Buy This, Not That: 6 Holiday Gifts to Skip

Leave the trendy clothes and hand tools on the shelf, and go for alternatives that are sure to please.
exchanging holiday gifts

With all the holidays happening this month, gift shopping is on everyone's mind. But buying presents for the people you love is stressful!

About 13% of purchases will be returned this holiday season according to B-Stock, a company that deals in liquidating the excess inventory of major retailers. What's more, one in three people will return a gift. Don't worry, though! We'll help you figure out which presents your family and friends will love — and what you should leave on the shelf.

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Buy Classic Toys Instead of Lifelike Dolls

Best For: Kids

Online gift guides may seem very confident when they say your kids will love novelty toys like the Baby Alive Potty Dance Baby. However, B-Stock reports that dolls — especially the creepy, lifelike ones that can blink, talk, and go to the bathroom — are among the most frequently returned gifts.

Instead of buying your little one the latest doll with a diaper, get them something classic. Opt for vehicles, LEGOs and other blocks, or a good book.

Buy Gift Cards Instead of Trendy Clothes

Best For: Fashionistas

Clothes with intense ruffles, random cutouts, and sparkly jewels hit it big in 2018. But these trends won't last! Definitely avoid buying your fashion-forward friends any clothes that were en vogue this year; women's trendy apparel also made B-Stock's current list of unwanted holiday gifts.

Clothes with intense ruffles, random cutouts, and sparkly jewels hit it big in 2018. But these trends won't last!

Get fashionistas a gift card to their favorite store instead. They'll appreciate you knowing what brands they like, and you'll rest easy knowing they're getting something they want.

Buy Bluetooth Speakers Instead of Small Hand Tools

Best For: Dads

This just in: Fathers around the world still don't want hardware for the holidays! Hardware made a previous list of gifts that were often returned, and this year's list mentions small hand tools specifically.

Get him something you know he'll use instead, like a cheap portable Bluetooth speaker. Hey, maybe he can use it to listen to music in his workshop!

Buy Refurbished Gadgets Instead of New Ones

Best For: Tech lovers

If you've got a techie on your list, try finding them a factory-certified refurbished model of whatever gadget they're craving. For instance, Amazon has a certified refurbished model of the second-gen Echo available for $60; new models typically cost $10 more.

SEE ALSO: Which Amazon Alexa Echo Device Should You Buy?

Buy Kindle E-Readers Instead of Books

Best For: Bookworms

Shopping for a booklover can be stressful — you can never be sure if they'll want to read the book you pick out. Instead of combing through the aisles at your nearest bookstore, get your loved one a Kindle E-reader, which retails for $80 on Amazon.

With the capacity to store thousands of books, a battery that can last for weeks on one charge, and no distractions from notifications, this device will definitely satisfy the booklover in your life. Throw in a Kindle gift card to get them started, and you'll be a holiday hero!

Buy Subscription Services Instead of 'Wild Guess' Gifts

Best For: Everyone else

If you're not sure what to get the rest of your friends and family, there's an easy alternative to taking a wild guess: give them a subscription!

Subscription services like BarkBox and Birchbox are the gifts that keep on giving.

Subscription plans make perfect gifts, especially because they keep on giving for as long as you want to send them. Dog lovers, for example, will be delighted to receive a free month of toys and treats for their furry friend from BarkBox. The service offers gift subscriptions starting at one month for $35.

For friends who love makeup and skincare, try out a $30, 3-month subscription to Birchbox's beauty box. Know a family member who is trying to eat healthier? Gift them a week of vegan home cooking from Purple Carrot.

Readers, what gifts are you planning to give this year? What items are you avoiding? Let us know in the comments below!

Contributing Writer

Sarah Heikkinen is an upstate New York-based freelance journalist and marketing and social media specialist. She has freelanced for several publications, including Teen Vogue, the Ithaca Times, and The Scofield. She graduated with her Master's in Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in 2017.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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1 comment
Well, I'm thankful with whatever I get, I appreciate the fact that someone took time out of their day to put a gift together for me. I don't care if it's just a card, candy, or something more expensive. It's the thought that counts.