Gifts No One Wants — And What To Buy Instead for the Same Price

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SrdjanPav / iStock.com

Unwrapping a disappointing gift can be a real letdown — and it can be just as bad for the gift-giver who spent their hard-earned money on something unwanted. Before you spend your money on a gift that no one actually wants, consider buying one of these alternatives.

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Don’t Buy: Socks

There are some people out there who are very into thematic and fun socks — and if you have one of those people on your list, go ahead and buy them a pair. But if you’re unsure if your gift recipient is a sock enthusiast, stay away from this gift, which many would find boring.

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Buy Instead: Mini Bluetooth Speaker

The price of socks can vary, but if you’re looking for a gift for under $20 that is sure to please, consider a mini Bluetooth speaker.

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Don’t Buy: Personal Hygeine Items

Maybe you need to buy a last-minute gift so you head to the nearest drug store. While you can certainly find some hidden gems at your local CVS or Walgreens, stay away from the personal care aisle when you’re doing your shopping. No one wants to receive deodorant or toothpaste.

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Buy Instead: Art Supplies

Most drug stores have an art supply section, so head to that aisle to find an unexpected, creative gift, like an adult coloring book and colored pencils. Walgreens has coloring books for as little as $1 — even less than what you’d pay for toothpaste.

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Don’t Buy: Keychains

Your gift recipient likely already has a keychain (if this is something they even use) and no one really needs more than one. Save your cash for something more useful.

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What To Buy Instead: Luggage Tags

Luggage tags are in the same vein as keychains, but it’s an item your recipient may not already have. Plus they come in a variety of colors and designs, and you may even be able to customize them, so it seems like a much more personal gift.

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Don’t Buy: Basic Clothing Items

Along with socks, a plain sweater or T-shirt can come across as a boring gift. This doesn’t show that you put a lot of thought into who the recipient is, and the gift may be a duplicate of something they already have in their closet.

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What To Buy Instead: A Gift Card for Their Favorite Clothing Store

If you tend to opt for basics because you don’t know what the recipient will like, give them the opportunity to choose their own gift. A gift card to their favorite clothing store will show that you know them well enough to know where they shop, while allowing them to get something that they really want.

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Don’t Buy: Calendars

Digital calendars have largely replaced physical ones, so this gift likely won’t be appreciated or used.

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What To Buy Instead: Coffee Table Books

If you like the idea of giving paper goods as gifts, consider gifting a chic coffee table book. You can find some on Amazon for under $20 — about the same as you would pay for a calendar.

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Don’t Buy: DVDs

Many people no longer own DVD players, so this is a gifting no-no.

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What To Buy Instead: Streaming Service Subscription

For the price of a DVD, you can gift a month of your streaming service of choice. This gives your loved one access to a wide variety of movies, so it’s a better use of your money.

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