Some people wholeheartedly embrace regifting. Others think it’s tacky, and they’d never consider doing it. According to a survey done by Consumer Reports, 36% of people regifted last holiday season. And surprisingly, the higher your income, the likelier you are to have engaged in regifting.
Personally, I’m really into regifting. I’m always trying to downsize my home and life, so when I get an unwanted gift, why keep it? This is especially true if I happen to know someone who could really benefit from whatever I’m not using. Even better, it saves me a significant amount of money as well.
There are, however, some do’s and don’t’s when it comes to regifting. So, how do we regift the right way?
1. Make Sure It’s Appropriate
If you’re going to regift something, make sure the person you’re giving it to will actually like and use it. Otherwise, it’s just going to be another piece of clutter (or another regifted item for them!).
Gifts are meant to be special things. So don’t pass off your junk to someone else. But if you know they’ll really love the item, then regift away!
2. Don’t Regift Hand-Me-Downs/Used Items
You’ve used your bread maker three times already. But it’s not enough to justify the space it’s taking up in your kitchen. Can you regift it?
My advice would be no. To me, this would qualify as a hand-me-down, not a regift. It’s not something you’d wrap up and give as a gift for your best friend’s birthday. It’s used!
Give gently used items away on non-special days. Regifts should be in pristine, unused condition.
3. Keep Track of Who Gave What
Your mom gave you a sweater that you regifted to your cousin, who happens to wear it to your family reunion. Of course, your mom spots it from a thousand yards away, and suddenly you’ve got a family feud on your hands.
It’s important to keep track of who gave you what so you eliminate the risk of upsetting your friends and family. Many experts recommend regifting only when you can do it with a different social or family circle. I think this is great advice.
4. Rewrap the Gift
You’d think this would be an obvious one, but it’s not for a lot of people. If you’re going to regift something, then put fresh wrapping paper on it and make sure the old gift tag or card is replaced with a new version. US News and World Report says that 16% of the people they surveyed spotted a regift only because it had the wrong name on it. Oops. That’s a situation you don’t want to find yourself in.
Buy a fresh bag and tissue paper, or rewrap the gift entirely with fresh wrapping paper. Doing this will help to make sure it doesn’t look like a regift.
5. Don’t Regift Food
Imagine someone gave you a box of chocolates for Valentines Day, but you never opened them. So you give them to your friend for Easter. When she opens them up, the chocolate has gotten dusty from moisture and age.
A good rule of thumb is just not to regift food. It gets old and stale.
What else shouldn’t you regift?
- Partially used gift cards
- Personal items like socks and underwear
- Personalized items (like monogrammed/signed items)
- Promotional items (like freebie company tote sacks)
- Weird appliances no one has a use for
What do you think? Are you a regifter, or do you consider it the height of tackiness?
Also, if you have a funny regifting story, I’d love to hear it!
(Photo credit: MarcinMoga / Lolek)