Everything You Need To Know About Returning The Holiday Gifts You Don't Want

How To Return Every Terrible Gift You Received This Holiday Season

As the new year approaches and the holiday season comes to a close, it's just about time to face the music: Which of those gifts are you going to keep and which ones are headed for the clearance aisle?

Returning gifts is a tough decision -- we understand. Are you going to see the person who gave it to you any time soon? Or worse, will they ask you how you're liking it? Yes, it is important to consider the feelings of said gift-giver, but it's also worth owning something that isn't going to find its way to the trash come spring. Here's a return-policy guide to help you get through these tough but necessary decisions.

1. Amazon

Go to Amazon's easy-to-use Return Center and follow the step-by-step instructions provided. You'll need your 17-digit order number, along with the item(s) you want to return. Choose how you want to ship them back, and then wait for your refund or gift card. Done. If you live in Manhattan, you'll soon be able to return merchandise in store at the first brick-and-morter Amazon store ever (estimated to be around 470,000-square-feet and located at 7 W. 34 St).

2. Walmart

Good news for people who tend to hold on to gifts for a few weeks just to see if the gift grows on them -- items at Walmart can be returned up to 90 days after receiving the gift. Bring the item(s) to customer service along with a receipt (or packing slip) and you'll get store credit in return. If you'd like to return the item by mail, go to the store's returns site, select "gift," enter the order number, choose the "return by mail option," let Walmart know why you're returning the item, slap a pre-paid mailing label on it and you're good to go. And if you got a gift card you don't want, they'll even take that back, too (no matter where the card is from) in exchange for a Walmart card instead.

3. Target

Just like Walmart, you'll be able to return any gift item at Target within 90 days of purchase, as long as it's not broken and you have the packing slip or receipt. (In some cases, the gift must be unopened). Though Target "does not currently offer exchanges through the mail return process," you can bring the item in question to your nearest store for a Target GiftCard. If the item is from Target.com, you'll get an eGiftCard.

4. Lowe's

If a loved one gifted you with a major appliance this holiday (like a washer or dryer) -- lucky, you -- Lowe's allows up to 30 days for an in-store return. For other appliances that aren't nearly as large, Lowe's give you 90 days to bring them back.

5. Home Depot

To return something purchased from homedepot.com, you may return the item in-store or by mail, though shipping costs are your responsibility. To mail items back, Home Depot asks that you fill out and include the "Return Form" on your packing slip, put the item in its original packaging, put your new UPS returns label over the original label and then drop it off at the nearest UPS location. For a gift someone purchased in-store at Home Depot, simply bring the gift back (with a receipt) within 90 days.

6. Ikea

Mattresses and other items may be returned within 90 days of purchase at Ikea, though a receipt and valid ID must be present for in-store returns. If purchased online, Ikea's three main options are: 1) return items at an Ikea store with a receipt and ID, 2) contact IKEA's Home Shopping Customer Service at 888-434-IKEA (4532) to have the item picked up and returned or 3) see the address provided here to send back any items shipped via parcel.

7. Home Goods

To exchange items or to get a full refund at Home Goods, the store asks that you do so within 30 days of purchase. After 30 days, you'll receive store credit (which is fine by us). If you're returning a gift without a receipt, you'll be asked to show a valid ID and possibly sign a form or two.

And if you're too tired to do any of the above (because let's face it -- returning gifts can sometimes be as stressful as Christmas shopping is to begin with) you could always just hold on to the item and re-gift it in the new year.

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Before You Go

This is how you should mix your cocktails
Neiman Marcus
This 6-foot tall Imperial Shaker, made from cast iron, brass, copper and silver, comes with a one-year supply of Tanqueray gin and a personal cocktail tutorial for up to 20 guests. You'll need to pay just over £22,000 ($35,000) for this bit of kit, which was featured in the department store Neiman Marcus' 88th lavish catalog.
Your own Bond lair
Called "Project Utopia", this £100 million home (currently just a concept) would measure 100m in length and breadth, spanning over 11 decks. A retractable canopy covers the uppermost deck and on the “13th Floor” there is an observatory with 360-degree views, at which point guests will be 65m above the water’s surface. If interested, you can snap it up here - but you may need to fork out a fair bit.
Why not explore the deep in a £36m three-person sub?
Just a small cost for a Triton Submarine three-person 36000/3 submersible, which can reach depths of 36,000 feet.Certainly a good way to access your fabulous Bond lair.
You could relax in your £37m tree house
Master Wishmakers
The 20,000 square-foot residence boasts 'zip lines, a pool, a lazy river, a helipad and a water-operated elevator'.The proposed design, by Master Wishmakers, would have five pods linked by glass walkways, with each potentially housing a gym, spa, sleeping quarters, a vivarium, a greenhouse and a library with moving bookshelves.
Some 24 carat gold shoelaces?
Mr Kennedy
How much will they set you back? A cool $19,000 (£12,000).And there are only 10 pairs in the world.
This £9,000 advent calendar - with no chocolate in it
Coming from Harrods, this calendar has 24 "delightful" ornaments behind each of the windows, a collection they say which is “sure to earn its place as a family heirloom of the future.
Finally, why not make your own presents?
This Makerbot Replicator 3D printer may cost over £2,000 - but think of it as a long-term investment you can pay for with all the stuff you can design and make.