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Shopping expert shares the ins and outs of returning unwanted holiday gifts

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(NEW YORK) — ‘Tis the season for returning unwanted Christmas presents, and smart shopping expert Trae Bodge of TrueTrae.com is sharing some helpful tips to help make the process a little bit easier.

When it comes to returning gifts in the store, be prepared for crowds this week, Bodge told ABC News Live. It’s also ideal to bring in a gift receipt with the item and ensure that items are in as sellable condition as possible.

“Tags with the item in the box it came in, if it all possible,” Bodge said.

A big advantage of returning items this week is that a lot of stores are having massive post-Holiday deals, including Target.

It’s not the end of the world if you don’t have a receipt, but having it helps you get the full value of the item back. Without one, if the item is now on clearance, you might get a reduced value when you return it.

Many stores are having a hard time managing the expense of returning items that customers bought online, Bodge said.

“You might try to return something in the store and [they] might say, ‘Just keep it. I’m going to give you the credit, because it costs too much to send it back.’ Or you might be charged shipping for returning that item,” Bodge said.

Some stores may even charge a restocking fee for such items.

And if you miss the return window, there are options available to resell it online. For example, the platform MPB.com specializes in re-selling videography and photography equipment.

“Say if you got a beautiful camera but you don’t need it, you can sell it to them and they’ll set, they’ll give you cash and they pay it out very quickly,” Bodge said.

Another option is saving the item for regifting or giving it to charity.

“Something that you don’t love, someone else may love,” Bodge said.

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