The holiday season is upon us, which means you’ll want to get cracking on your shopping list.

Family members and friends can be so hard to shop for. You ask your mom what she wants and she’s like, “You don’t have to get me anything!” So you rack your brain trying to come up with something creative. Then you move onto your dad and your siblings, who are even harder. Don’t these people have any hobbies?!

If you want to make sure that your carefully selected presents don’t end up getting returned as soon as the holidays are over, we’ve got some tips. GiftNow collected data about the presents that are most likely to get returned, and here’s what they found:

  • Fifty-four percent of all gifts were exchanged or altered in some way last year. Ouch.
  • The presents that got exchanged most frequently were sweets like chocolate and candy, followed by clothing for women and kids.
  • If you’re shopping for guys, you’re not off the hook. Men frequently traded in dress shirts and athletic apparel.

Pro tip? Unless you’re absolutely, positively sure about the size the person wears and the color and style they like, it’s probably better to snag them a gift certificate instead and let them pick out the actual item.

On the flip side, the gifts with the lowest return rates for women included watches, skincare items, and other jewelry purchases like necklaces. Basically, if you’re buying bling, you’re probably safe.

Remember, if you’re on the receiving end of a not-so-ideal gift, have a little tact as you go about the exchange process! It is the holiday season, after all.

Happy shopping!


Lauren Levine is a freelance writer who has contributed to publications and websites including The Charlotte Observer, U.S. News & World Report, American Way magazine, The Huffington Post, Hello Giggles, Bustle, Thrillist, Thought Catalog, and others.

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