Only 22% of gift givers were willing to regift as a way to save money on holiday shopping, according to a 2018 survey conducted by Bankrate. But if done the right way, regifting doesn't have to be a faux pas. It could be an opportunity to get rid of unused items while saving money, while at the same time bringing joy to the people you love.
"I definitely think, in this day and age, there's more acceptance around regifting, especially because I think so many people are thinking about ways to be sustainable," says etiquette expert Lisa Gache, founder and CEO of Beverly Hills Manner. "The stigma is definitely taken off, and there's a new sheen around this idea."
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you regift like a pro.
The most common regifting mistake is leaving evidence behind that indicates someone gave you the gift first. Look at the item closely and remove any notes or tags attached that make it obvious that the present was originally intended for you.
"The best way to avoid a bad regift is to really inspect an item before regifting it," says Gache.
Before giving someone a gift off of your shelf or from your closet, Gache suggests making sure it's not engraved or monogrammed, and removing any personalized messages attached to it. Other evidence that it's regifted might include noticeable rips on the original packaging, traces of tape or wrapping paper, an inscription, or any signs of wear.
When in doubt, try to regift only new items.
Just because you're regifting doesn't mean losing sight of what gift giving represents. The gift is still about the recipient and what they would enjoy.
After all, you're giving a present to a loved one to show them how much you care. This means you should still put the same amount of thought into a regifted gift as one that's store-bought.
"As with any gift, you really should put the recipient in mind first," says Gache. "There's the golden rule, which says treat others the way that we would like to be treated, but then there's the platinum rule, which is to treat others the way that they would want to be treated."
If an item is broken in any way or has started to collect a layer of dust, toss it in the trash or a donation bin.
Be wary of regifting gag gifts that could be received the wrong way. Gache also suggests you stay away from anything that the recipient might consider offensive, like political or religious items. It's best to play it safe by regifting more generic items like candles, a picture frame, or a gift card that you know that recipient would use.
If you can't remember who originally gave you the gift, do not regift it. It helps to keep track of the presents you've received.
"If you accidentally regift something that is from someone in that friend group, especially if the gift is really original, then that could get back to them," says Gache. "It's very important to know who you're regifting to, and keep records of those items."
Make sure you take the time to wrap the gift nicely so that the recipient gets to open up their present and feel excited about it.
"The gift you regift should look positively fabulous," says Gache. "Rewrap it in beautiful wrapping paper, a ribbon, and make sure to include a thoughtful note."
When it comes to regifting, though, Gache stresses that what matters most is the thought behind the regift. And if you're the recipient of something you recognize may be regifted, follow the platinum rule and accept graciously.
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