How To Get Unwanted Gifts Back In The Store

There's an art to returning unwanted holiday gifts, so here are a few tips. Sorry, Santa.

How To Get Unwanted Gifts Back In The Store
Getty Images / Jeff J Mitchell

Santa and his reindeer have come and gone. Christmas is over and all the gifts under the tree have been unwrapped. So now, 'tis the season for returning all that crap you really don't want. 

 Including the Chia Pet you asked for when you were eight. "Ch, ch, ch, chia." 

Or that, um, unique hand bag from your crazy aunt Caroline. 

Now, depending on what store Mr. Big Mouth Billy Bass came from, you could have a tough time getting your super awesome gift back on the shelves. 

But no worries, we found lots of tips to help you lovingly and easily find a different home for those things you just didn't love. Step one:

"Most stores have their own return policy, so check a store's receipt or website. ... Keep receipts is really the key here," reports KWTV

CNBC reports some of those stores to look out for include Sears, Barnes & Noble and GameStop. Those are a few of the retailers that won't give refunds or exchanges without a receipt. American Apparel is another one to keep an eye on. Unfortunately if your gift was bought on sale you're out of luck unless you want to fork over a new order fee. 

A reporter for NBC has another important tip: "Bring your ID. More store are asking for them to cut down on fraud which is estimated to cost the industry about $4 billion a year." 

Another trick? If you got a gift card that you don't necessarily want, you might be able to trade it in. 

We covered Walmart's holiday gift card exchange policy, which includes a ton of stores, but you're not always guaranteed to get back the full value of the card.

You can hop on Walmart's website to see how many Walmart bucks you can get in exchange for your card. 

Lastly, returning online gifts. Watch out for return shipping costs and, "Be mindful that most online retailers refund online the original payment method. That means your gift-giver will receive the refund, not you," said a WCSH anchor

But even if you're not looking to exchange or return, Friday is still expected to be a great day to find cheap post-holiday sales. 

"This year the day after Christmas is expected to be the second busiest shopping day of the year," ABC reports.  

Regina Lewis, consumer advisor explained, "One it's a Friday. ... You've got inventory to work with and you've got retailers who are saying 'get this stuff off our hands.'"

But if you don't feel like hitting the busy stores, remember, there's always the sneaky art of re-gifting.