It is certainly tempting—to accept a gift you do not want or need, and send it to some other recipient. Regifting can be easy, and a terrific way to save money, but it can cause discomfort if not done properly. Some believe to regift is not being honest in intentions, and can harm the feelings of the person who originally bought you the gift.
In the past, regifting did have a stigma attached, but recently the practice has become more sustainable. It will certainly be more popular this year, especially since financial times are tough.
There are some ground rules to regifting, to avoid social awkwardness:
• Make sure the new recipient will actually use the gift—most regifting occurs because the first person cannot use the item.
• Don’t accidentally regift a gift card—sometimes the original wrapping holds a surprise that might be missed. Always rewrap the gift!
• If it was something handmade just for you—don’t give it away.
• Don’t include the receipt, it may appear that it was something originally intended for you.
• If you get the gift at work, look outside the office when you regift. Word will get back to the person who gave you the gift.
• Don’t give a used gift. Opening a present, using it for a while, then repackaging it for someone else makes you look cheap. Imagine getting a used present, or half a bottle of wine.
• When all else fails—be honest. Explain to the recipient that the book or serving platter you received is something you didn’t genuinely want, and you thought it would be appropriate for Cousin Mary.