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Here's how to turn that ugly Christmas sweater into cash.

Whether it’s a tacky sweater from a relative or a useless knickknack from a co-worker, it doesn’t have to go to waste. Unwanted gifts can be turned into everything from karma to cash.

Here are six options…

  1. Exchange it. Unwanted gift cards can be traded in for more useful gift cards – and even for cash. Check out 4 Top Sites for Selling Unwanted Gift Cards to learn your options.
  2. Return it. Stores like Kohl’s and Walmart accept returns even without a receipt. Both issue store credit, although Walmart issues cash for items under $25. Other stores may do the same, especially right after the holidays – just call and ask.
  3. Sell it. The Internet offers your best options here. Start with 5 Places to Turn Spring Cleaning Clutter Into Cash or 5 Best Websites for Turning Junk Into Cash.
  4. Re-gift it. Follow The 9 Rules of Regifting for a successful handoff.
  5. Donate it. If you donate your unwanted gift to a qualified charity (see IRS Publication 78) and get a receipt, you can deduct the donation at tax time. For a list of items that qualify for this tax break, check the “Contributions of Property” section of IRS Publication 526.
  6. Pass it on. If even taking a tax write-off seems like too much work, trade in your unwanted gift for some good karma by passing it on to someone who would appreciate it. If you can’t think of a worthy recipient, try a service like Freecycle, which connects owners of unwanted stuff to people who want said stuff for free.
Stacy Johnson

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