The Art of Regifting

Xmas GiftsThere is no longer a reason to be ashamed of regifting. But there is an art to the process.

“Done right, regifting can save holiday shoppers a lot of money and help them declutter in the process. Plus, re-gifting reduces waste and gives new life to otherwise unused items,” says Kendal Perez, savings expert with

What to Regift

Don’t give useless gifts. “You should regift when something you own represents a perfect fit for someone on your holiday gift list,” notes Perez. “Re-gifting isn’t about mindlessly offloading things you no longer want onto unsuspecting friends and relatives; it’s about thoughtfully selecting something you already own and no longer want and gifting it to someone you know will truly enjoy it.”

How to Regift

You don’t want the person you’re giving to know that you gave them a regift. And you don’t want the person who gave you the gift to know you regifted it. “Before you regift, make sure the person who gifted it to you doesn’t know your recipient, or wouldn’t mind knowing it was regifted. If it’s something your Aunt Martha gifted you three years ago and you’re giving it to a coworker she’s never met, you’re likely in the clear,” explains Perez. “Regifting something your mom gave you last Christmas to your sister or to someone she speaks to regularly is likely not the best plan, unless you know she wouldn’t mind.”

Know who gave you what. “I always say ‘There are no such things as bad regifts, only bad regifters’,” says Jodi Newbern, “Gift Appreciation Group” (GAG) and author of “Regifting Revival! A Guide To Reusing Gifts Graciously.” ? “Always make sure you are not regifting a gift to the original giver-if you are going to be a gracious regifter, keep a log of who gave you what and when before you place it among your regiftable stash.”

Check and make sure the gift is in good shape. “Make sure it works. You don’t want to regift something that’s well-used or has the appearance of heavy use. Rule out anything with significant scratches, dents and marks,” suggests Perez.

Repack it Nicely

Get rid of all evidence that it is a regift. ?”Be certain to remove any tags, stickers or other markings that make something obvious it was previously received – even something perfectly acceptable otherwise will seem tacky and cheap if it is apparent that no effort whatsoever was put into the gift. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma associated with regifting due to most people doing it wrong,” says Newbern.

Diane Gottsman, national etiquette expert and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, advises to “Keep the gift in the original box. Don’t switch out a sweater from a less expensive name brand store into a bag that appears more chic and exclusive. Keep in mind the receiver may love it but might want to return it for another size or color without telling you.”

What to Do If Caught Regifting

This could be a really awkward situation, but it could happen so be prepared. “I recommend letting the person know how much you enjoyed the item when you received it, and that you wanted the next recipient to enjoy it as much as you did. Explain the context and why you identified the ultimate recipient as the perfect person to enjoy it next,” says Perez.

And answer directly if the person you are giving the gift to realizes you didn’t buy the present. “Honesty is the best approach here. If you regifted the item thoughtfully, you can explain that while you no longer have use for the item, you knew they would enjoy it as much as you did,” says Perez.