SLIDESHOW: The Rules of Regifting
- Always label to-be-regifted gifts
Every regifter’s worst nightmare is being caught. But it could be worse. You could accidentally regift the same present back to the original gift giver. Ouch! But preventing such faux pas is easy: you simply need to label everything you want to regift with the name of the original giver. Make sure to include details of anyone who saw you open the gift, since they might recognize the gift later as well.
- Before regifting, check the gift twice!
Before regifting, unwrap the present completely to make sure there are no tell-tale signs of who the gift was going to. These include notes tucked into the box, your name written somewhere, or any kind of inscription or other evidence that the gift was originally intended for you. Be thorough in your search and remove any giveaways that it's a regift.
- Avoid mistakes by tracking your inventory
If you've been doing this for awhile, you probably have a cupboard or shelf full of them, and need to establish an inventory. Keep a notepad with the gifts listing what the gifts are, when you received them, who they came from, and who saw you open them. Before doing your own shopping, check the list in case you have the perfect item for someone and can regift it to them, saving both time and money.
- Trust Your Instincts
Avoid regifting something just for the sake of it. Remember that you can always hang on to things until the right recipient comes along - and they always do. Above all, the gift should still be a good fit for the giftee, not just a convenient way for you to pass things along that you don't want. Ask yourself if this is something you would've picked out for them in the first place. If not, rethink it.
An easy test is to ask if the gift is something you would’ve picked out for them or that they’ve specifically asked for. If not, rethink your regifting choice.
- Wrap It Up with All New Paper and Bows
Regifting saves you time and money, so there's no reason to skimp on the wrapping. In fact crinkled paper is a sure way that your regifting will be noticed. You've already saved yourself some time, so use it to put the gift in a fresh box with new paper, maybe tucking in an additional small gift for good karma.
- If you can't regift something, consider the alternatives
Somethings are just too peculiar (or just plain wrong) to regift. You might want to look at other options, like:
- Selling it online. After the holidays eBay and Craigslist fill up with listing for unwanted gifts. No matter how unusual the gift is, someone else might be willing to buy what you don’t want.
- Returning it. There's always a chance you can return a gift to the retailer, if not for a refund, perhaps for a store credit, so you can get something you actually like.
- Donating it. Charities accept almost any item in good working condition.