Gift Return Blues – What If He Hates His Birthday Present?

You spend so much time deciding on the perfect birthday gift for your boyfriend, and then you notice him not using it, not wearing it, not reading it…  or maybe he confesses to you that it’s really not his style. You wonder where you went wrong and what you should do.

Birthday Gift Wisdom: Honesty Is The Best Policy

First of all, if your boyfriend doesn’t like your birthday gift, don’t see that as a reflection of you. (It’s not.) He should be flattered that you got him a gift, but he also owes it to you to be honest if you ask him whether he likes it.

If he admits he isn’t crazy about the gift, there are few things you could do, along with returning the original gift:

  • Ask him for suggestions on a second try.
  • Go to the store or website together and let him pick out something else.
  • If it turns out that a gift from the same store won’t cut it, you could use the money from the refund to get him a gift card to a store he would more prefer. Or:
  • Instead of looking for another gift, use the money from the refund to do something together, like go out to dinner or a movie.

If the gift you bought was non-returnable, don’t let it get you down. Find a better home for the gift by giving it to a friend or selling it online. And remember, the success (or lack thereof) of your gift in no way parallels the success of your relationship.

Gift Return TIps

Most stores refund to the original method of payment. If you paid with a gift card, be aware that the refund will go back on the gift card.

Check the store’s website for their gift return policies. If you purchased from an actual store, returning usually consists of a trip to the customer service counter, which usually goes quickly if you make the trip at a less busy time of day. Some stores also offer returns and exchanges by mail. If you purchased online, use the return label that came in the package, or find one by logging into your account and requesting a return label.

Big Birthday Question:  Can You Return Gift Cards?

Gift_Return_BluesEvery store has its own policy. Some stores will take the cards back as a gift return if you have the receipt, refunding you with the original method of payment. Other stores do not accept them back. No store will just trade in one of their gift cards for cash without a receipt.

If you don’t have the receipt, there’s always the option to sell it online. There are some sites that are specifically for buying and selling gift cards, such as and Usually, though, the sites will only let you sell the card for a percentage of its total value. Your boyfriend could sell it to a friend or family member, and maybe even convince them to pay the full price.

Before he rushes to return his gift card, check to see if that card will work in any other stores. The store on the front of the card may be partnered with other stores that are more up his alley. For example, Old Navy gift cards also work at Banana Republic and Gap stores, since they are all partners. All might not be lost!

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