Regifting – Do It Without Being Tacky

Regifting is one of those dirty little secrets no one likes to talk about. But we’ve all done it – or at least thought about doing it (come on, you know you have!). So it’s time for regifting to come out of the closet ... just like that unwanted present you got for Christmas last year, which might be the perfect regift for the name you’ve drawn in this year’s office Secret Santa. In today’s eco-conscious times, careful regifting can even be looked at as another form of recycling. Just keep a few important things in mind, and you can easily regift without being tacky – and, just as importantly, without being caught.

Regifting – a Few Basics

Be organized about regifting. If you’re given something that you just doesn’t work for you, but you think it’s nice enough to regift, put it away for the time being – but stick on a Post-it saying who gave it to you in the first place (to spare you the embarrassment of possibly regifting it to the original giver). Don’t regift just to get rid of an unwanted item. Try to make sure that the person you’re giving it to will like and use it. Let’s say you got a heart-shaped picture frame that’s a bit too cutesy for you, but your cousin collects anything with a heart on it; that’s a perfect regift opportunity. When you regift, it should be something that is brand new and hasn’t been used – but not something that’s been sitting around so long it’s obsolete by now, like a still-in-the-box VCR. Make sure to include any instructions that came with the item, and keep it in its original packaging. You absolutely positively should re-wrap the gift (nothing says tacky regifting like mended or wrinkled wrapping paper) – but before you do, check thoroughly to make sure there’s no card left inside that’s addressed to you or other potential giveaway signs that this is a regift. It’s okay to regift a gift card, but only if it’s still good for the full amount. Just to be on the safe side, go to the store or website to find out the balance, so you won’t accidentally regift a $25 card that only has $9.42 remaining on it.

Regifting – What NOT To Do

Think carefully before regifting: if there is even the remotest possibility that the person you’re considering regifting to gave you the gift in the first place (don’t laugh; it could happen!) or that you might have mentioned receiving this particular thing to him or her (“You’ll never believe the purse my Aunt Rhoda gave me for my birthday!”), you cannot regift to that person. You also cannot regift to anyone who even slightly knows the person who originally gave you the present. As a rule, don’t regift handmade items, just in case the new recipient might want or need to return them. Similarly, never put a regift in a box from a store it didn’t come from; the recipient will be embarrassed if trying to return it, and so will you when asked for an explanation. Unless it’s a priceless antique or family heirloom, don’t regift something you’ve had on display in your home just because you don’t want it anymore; anyone who knows you will recognize this as a castoff. And if you’ve received a gift that you think is absolutely hideous and you just hate, odds are that someone you know might feel the same way, so think about donating it to a local thrift shop or selling it at a yard sale instead of regifting.

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