Gift a Lot, Re-Gift a Little

gift social imgIt’s starting to look a lot like…a great chance to re-gift! With the holiday season plowing full speed ahead, there’s a multitude of opportunities to re-gift any unopened items you have lying around from well-meaning friends and family. Unopened, brand-name kitchen accessory you’ve left in the hallway closet all year? Wrap it up and give it to your niece or nephew who just moved out! Brand-new watch you never used because you bought the wrong kind and forgot to return them? Perfect gift for the friend who’s always wanted their own timepiece!

It’s certainly true enough that, even a decade ago, re-gifting was seen as a holiday faux pas. Times are certainly changing though, as an American Express survey from just two years ago showed that 76% of Americans find re-gifting to be perfectly acceptable. Of course, though, like with most gift-giving situations, there’s a set of rules to be mindful of for all aspiring re-gift champions.

Gift Rules

  1. No re-gifting handmade or personalized gifts! This one’s a no brainer for most people – if your grandmother worked for hours on that scarf and mittens, you shouldn’t even be thinking about making those your holiday gift to someone else. Period, end of story.
  2. The gift should be both new and an item of value. No re-gifting older items unless they’re heirlooms or valuable antiques. Nobody wants a shabby old coat as a Christmas gift, or your worn boots from three years ago. On this same note, giving items you received for free in promotions is frowned upon as well.
  3. Re-wrap and re-package the gift. Change the box containing it, use new wrapping paper, and for pete’s sake, remove the old name tag. You don’t want to be the center of an embarrassing incident, so play it safe!
  4. Don’t re-gift within the same social circle where you originally received the gift. If you received a undesired gift from a coworker last year, don’t re-gift the item to another coworker the next year. It is, however, perfectly acceptable to re-gift an item from a coworker to a non-work friend or family member (assuming you follow the previous criteria).

For the most part, it seems that most of the rules are strictly common sense. Having a set of rules to follow makes navigating the potentially perilous route of re-gifting much easier. Be careful not to overdo it – and risk getting caught! And of course, for those of you not interested in the re-gifting craze, you can always snag a gift or two from the list of police auctions!

Have you participated in re-gifting before? Has it ever worked out wonderfully, or has it backfired on you? Let us know in the comments! Happy holidays and happy bidding!

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