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Think about avoiding giving friends and loved ones these gifts this year—they may end up getting consigned or sold.

Lauren Phillips
November 28, 2018

Exchanging gifts is hard—and the pressure of giving someone a present he or she won’t want to return, sell, hide in a dark closet, or just get rid of by any means necessary doesn’t help. Part of giving good gifts is knowing the recipient well enough to understand what he or she wants and needs, but gift-giving etiquette also relies on knowing what not to give.

Online thrift and consignment store thredUP receives a flood of tags-still-on, never-been-worn clothing every January—250,000 brand new items in a single month, a 60 percent increase over the rest of the year. ThredUP’s team assumes these are rejected gifts from the holiday season: Items that, for whatever reason, could not be returned to the store. Instead, people turn to thredUP to sell them for a little money.

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In its annual Holiday Purge Surge report, thredUP tracks the brands and clothing items that are most often sent in for sale in the wave of post-holiday cleanouts. In January 2018, thredUP saw huge spikes in these new-with-tags items as people sorted through their December 2017 gifts—see the top 10 purged holiday gifts below.

1. J. Crew cardigans

2. ASOS maxi dresses

3. Banana Republic ruffle dresses

4. Victoria’s Secret swimsuits

5. James Jeans denim

6. Nike sneakers

7. Lululemon cutout shirts

8. Express ruffle tops

9. Forever21 t-shirts

10. Christian Louboutin heels

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ThredUP also looked at the brands that are most often returned without tags, which means people are loving and wearing the items (just not enough to keep in their closets, apparently). The 2018 Brands with Least Regret, based on thredUP data, include Everlane (#1), Prada (#2), Citizens of Humanity (#3), and Coach (#9); for a little gift-giving inspiration that is more likely to not be purged in January, consider shopping from those tried-and-true brands. (Or just be sure to always include a gift receipt.)

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