There is nothing wrong with regifting if done properly. It does tend to come under “reuse, reduce and recycle” and if the right gift has been given to the right person, then this can be the perfect scenario. The statement “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” has never been more true when it comes to gift giving. But there are some basic rules that should be followed.
Rule 1 – Make sure the gift matches the recipient. If they don’t eat sugar then giving them that box of chocolates that you don’t like is not a nice gift. It shows that you really were not thinking of them when you chose the gift and that you simply needed something quick to give them. This is not a good way to give anyone a present, it would actually be better to not give them one at all.
If you were given a scarf from your auntie bertha in another part of the country and you really don’t wear scarves but your best friend at work does and you think she would really like this, then this would work out well, as long as you had not shown her the gift you received first! Wrap it nicely and maybe add a little something else to the present to accompany it.
Try and make sure the gift you are re-giving is not within your close circle of friends as someone will notice. Most of us have family, then various “circles of friends” like the ones at work or the girlfriends from school. If you want to reuse a present then make sure it is not amongst the circle that gave it to you in the first place. But then most of them know you well enough that they probably always gave you something you liked in the first place.
Rule 2 – Make sure there are no hidden cards or notes. This is really important!! A friend of mine received a toaster for a wedding gift, and she decided she didn’t really like it and thought she would regift it to a relative who needed a toaster. This is the perfect scenario.
The relative loved it and all would have ended well except that a note had been tucked into the bread slots wishing them well for their wedding and married life, this caused a red faced moment for the giver and the receiver. These can be the awkward moments of reusing a present.
So really check the entire article, and also the instructions booklet as some people will write in there as well. Take the time to really watch out for this, or old tape still stuck to the box or item where the old wrapping paper had been. You really have to pay attention to detail.
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Rule 3 – Don’t regift handmade items – You may have received a gawdy coloured afghan or a brightly knit sweater or a painting that is not really your taste. For the sake of family and friend harmony these should NEVER be regifted.
These items were made with love and were intended for you. Even if you don’t find they suit your tastes. This is just one of those rules. Someone will always find out you gave it away and feel hurt. You want to avoid this at all costs and even if that means using the afghan or whatever it was that were made for you.
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Rule 4 – Do not Regift with Kids Present – That will be the exact moment they will go “hey didn’t auntie bertha give you that for Christmas last year?” Kids just always seem to remember these things and will spill the beans as the worst possible moment.
So either exchange gifts when the kids are not around, or simply go to a public place without the kids present to do your exchange.
Rule 5 – Rewrap – I once received a “secret Santa” gift at the office I was working in, that was wrapped in faded paper. It was pretty obvious it had not been done recently as the tape had yellowed and there were signs that a card had been stuck to the gift.
I opened it, and it had another gift card inside, that was not to me. Since it was a secret Santa gift, I didn’t know who gave it to me, till I held it up in the office and proclaimed it was meant for a guy called “David” and one girls’ face turned red!
The gift was a nice gift, so it was clouded by the fact she hadn’t even bothered to ever open it or rewrap it. Take the time to check your item over carefully then wrap it with fresh paper and tape and add your own card. Give the item some time and effort.
Regifting takes a bit more time, then simply wrapping a brand new one, so if you think an item you have would be better suited for your brother or your cousin or someone else, then by all means give it to them, but rewrap it nicely first and put your own spin on it or even add a few things to make it more personal.
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Rule 6 - Have a Regifting Stash - Keep an area in your home that is for things that you received that you simply will never use. Keep a note on the item of who gave it to you. Then each holiday or birthday take a look at this inventory. If after a couple of years these gifts still remain in your closet then consider donating them. Someone else out there probably could totally use the items stacked in your closet.
If you are an organized person and keep careful track of the things you received that you really didn’t like, then regifting them to someone who would enjoy them works. So go ahead, just follow the rules.