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What NOT To Give: 9 Of The Most Returned Gifts

We all want to give gifts that people will actually use and enjoy, right? Consider this your guide to what NOT to give this year, based on what usually gets returned after the holidays!

Making decisions can be difficult at the best of times. And I often find that the more options I have to choose from, the harder it becomes to make a decision!

This decision-making paralysis nearly always comes up when I’m doing my holiday shopping, and this year has been no different. But it recently occurred to me that if I find it easier to decide when I have fewer options, I could make my holiday shopping easier by first deciding what not to give!

So I did some research to find out which items get returned most after the holidays. And I’m sharing the results of that research with you, to help make your last-minute gift decisions a little bit easier!

(Note: There are plenty of exceptions to the rule of “what not to give!” For instance, if someone asks for one of these items specifically, then of course you should give it to them!)

The 9 Most Returned Holiday Gifts (Or What NOT To Give This Year!)

1. Clothes

Clothes and shoes make up over 60% of post-holiday returns! But this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, because it’s hard enough to pick out clothes for yourself, let alone for someone else!

When it comes to clothing, people may prefer certain colors, fabrics, styles, and fits. That makes it really tricky to choose a clothing item that someone will truly love, so clothing probably isn’t your best bet as a gift.

2. Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen appliances can be very hit-or-miss as a gift. Unless you know that someone has been dying to get a specific model, you may end up giving them a bulky gift they didn’t actually want!

And unless you’ve been snooping around someone’s kitchen recently, there’s also a risk of giving them an appliance they already have.

3. Tools

Based on the number of tools that are returned after the holidays, they aren’t as great a gift as we think! Unless you are positive that Dad is hoping to get a new drill for Christmas, he might prefer a gift card instead.

4. Home Decor

Decorating your home is a very personal experience, and most people have very a particular style. Instead of trying to pick out the perfect home decor item as a gift, opt for something functional like a cozy blanket.

5. Self-Help Books & Exercise Gear

It’s best to avoid any gift that could be misconstrued by the recipient as a slight against them. For instance, a self-help book may seem like a useful gift, but the recipient may not appreciate it.

The same goes for things like exercise gear, fitness equipment, and gym memberships. Exercise and weight loss are highly personal matters, so unless you’re quite certain about it, it’s safer to avoid giving an exercise-related gift.

6. Hoverboards

Hoverboards have been a very popular gift for the past couple of years. But when you consider the number of malfunctions, injuries, and recalls since then, it just doesn’t seem worth it!

7. Food & Drink

Unless you know a person’s eating habits, avoid the usual food and drink gifts like alcohol, meat and cheese, etc. You don’t want to end up giving alcohol to someone who doesn’t drink, or cured meats to a vegetarian!

8. Video Games

For the most part, people who play video games will buy the games they want to play when they are released. This makes it tricky to give video games to gamers, because there’s a good chance you’ll choose one they either already own, or aren’t interested in playing.

9. Glassware

Glassware might seem like an appropriate gift for the whiskey aficionado in your life, but they probably already have glassware they like and use at home. And since glassware and other drink accessories frequently get returned, you might be better off taking them out for a drink instead!

Do you have a go-to gift for giving, or a gift that you are always happy to receive?


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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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