What to Do with Gifts?

🤨 The Many Reasons Gifts are a Fail

There are tons of reasons you may not be thrilled over a gift. The degree of which you don’t like it often determines what you do with it. If it’s from a former boyfriend or girlfriend and you’ve had a bad breakup, it may end up being used as kindling in the fireplace but if that’s not the case, here are some other scenarios you may relate to.

Gifts You Flat Out Don’t Like

It happens all the time. You get a gift that you just don’t like. You don’t want to hurt the gift giver’s feelings but what were they thinking? Who wants a stuffed pink elephant or a mug with your mug staring back at you?

It’s the thought that counts but if you don’t like the gift and there’s a graceful way to dispose of it without letting the other person know, why not get rid of it?

If it’s clothing that doesn’t suit your style, a good option is to donate it. Some of the major organizations that take clothing donations include:

Gift You Don’t Have Room For

Maybe the gift was something you like but you’re living in a dorm and there’s just no room. Understandably, you can’t keep it. It’s best to get rid of it without hurting feelings though. If it’s a decent item, try asking around to find someone who wants it.

Gifts that Don’t Fit

Gifts that don’t fit can put you in a predicament. Whether it’s too large or too small or too large, the situation can be awkward. You may be able to switch the size if you know where it came from. If not, it’s not rude to ask if you explain that it didn’t fit.

If you’re not comfortable with that conversation, you can give it away or donate it. There’s not much else that makes sense if it doesn’t fit.

Gifts that Keep Giving

Is it really wrong to regift? I mean, if you don’t want the gift, maybe someone else does. And if not, at least it becomes their problem…not yours. Right?

If you’re going to regift, beware. It’s easy to regift it right back to the source it came from. And who knows, maybe the regifted gift was a regift in the first place. It can be confusing. Just proceed with caution.

💭 More Savvy Suggestions

Regardless of the reason you don’t want to keep a gift, here are more creative remedies for the matter:

Return or Exchange

If you know what store the item came from, you can usually return a gift without a receipt. You can even be truthful with customer service and let them know the Bluetooth speaker doesn’t fit your phone or whatever the case is. You may end up with a store gift card but that’s better than something you hate or that doesn’t work for you. Sometimes merchants let you exchange for something of equal value in their store.


If you get a gift such as a gift certificate to a coffee shop and you don’t drink coffee, you can nonchalantly trade with someone who does drink coffee and has something they are willing to swap you for. It’s best to keep the dealings under wraps though.

If all else fails and you have a gift card you don’t want, check out Card Pool, a site that buys unused gift cards.

Sell It

Craigslist, eBay, Swappa, Amazon, and a host of other resale platforms are available to help you sell your unwanted item so you can get cash you can spend however you’d like to. Compare each of the options to see if they charge to list or take a percent of the sale profit. If so, how much? Once you’ve chosen the one you want to go with, it’s time to list it.

Prior to putting the item up for sale on the listing, you’ll need to dig a little to find out the value of the item, so you’ll know what to ask for it. Consider shipping costs as well. Describe the item and add a photo. You probably don’t want to mention it was a gift you’re getting rid of.

💔 What Do You Do with a Gift After a Breakup?

The question of what to do with a gift after a breakup is so common, it’s ended up in Judge Judy’s courtroom. The answer to the question is that it depends on your state…and by that it’s not your state of mind that is the determining factor but rather, the state in which you live.

Different states have different laws regarding such matters between partners. Some states stand by the premise that a gift is a gift even if it involves an engagement or promise ring.

Other states have completely different stances of gifts between lovers. Some say if you were gifted a diamond engagement ring (or any jewelry with a promise) and the breakup was not of your doing, you get to keep it. In that case, it’s yours and you are free to sell it or toss it in the trash.

👐 Graciously Giving Back

Depending on your situation, you may want to consider giving the unwanted gift back to the person who gave it to you. Offer a nice explanation such as, “I really appreciate you thinking of me, but…” This is only a viable solution if you have or can find a reason that is not going to insult the gift giver or hurt their feelings. Honesty might be the perfect way out.

And…That’s a Wrap

Gift giving has been a tradition for thousands of years. Some are awesome and others are awful. If you’ve received one you don’t want, at least now you have some excellent suggestions on what to do with it.

Cheryl Jerabek
Cheryl Jerabek
Cheryl is a professional writer that has been writing ever since she could hold a crayon. She has authored over 200 fiction and non-fiction books for teens and adults (both credited and ghost-written) on a wide range of subjects. Cheryl also writes blogs and articles on various topics and themes. Residing in a small mountain community in Southwest Colorado, Cheryl draws her inspiration from the gorgeous scenery, her 2 adult children, and 3 grandchildren. She enjoys traveling, party and event planning, and hanging out with family and friends. “I write so you don’t have to,” is Cheryl’s motto.

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