Regifting? I have seen this addressed on the news (morning TV, not Fox News) numerous times over the past month. Regifting seems to be the new buzz word, and something that is condoned in society. So…Regifting…Yay or Nay? I can’t say that I have Never Regifted, but I have to say, I truly love just about everything I receive and so many gifts I’ve received seem to be “so me”, that I would never part with them. Possibly a bottle of wine to bring to a friend’s home because I may not have time to run and pick up a nice bottle of wine and I don’t want to show up empty-handed, and some of the wine I’ve received is better than the wine I typically drink, so I’d rather bring a nice bottle rather than my very favorite Kirkland’s Sonoma Chardonnay (fabulous, $7.99 a bottle and was recently featured on My Favorite Thing’s blog). Not that my guests won’t appreciate and enjoy my Kirkland chard, but when you give a gift, and have to “explain” it…well, I’d rather just give a nice bottle of wine. Aside from wine, I’m not regifting scarves, gloves, cologne, candles, Tiffany necklaces, or any of my other gifts.
So…now that we’ve all received our wonderful holiday gifts, are there any that can be regifted (again, not by me, of course)? According to a new CouponCabin survey, not only do nearly four in 10 Americans “regift” (that’s a whopping 40%) , but most of them get away with it. While tell-tale tape marks and tamper damage may be obvious to you, your lucky co-worker, boss or kid’s budrivers probably won’t know the difference. Turns out, only one in 10 perpetrators get called out. How embarrassing would that be?!
CouponCabin blames lengthy gift lists for driving people to give gifts they’ve already gotten. More than 50% of people buy presents for people outside their extended family, which can add up. “Regifting can be a savvy way to save money on holiday gifts as long as it’s done with care,” said Jackie Warrick, president and chief savings officer at CouponCabin. “Make sure the gift is appropriate for the person you’re giving it to and all signs of its previous gift status, like cards and wrapping paper, are removed.” Obviously.
So, who are the most common victims of the regift?
Co-workers, supervisors, managers at your workplace – 20%
People who provide services (dog walkers, handymen, etc.) – 18%
Friends from church, synagogue, religious center – 13%
Neighbors – 12%
Teachers – 9%
The Do’s of Regifting
-Only regift if the item is the perfect fit for its new recipient. A used candle is Not acceptable.
-Keep a stash of items to regift for when the perfect occasion arises. Or just keep a stash of gifts to have on hand.
-Use sticky notes or a log to keep track of who originally gave you the gift. It’s imperative to remember who gave you the gift you plan on regifting.
-Rewrap items so they look fresh and presentable. Don’t forget to include a new card, too. It’s not acceptable to cross out the original recipient’s name…Crossing out “Jack” and writing “Joe” isn’t proper.
-Keep your regifting a secret unless it’s part of the occasion, like a White Elephant party. No one really wants to know that the item they just received is a regift. Some things are better left unsaid. And some gifts are just better left not being regifted.
-See regifting as an opportunity to start an ongoing prank. I know a family who regifts the same terrible gift every year to a different family member. It’s made for quite the holiday tradition and one that many look forward to!
-Regift to charity. Gifts can go to the less fortunate or be used in auctions that benefit the organization. Just make sure the items are in good condition and wrothy of being regifted.
The Don’ts of Regifting
-Give a used gift. It must be in its new and original condition.
-Give to the original gift giver (duh).
- Regift to a friend or family member of the original gift giver. Leave not trail.
-Regift randomly. Regifting is not about giving just for the sake of gifting. It must be thoughtful. Don’t give a bottle of whiskey to a Coors Light fan or a pair of mittens to your cousin who lives in Maui.
-Give partially used gift cards. ”Here’s a $30 Starbuck’s card with $8 on it. Merry Merry”.
-Regift promotional items or swag. ”I hope you are enjoying that Johnsonville t-shirt and the Hilton screwdriver”.
-Feel guilty. If the intention is good and the item is a perfect match for the new recipient, then there should be nothing to feel bad about. I’m plenty of my gal pals, would love some of my Etcetera scarves or the high-heeled Chicago Bears wine holder. Sadly, I”m keeping them all to myself.
Re-gift a Host or Hostess Gift?
The Wine Bottle Redux
Is it ok to recycle that bottle of wine you received from a guest at the dinner party you held last week and give it to the host or hostess of the party you’re attending tonight? What about the lovely box of chocolates you didn’t open because you’re dieting?
- You’re certain the gift is something the recipient would enjoy.
- The gift is brand new (no castoffs allowed) and comes with its original packaging, box and instructions.
- The gift isn’t handmade, or one that the original giver took great care to select.
- Neither your gift giver nor your recipient will be upset.
Simply put, you have to make sure you don’t hurt feelings—neither the original giver’s nor the recipient’s. For instance, if you received a set of wineglasses from your sister-in-law that you didn’t need, do you think she’d mind if you passed them along to a friend who just bought a house? Do the two women know each other? Would it be awkward if they found out? Is there a chance your friend might need to exchange the glasses for something else herself, and if she asked you where you bought them, what would you tell her?
When in doubt, do not regift. Only you can decide whether to regift—and how to do it appropriately. Think through each situation carefully, and if you’re in doubt, don’t do it. A gifting gaffe isn’t worth the price of a coffeemaker or bottle of wine.
Top Presents for Regifting…courtesy of the Queen of Cheap
Bottles of Wine:
One of the easiest gift to transfer hands (as long as you don’t open them!.) A friend brings you a bottle for hosting them at dinner. You take that bottle to your book club’s secret Santa party. No one knows the difference.
Just about everyone loves the scent of a new candle! For an extra touch, include a fancy lighter.
Let that gadget get dusty in some else’s kitchen drawer. I have a friend who does a “useless kitchen gadget” exchange each year. That’s a marvelous idea!!
Someone’s version of nice can be your version of gaudy. Just pass it along. Plus, many items are bound to come back in style!
Not the free ones from a Hotel chain! But feel free to pass along a lotion you might not like! Just make sure the person doesn’t have allergies.
As long as the item hasn’t been on display in your home (especially displayed in your holiday photo card), Christmas ornaments, holiday mugs or a stuffed Santa can make nice re-gift options. Just don’t re-gift these items after Christmas or the person will wonder if you bought it off the clearance shelf.
Just make sure it’s not personalized to you! Open it first and turn the first few pages! I think “regifting” your favorite book would be a great idea!
Board games or card games can make fun items to re-gift as long as all the pieces are intact, but remain unused.
Coffee or Tea
Coffee or tea can definitely be re-gifted, as long as it’s not too old. You could also throw in some newly purchased mugs if you feel guilty.
Closely examine them first to make sure no one has put you name on them! And check on the value too – to make sure it’s unused!
Most Regifted Gifts (not necessarily for good reasons)
Ugly Holiday Sweaters
December 20th, 2012 was National Regifting Day…That sounds like a fun party! Remember that for 2013!
I won’t regift a thing I received this holiday season…however, I received many items that are such “crowd pleasers”, I shall buy some similiar items for others. And I’m happy to report that my children (and Kevin) apparently read my blog…as my wish list of stocking stuffers was 100% fulfilled from mittens to socks to a gift card for a massage to pink ladies from Fannie May, to the absolute best gift ever…2 letters from my children telling them why they love me. Best Gift Ever…I highly recommend anyone who is lucky to still have a mother, father, or someone very special in your life, to do that for them.
Hoping your holidays have been Merry and Bright!
- Worst. Gift. Ever. The 6 Kinds of Presents You Should Never Give (business.time.com)