The Best Hacks for Returning Holiday Gifts

We've all been there: You opened that perfectly wrapped gift box with high hopes, only to be slightly underwhelmed by its contents. Did you unwrap a not-so-cute jacket? Receive a pair of shoes you'd rather swap for the Nike Cortez you've been eyeing? Get a kitschy dress you wouldn't be caught dead wearing? Don't fret. (Your BFF/mom/dad/brother/sister did their best!) Of course, you don't need to pretend you love the item—you can return your gift and get something you really like.

To help you replace your so-so gift, we've compiled some pointers on returning like a pro. From the apps to download to the best post-holiday sales to hit up, we've rounded up tips to help you out. Plus, since we know you'll be searching for better items to buy with your store credit, we rounded up our favorite fail-safe picks to get yourself. Happy shopping!

Scroll down to learn hacks for returning holiday gifts and shop items you'll definitely want to keep!

Let Your Phone Do All the Work

Returns—there's an app for that. If you're interested in returning a gift that was purchased for you online, consider downloading the Shyp app. In certain cities, Shyp will pick up, package, and ship your returns for you so you don't need to make the trek to the post office. Easy as pie!

Another cool app to know is Slice. If you were sent e-receipts for your gifts, Slice will keep them all organized in one place so you don't have to sift through multiple emails for your order and tracking numbers. (Plus, this app is also super helpful for purchases you've made yourself: It will notify you if the price of an item dropped after you bought it and help you score a refund.)

Hit Up Post-Holiday Sales

Exchanging your gift for store credit? You'll be able to get the most bang for your buck during post-holiday sales, when everything will be deeply discounted. Procrastinators, be weary: That means you can't let your gift sit in your room for weeks on end. For instance, Nordstrom's Half-Yearly Sale will begin on December 26, 2017, and run through through January 2, 2018, so you have a limited window of opportunity. Make the most of it!

Other end-of-year sale destinations include Need Supply Co., which is offering 20% off sitewide from now through December 29, and H&M, where items are slashed up to 70% through December 29.

AVOID THE BUSIEST MALL TIMES

Save yourself parking headaches and avoid the mall at peak hours. According to data collected by Google for Black Friday specifically, foot traffic at clothing stores peaks from 1 to 4 p.m., which also rings true during the post-holiday season. You'd be wise to make your returns during the mornings or evenings to avoid the biggest rush.

What's your favorite hack? Tell us in the comments below!

Opening Image: Getty

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated by Gina Marinelli.