Now that you've opened all your presents, there are probably some you need to take back. But when it comes to returning gifts, you have to make sure you know all the rules and potential pitfalls in order to get everything you deserve from your gift return.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, looks at things to consider when you return gifts. Dan notes that you need to know what the return policies are at certain retailers, with Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and many other retailers having special rules for holiday returns. In addition, be sure to avoid violating conditions for returning certain items, as Dan looks at Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) return policy to find potential problems with returning opened and downloaded software. Finally, use a gift receipt when you can, as Dan points out that Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) limits returns without receipts to three in any 45-day period. By being smart about following the rules, you can get every penny you deserve for your gift returns.

What to do with that cash
Once you return your unwanted gifts, don't just automatically spend that newfound cash on something else. One smart idea is to invest it in the stock market and take advantage of the huge gains that investors have seen recently. In our brand-new special report, "Your Essential Guide to Start Investing Today," The Motley Fool's personal finance experts show you what you need to get started, and even gives you access to some stocks to buy first. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Amazon.com and Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.