The time of year that our bank balances fear most is fast approaching, so if you want to cut costs but still deliver presents to everyone on your nice list re-gifting might be an option to consider.
For re-gifting to be done right the chances of the recipient finding out the gift they’re receiving wasn’t initially bought with them in mind needs to be eliminated (or at least significantly reduced). You can achieve this by following the points outlined below (or ignore them at your own peril!).
Make a list: It’s good to keep a notebook full of the gifts you’ve received, who the giver was and also when you received the gift. You don’t want to accidentally re-gift back to the original giver and keeping track of your gifts will help reduce the chances of that awkward moment happening.
Check it twice: Be absolutely certain that you have checked for any give-away gift tags, cards, receipts and any personal identifiers that might have your name on it showing that you were the original recipient. You don’t want to go to the effort of wrapping it up nicely only to discover you left the original birthday card with your name on it inside the box.
Quality control: Make sure the item in question and the packaging are in gift worthy condition and that there’s no damage. If the item is perishable inspect expiry dates and if it’s an appliance or gadget be sure it’s current stock – you don’t want to get caught giving a gift that is a model from 2 years ago. Also just because it’s a re-gift doesn’t mean you should skimp on presentation, wrap it like you mean it!
Don’t re-gift in the same circle: This is where your gift history list comes in handy. Keeping track of who gave you what will help to determine who you can re-gift to. Feel free to give that vase you received from your cousin to your work colleague as a house warming present but don’t go giving it to another relative. It’s best to re-gift into a different circle from where the gift originated – give a gift from a relative to a colleague and vice versa as it lessens the chances of the gift crossing paths with the original giver.
It’s the thought that counts: Make sure that you put some thought into matching up the gift with its new recipient – don’t just re-gift for the sake of it. Sometimes it’s OK to be upfront about re-gifting; we’ve all received something that we know would be perfect for a friend or family member so why not give it to them and be honest. This works best for gifts that have no occasion “I received this from my aunt and knew it would be perfect for you” is the truth and leaves no room for awkward re-gifting discoveries.
Definite no nos: Re-gifting has a lot of grey areas but there are some items you should never ever re-gift and the reasons why are fairly obvious. If you’re in doubt as to whether the intended item can be re-gifted stop and think if it falls into any of the following categories, if it does consider an alternative:
- Was it especially made for you? Anything handmade or personalised is a definite no no (think of Homer and the bowling ball!).
- Have you used it? If it’s not an antique or a vintage collectable then passing off a used item as brand new is just poor form.
- Do you think it is garbage? If it’s something you were considering throwing out then maybe it belongs in the bin instead. Don’t give a gift that you think is trash because that’s just trashy, better yet donate it to charity, reduce landfill and feel better for it!
Now while you mightn’t be convinced re-gifting is something for you we’re sure you can appreciate the pros of re-gifting. If you have ever given a re-gifted gift or received one we’d love to hear your stories (especially the funny ones!) so please share them on our Facebook page. Happy holidays!