We’ve likely all opened a gift and immediately thought, “What am I ever going to do with this?” After digging around for the gift receipt in vain, the situation might seem hopeless. But there’s one alternative you might not have considered before: regifting.
Regifting isn’t just for those considered cheap or inconsiderate. According to a survey by Money Management International, 58 percent of respondents said they regift or are considering doing so. Other research published in Psychological Science suggests the original givers don’t care as much about regifting as we assume.
If the research doesn’t convince you, the benefits of regifting just might. It saves money, reduces landfill waste, and if you’re thoughtful about how you do it, ends with a happy recipient.
Despite support for regifting, it’s still a touchy subject. No one wants to offend a loved one or suffer embarrassment from being caught giving something we didn’t like.
Ready to regift? Here are the rules to follow for giving with care.
Trust your gut on whether you’ll use your gift or should consider regifting.
If the giver spent great time and care choosing this gift for you, consider holding onto it instead of risking hurt feelings.
Personalized or monogrammed items are almost always off-limits, except in the unlikely case you share a name with someone else.
Don’t try to get away with regifting anything used, either. At the very least the receiver won’t like it, and they may be offended.
Preventing disaster is easy. Make sure to label items you plan to regift with the name of the original giver. Write down others who saw you open the gift too, since there’s a chance they’ll recognize the item later.
Be thorough in your search, and get rid of any packaging or personalization that’s a giveaway it’s a regift.
Before shopping, consult your handy regifting list to see if you have anything that matches up with the recipient’s tastes. You might already have the perfect gift for them, saving time and money.
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.
Yankee Swaps with your friends and family or at the office are a great option for tossing your gift into the ring and increasing the chances it’ll find a happy owner. Parties like these might specifically say regifting is okay to keep costs down while making the swap more entertaining.
Take the time to put the gift in a fresh box with new paper, and the thoughtful presentation will make your regifted item less likely to be detected.
Subscribe to the Money Talks News newsletter