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!
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 After-Christmas 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!
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.