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Should You Re-Gift this Holiday Season?

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Gift BoxesOne of the biggest tricks in the frugal gift giving book is re-gifting. What better way to save money on gifts to others than using something that you didn’t even have to buy?

However, re-gifting is not always the way to go. You want to be careful about how you re-gift, and make sure that you are doing so in an appropriate manner.

What Can You Re-Gift?

First of all, it’s important to identify which items are best for re-gifting. Personal items are usually a no-no, along with health care items and clothing. Also, you don’t want to re-gift something that is broken, or that has been sitting in storage for a long time. Re-gifting these types of items make it obvious that you are re-gifting, and it is clear that you don’t have a very high regard for the recipient. Unless you are re-gifting at a white elephant party, don’t give items that you received as a joke.

Instead, think about re-gifts as you would other gift items. Make sure that the item fits the style of the recipient. Make sure that it is in its original packaging, and that all of the parts are there. It’s best not to re-gift something that has been opened. If you think that you might re-gift an item, don’t open it.

Some of the items that make ideal re-gifts include small appliances, home decor, kitchen items, and other simple mementos. Before you re-gift, make sure that you are truly providing something that the recipient will enjoy. Let’s try to keep it classy.

Tips for Appropriate Re-Gifting

Before you decide to re-gift that item, consider the following rules for appropriate re-gifting:

  • Don’t re-gift to the original giver: Put a small, removable label, on the package identifying who gave it to you before you store it. If you think that you are going to re-gift it, you want to make sure that you don’t forget and then give it as a gift to the person who gave it to you in the first place.
  • Protect the item: If you are going to store the item for a long time, protect it. Put in a bag so that the package doesn’t get dusty. Protect it so it looks nice and new when you are ready to give it.
  • Don’t store for too long: Remember that many things go out of style. Giving something that is so old that there are newer, nicer versions available is considered a no-no. Instead, make sure that you give the item as quickly as you can.
  • List items you have available for re-gift: Periodically review the items that you have available for re-gifting. Rotate through them. You can also make a list that pairs up which gifts might be appreciated by different recipients. That way, you are ready to go, and you are giving something appropriate.

If something is in good condition, but won’t make a good re-gift, you can donate it to charity (hooray for the tax deduction) or save it for some sort of prize at a school carnival or dinner party.

What do you think of re-gifting?

(Photo: FutUndBeidl)

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8 Responses to “Should You Re-Gift this Holiday Season?”

  1. Jim M says:

    Always feel funny about re-gifting. I usually opt for the final suggestion about donating it to a charity. Makes me feel better about accepting the gift in the first place.

  2. Chris B says:

    Three years ago, the adults in my large family started a new Christmas tradition – everybody gifts to everybody, $5 max per person. That means encouraging regifting, passing on personal possessions, homemade, yard sale treasures, etc. When everyone acknowledges it’s the thought that counts, not the gift, and everyone has permission to regift, well, it’s gone over swimmingly!

  3. Ray says:

    Instead of regifting something you don’t want this holiday season also consider reselling items on ebay or craigslist. You’d be surprised at the kind of stuff people will buy.

  4. Seth says:

    I use the re-gift items for Yankee Swaps! It’s a great way to use them for something and not have to worry about the giver seeing it again.

  5. Seth says:

    Two words: Yankee Swap!

  6. Julie says:

    I really like Chris B.’s idea of putting a $5 maximum to encourage regifting… although my family draws names with a max amount, we should consider this!

  7. My girlfriend hates regifting, but I kinda like the idea of it. Never done it before, but considering it a bit more after this article. :) :)


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