The Rules of Regifting

Written by admin   // December 26, 2011   // 0 Comments

(St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Everyone has a holiday “not-so-perfect” gift story: eight candles, 10 pairs of socks, four boxes of candy. And what about the gifts that just weren’t right? You know the ones. Aunt Ginny’s box set of soaps or Uncle Harry’s $3 talking alarm clock.

A survey from, eBay’s free classifieds website, found that 59 percent of consumers actually keep unwanted gifts they received during the holiday season. But instead of cramming those gifts into the attic or – worse! -tossing them in the trash, why not consider regifting throughout the year. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and showers are all great excuses to give a gift you may not have wanted but that someone else could use.

It’s economical and good for the environment.

According to Consumer Reports, 36 percent of Americans plan on regifting this year. That’s up from 31 percent the year before.

You can call it tacky or rude, but regifting is allowed.

Just ask Maria Everding, St. Louis etiquette consultant of the Etiquette Institute. “Regifting is acceptable, but you have to be honest.”

Let’s say someone gives you a gardening gift and you live in an apartment. Of course, you don’t need the gardening item, but Everding says, “You can give the gardening tool to someone else.” Tell your giftee that you received the gift, you simply can’t use it and you thought they would enjoy it.

There are a few gift items to stay away from when regifting: candles, soaps, computer software, scarves, box sets of bath accessories and, of course, fruitcake. “They’re all dead giveaways,” says Everding.

But on the other hand, bottles of wine or champagne are good choices for regifting. And a box of chocolates or nuts are also appropriate.

Rules for regifting

1. Keep track of who gave you the gift.

2. Remove original gift tag and attach a new tag.

3. Rewrap the gift.

4. Never give a hand-me-down or used gift.

5. Don’t give a partially used gift card.

6. Do not give a gift from a closed department store.

7. Don’t regift an item that’s too old.

8. Keep in mind who you’re giving the regift to. Will they really want it?

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