Seventy-two days until Christmas. That’s right, I said it. Start thinking it over. And while you’re doing that, allow me to whisper just one word in your ear: Regifting.
The act of regifting–passing on as new a gift someone else gave you–is controversial but only because of those who do a noticeably bad job of it. After all, if every act of regifting were carried out flawlessly, no one would have the occasion to find it distasteful. And that brings me to the first Rule of Regifting:
1. Never admit to regifting. If your friends know you’re a regifter, you’ll find yourself in the unpleasant situation of explaining why regifting is different from not caring. Worse, they will be suspicious of the gifts you give them. It’s best to keep regifting completely to yourself.
2. Designate a location. Keep regifts in a convenient, albeit secret, place in a special box or cupboard with extra wrapping paper and ribbon. Some people shop for gifts in department stores. Never underestimate the utility of a gift stash that allows you to shop at home.
3. Have a heart. Any gift made especially for you or given to you by a parent, child or close relative cannot be regifted. Even if it’s not ideal, consider its sentimental value. Don’t even think of regifting. It just wouldn’t be right.
4. Label all regifts. Do this as soon as you determine you’ve received a regift to avoid the heartbreak of backgifting–giving someone a gift they gave you. Simply make a detailed note of where this item originated.
5. Check again. You cannot be too careful. Let’s say the gift is a book. Take a peek to make sure it has not been inscribed to you. If it’s a boxed gift make sure the gift tag has not dropped inside the box. These are the careless acts that give regifting a bad name.
6. No telltale signs. A regift must look brand-new. If the box is damaged or shows any signs that it has been opened, it does not qualify as a regift.
7. Not remotely acquainted. Your regiftee must not in any way be acquainted with anyone in the circle of friends or relatives of the person who gave this to you. Refer to Rules 3 and 4 above.
If there’s a time you want to use new paper and ribbon, it’s on a regift. Anything else is a dead giveaway.
No matter how you feel about it, the practice of regifting is here to stay. If you participate, do it well.
Want to make sure your gift doesn’t land in someone’s regift box? Put a little thought and effort into it to make sure it is something the receiver will truly enjoy—not just something that let’s you mark another name off your list.
Subscribe to email updates today and you’ll receive a link to download my brand new e-book, The Best of Everyday Cheapskate, FREE.
You’ll enjoy excerpts from each of my bestselling e-books to help you get onboard with saving time and money every day!