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Returning Gifts


It's quite impossible to make everyone happy all the time. Just think back to those gifts you've received, when you wished someone had offered you the receipt for an exchange or a refund. Unless you are living with someone day to day and share identical taste in everything; it can be difficult to pinpoint the perfect present.

There are other circumstances that provide a gray area concerning when it's appropriate to return presents.

Read on for answers and tips on returns.

Frequently Asked Questions

Despite taking great care with our wedding registry, we received some duplicate gifts. What should we do?
It's perfectly fine to return the duplicates-and of course write a thank you to each gift giver. Should any of those people see the singular remaining gift at your home, it is fine to let them assume that this is the one and only version you received.

My friend gave me a set of teacups for my birthday that didn't suit my personal taste. I returned them for a set that better matches my pattern. If she asks me how I am enjoying her gift, what should I say?
The best response is one that both takes your friend's feelings into account and allows you to express thanks. Most gift givers really want to please the gift recipient, so your friend may be perfectly happy to know that you exchanged her gift for something that matches your pattern. If that approach doesn't feel right, and your friend will never discover that you don't have the teacups, you can also feel just fine about thanking her for the gift without any further explanation.

My brother gave me a sweater with a gift receipt enclosed. I don't care for the style, would it be rude to return it?
Given that your brother enclosed the gift receipt, he is aware that the style or color might not suit. Feel free to exchange it for another item from the store.

I recently had a bridal shower and received many gifts. My wedding has been cancelled, am I expected to return the shower gifts? I feel so embarrassed.
Yes, it is appropriate to return your shower gifts, with a brief note of thanks and explanation. Good luck!

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