How to Return Wedding Gifts You Know You’ll Never Use

The best part is, the people who gave you the gift never have to know

Updated 10/27/18

Alberto Bogo / Stocksy United

When your wedding is all said and done, you’ll hopefully be left with a handful of good memories, a couple hundred photos, and a pile of gifts. As you’re ripping off the wrapping paper and uncovering the items that your guests have given you, you might notice that some of those gifts will never be used, cared for, or looked at again.

So what should you do with the gifts that you’re most likely going to bury underneath a pile of things you never use in your garage or shoved in the back of a closet? You should try to return them to get money or get something else from the store that you’ll actually use instead.

Here’s how you can return your unwanted wedding gifts. The best part is, the people who gave you the gift never have to know.

Sort Through Gifts ASAP

When the wedding ends, you’re going to feel tempted to want to sit back and relax, taking time off to recover from all things wedding. But before you kick your feet up and catch up on your favorite TV shows, the very first thing you should do is rip open the wrapping paper on your wedding gifts. Start sorting the items you received into two piles: a keep pile and a return pile.

If you received a lot of registry gifts at your bridal shower, be sure to separate them into piles right after as well.

After you’ve made your piles, start taking action. Examine the gifts in your return pile. Do you have a gift receipt for them? Do you know where they were purchased? To meet most store’s return policies, you want to bring items back within the month they were gifted to you. That way, you have a better chance at getting money back or a store credit.

Look Up the Store’s Return Policy

If you have a receipt for the gift, look up to see how long you have until you can no longer return it. Some stores give money back within 30 days and then after that, give store credit.

If you find that you don’t have a receipt for the gift, but you know exactly where it was purchased, it’s worth taking the item to the store, asking to speak with a manager, and explaining that it was given to you as a wedding gift. Stores like Nordstrom, Macy’s, Target, and TJ Maxx, have a reputation for being great with returns or working with customers who don’t have a receipt. Usually, they can scan the barcode on the item, see when it was purchased, and give you the amount that the item is valued at now (if it was purchased months or even years ago).

Ask the Gift Giver for More Information

Sometimes, after your wedding ends, you find that you are left with a pile of gifts that you have no idea where they were bought. If they end up in your return pile, strike up a conversation with the gift giver to inquire about more information. Casually ask them where they bought it from so that you can investigate the return policy.

Swap It, Sell It, Store It to Regift

If you’re finding yourself eyeballing a dead end when trying to return a specific item that you just don’t want, you might want to resort to getting your money back or your money’s worth in other ways. If you’ve been given a gift card you know you’ll never use, you can swap it for another one using a website like Cardpool. You can also sell your gifts on Facebook Marketplace or using the website Tradsey. Or, if you’ve received a gift that you know you can’t use, but someone else would adore, you can store it away to regift for someone’s next birthday, holiday, or wedding gift.

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