Heather Wheeler | 

9 Most Returned Gifts and What You Should Be Buying Instead

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If you’ve ever given a gift from this list, it was probably returned or exchanged.

That’s because 54% of all gifts are returned or altered — and our list includes the worst offenders!

And while you’re reading in horror what you’ve already gifted friends and family, take a look at the most kept gifts to help make shopping easier this year.


Let’s start with gifts to avoid:


1. Sweaters and graphic tees are the most returned gift for women, men and children.

Gifting apparel this year? Include a gift receipt.

Men’s, women’s and children’s apparel — most often sweaters or graphic tees — are almost always exchanged for a different color or size.

If apparel is a must-buy, Target brands can be returned or exchanged for up to a year. This includes brands like Merona, Circo, Ava & Viv — there are over 50 of them.

Or make those dollars stretch even more with these 12 Black Friday apparel deals including Target’s $5-$15 footwear, pj’s and sweaters for the whole family.


2. Men often return professional and athletic attire.

If you do give men’s formal wear or athletic apparel, purchase the items from a retailer with an extended return window and include the receipt.

Most retailers extend their return window for purchases made during the holiday shopping season.

For example, purchases made from Kohl’s, Macy’s or Amazon between Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 can be returned until Jan. 31.


3. Gum, chocolate and candy are often returned for cash.

Believe it or not — candy, chocolate and gum often get returned for cash.

That’s because stores like Walmart do not require a receipt, and items under $25 can be returned for cash.

Instead, skip the store-bought sweets and give your favorite homemade treats.


4. Gift cards are sold for cash on sites like Raise or Gift Card Granny.

Discounted gift card sites like Raise and Gift Card Granny see a huge influx of gift cards being sold on their site for cash following the holidays.

Which means if you’re looking to buy discounted gift cards, the post-holiday influx is the best time to enjoy steeper discounts.


RELATED: Gift Card Hacks You Should Be Using



5. Novelty toys are re-sold online following the holidays.

Trendy or predictably hot toys like hoverboards are often re-sold on sites like eBay after the holidays have ended.

Instead of taking a chance on whatever is trending this year, reach for timeless favorites that both parents and kids will want to keep like LEGO, train sets or dolls.


Now for the most kept gifts:


1. Women and men hang on to anti-aging skin care products.

We aren’t telling you to buy your loved ones anti-aging skin care products. . .

Just know they will probably be kept (and used!) if you do.


2. Women don’t usually return fine jewelry or watches.

One of the least exchanged or returned gifts for women is fine jewelry or watches.

If you go this route, Sears averages 78% off their fine jewelry and watch selection on Black Friday while Kohl’s averages 72% off — plus you’ll get $10 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 you spend.


RELATED: Genius Tips to Win Kohl’s Black Friday


3. Men like to keep their ties and wallets.

Apparently, men love their accessories and are less picky about wallets and ties.

This year, get BOGO free ties at JCPenney on Black Friday.

Or shop Belk for buy one, get two free wallets and ties by Saddlebred or Madison on Black Friday.



4. Give experience-based gifts like movie tickets or an annual zoo membership.

The thing about experience-based gifts is that they have to be enjoyed, not returned!

And giving someone an experience almost always ensures that they can’t already own it.

Buy discounted movie tickets from Costco, or look for annual membership discounts to local zoos and museums around the holidays.


UP NEXT: The Best Holiday Deals

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