the Christmas presents. Well…maybe not all of the Christmas presents. Did Aunt Frieda give you a pair of Uncle Freddie’s unused golf ball-shaped gold cufflinks? Did Cousin Sarah knit you a pair of socks better suited to a toddler than your grownup-sized tootsies? Did you receive a gift card to a restaurant that’s closest location is 200 miles away? What do you do with all of these unusable or undesirable gifts? You don’t want to “look a gift horse the mouth,” but you certainly want to make the best of this sad situation. Here are some tips on how to deal with those gifts you’d rather not keep. For gifts that are not handmade or handme-downs, there is always the option of returning the gift to the place it was bought. You can often receive store credit or even cash if you return a gift with a gift receipt. If you don’t have a gift receipt you can usually get store credit, at least. Let’s hope you like that store. One word of caution. Some sites like will notify the purchaser when someone returns an item if the purchaser neglected to mark the item as a gift upon purchase. That’s a little tough to explain, especially if you feigned excitement and gratitude when you opened the gift. It’s best to call or email to ask exactly what will happen if you return an item.

silverware, or anything made out of a precious metal) for far more than you would expect. Because of the terrible economic climate, precious metals are worth a lot. One very fun way to get rid of unwanted gifts is to hold a post-holiday swap party. Invite all your friends over and have them re-wrap their unwanted gifts. Serve food and drinks and have everybody swap the gifts. Everybody ends up with everybody else’s bad gifts, but sometimes the recipient will really like the gift they end up with. If not, they can either trade with someone else at the party or they can follow another one of the tips in this article. Keep in mind that this swap party is only fun when the person who gave you the bad gift is not invited. It wouldn’t be very fun for them to see their gift to you in the mix. Of course you can always save the bad gift until next year, when you can “regift” it, or better yet, donate it to a charity that might be able to put it to good use. Rest assured that you are never stuck with a bad gift. You have many different ways to get rid of it.

If you don’t want to take the chance of the gift-giver finding out that you didn’t like their gift, you can always try to sell the item on eBay or craigslist. There is no guarantee that you’ll get a nibble, but it’s worth a try and you even have the potential of earning even more than the gift-giver paid for the item. If the gift happens to be made out of a precious metal like gold, silver, platinum or palladium you can skip the return and trying to sell the item on eBay. There are a number of online refineries that will buy your unwanted jewelry or cufflinks (or

Written by EM Downing Johnson. Courtesy of


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