A Mess Free Life may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.
We all say we don’t regift, but we know that’s not true. The trick is how to regift without looking like your cheap, lazy or inconsiderate. I’ll show you how with these 8 tips!
I’ve regifted, and it’s worked in my favor, in part because I’ve been very careful about how I re-gift and to whom.
Regifting is a symptom of the surplus stuff we all seem to get because we exchange gifts with everyone under the sun. If you want to avoid the trap of regifting, the first step is to stop exchanging gifts with so many people.
I know it’s the season of giving, but where does it say you must give everyone you know and like a gift? First, it’s unnecessary and second; it’s expensive.
It doesn’t and so I encourage you to think carefully about who you want to exchange gifts with and then cross the people off your list that just don’t make the cut. You can read an in-depth article on those things to consider when you begin to chop folks from your Christmas List. I’ve got great suggestions on how to make it as painless as possible.
Read: How To Trim Your Gift Giving List Without Feeling Guilty
But if you find yourself with a collection of gifts you’d like to regift, what is the proper way to regift without getting caught, looking like a cheapskate, or hurting someone’s feelings?
All About How To Re-gift
So you’ve got all these gifts, and you want to save yourself some money by re-gifting some of them. First, let me say that some gifts shouldn’t be regifted to anyone. They are just plain awful, tacky, ugly gifts that were given with little thought to you. Do you want to regift a terrible gift? Probably not. So skip those gifts entirely. Donate them and get them out of your house so you are never tempted to pass them off to someone else.
The only exception to this would be if you know that you’re attending a gag Christmas Swap party where whoever brings the worst gift wins a nice prize. Sort of like an ugly sweater contest!
For the remainder of your regifts, here’s what to consider:
- You’re absolutely positively sure that the gift is something the recipient would really like to receive.
- The gift is brand new and comes with its original packaging and instructions (no cast-offs).
- The gift isn’t one that the original giver took great care to select or make (sorry even if you don’t like it you’re stuck with it).
- It’s not handmade or personalized (think monogrammed or engraved).
A few words about personalized, handmade and gifts someone took great care to select: If you know the gift falls into this category, it’s really bad form to give it away. For example, if your sister worked hard to make a wall hanging for your home, she’d probably be upset if she knew that you gave it to someone else (even if it’s ugly).
The same goes for meaningful gifts: If the giver makes comments about taking the time to choose the perfect gift or seems really excited to give you something, acknowledge that effort and keep it. Is it worth hurting that person’s feelings? Probably not. Keep it and remember the care and effort that went into the giving act.
Read: How To Give Generously When You Don’t Have A Nickel To Spare
Now follow these rules for positive regifting.
1. It’s Appropriate To The Person Receiving the Re-gift
So your eyesight isn’t so great and someone thought it funny to give you a pair of those lighted eyeglasses you see on tv. You don’t find them nearly as amusing so you decide to re-gift them. Then you give them to your 20-year-old niece who has absolutely no use for them. See the problem here?
2. Remove the Name Tags and Rewrap the Gift
If you’re going to re-gift an item, take the time to rewrap the gift and remove the name tags. No one wants to receive a gift and know it’s a re-gift because it’s got your name on it.
Read: The Unique Holiday Gift Guide #ShopSmall
3. Don’t Re-gift Within The Same Circle of Friends or Relatives
So John bought you those tacky glasses and you give them to your niece who then re-gifts them back to John. The vicious regifting circle gets more and more complicated and more feelings get hurt in this process. If you’re going to re-gift don’t do within the family or friend unit.
4. Consider Appropriate Re-gifts for A Yankee Swap
Most of the gifts I use for a Yankee Swap are appropriate re-gifts. A few years back a staff person gave me on of those back massages you put on a chair. I didn’t like the way it felt, so I packed it back up in the original packaging and it went into the re-gifting section of my basement. The following year it went with me to a Yankee Swap. The recipient told me he always wanted one and was super thrilled.
Maybe he was blowing smoke up my skirt, but it was a nice gift and even if he didn’t use it, it was a totally acceptable gift to re-gift.
Read: How To Accomplish A Stress-Free Holiday Shopping Experience
5. Skip It If It’s Dated
If it’s been sitting around for years, chances are it’s already outdated, and people will know it’s a re-gift. Nobody wants a sweater from the 80’s.
Using these simple and common sense approaches to re-gifting and you’ll ensure you don’t find yourself embarrassed and your friends and family on the end of a re-gift they don’t want or need.