With every holiday season comes the misgivings of gift exchanges. Not the sort of exchange between yourself and someone you care for, but the sort of exchange you make when you receive a gift that just does not suit your every day needs. The following will not only list a few good sources to turn your gifts into credit or cash, but also a list out some more practical gift ideas you can trade up too.
Make that exchange
Return it – Most major retailers don’t start the countdown of their return policy for items purchased in the November to December timeframe until the day after Christmas, December 26th. This includes Target, Walmart and Amazon. Point of sale systems have gotten quite sophisticated and often times all you need is the gift giver’s name and the item they gave you. The customer service rep can then look up the purchase and return the item for the price paid. Otherwise you may get stuck with the lowest price that the item was sold for over the holiday season.
Sell it on Amazon – Keeping your unwanted gift in its original package not only aids you in your quest to return it, but will also help you when such attempts fail. Selling your item online through services like eBay or Amazon can be a slower yet profitable alternative. Amazon has recently made it much easier to sell your stuff online as an individual. They even help you search for your item to see what a competitive price would be for your item. If doing this becomes the norm, you may want to consider a business account, and have Amazon manage the fulfillment for you.
Gazelle it – After opening and trying out an item you received as a gift, you may quickly find yourself in possession of a used item. Fortunately there are now several online services that would be happy to trade you cash for your unwanted electronics. About the only downside to this sort of exchange is that the number of products eligible is quite limited. Places like Target, eBay and Gazelle typically accept cell phones, tablets, computers and video games. With Amazon, you may be able to sell your books, music and movies as well.
Exchange it – If you happen to have received a gift card from a store that you do not typically shop at, you can try to exchange it for a store you do shop at. This year Walmart has even initiated a test program of their own where they will exchange a percentage of your gift card for a Walmart gift card. Online services like CardHub and CardPool are options as well. If you are looking for the best deal overall, consider using Gift Card Granny to search across several different card exchange services.
Get something a little more practical
Camera monopod adapter – Taking better photos should always be at the top of everyone’s list. Keeping your camera steady for both low light and action shots will help sharpen your images. Adapters that will allow you to attach your iPhone to a camera mount can be used on either a tripod or a monopod. I have been using iStabilizer ($15, Amazon) mounted on top of various monopods with great success. Using a monopod helps when you are moving around quite a bit. That and it doubles as a walking stick.
AirPrint printer – Getting one step closer to replacing your PC or Mac in your daily personal life requires a few peripherals that are tied to the past. Once such peripheral is a printer. Epson has a nice little AirPrint printer they call the Small-in-One® ($70, Amazon). Given its size, you can set it up almost anywhere. For the price, it is almost cheaper than buying replacement ink cartridges.
Apple TV – What continues to be one of the Apple TV’s strongest selling pointis that it is a great accessory for your iOS device. Being able to project what you see on your iOS device onto a larger screen using AirPlay can help you share information with a group or people. It is also a great way to access your photos and movies stored in your iCloud photo library.
Extra battery life – Event though the iPhone 6 and especially the iPhone 6 Plus have greatly improved battery performance, getting through a day of heavy use can be a challenge some times. When this happens, having a backup battery supply like one of the Mophie Powerstation universal battery packs can certainly help. You may want to keep an extra charging cable with you as well.
Wireless headset – Having a bluetooth headset sticking out of your one ear use to be the way to go. Now that wireless stereo is not only possible but also pretty good, going the way of a pair of Apple’s Beats PowerBeats2 Wireless In-Ear Headphones ($180, Apple) is definitely an option. However, for the money, I have found the Motorola S305 Bluetooth Stereo Headset ($35, Amazon) to be a much better bargain. Both come with a built-in microphone that make answering calls a breeze.