6 Mistakes to Avoid When Regifting

Between holidays, birthdays, weddings, and parties, gift giving is a year-round pursuit. Everyone wants to get the perfect gifts for their friends and family members. Sometimes, however, it just doesn’t work out. If you receive a present you don’t want, can’t use, or can’t return – you are well within your rights to regift it. Just because it’s not perfect for you doesn’t mean it won’t be perfect for someone else.

If regifting gets a bad name, though, it’s likely because of some common mistakes people make. To ensure your regifting effort doesn’t turn into an insult, avoid these six missteps.

Regifting Something the Recipient Can’t Use

One quick way to get busted is to give a gift to someone who has no need for it. For example, if you regift a painting to a friend who’s just not into art, you may be found out pretty quickly. Giving a nice bottle of wine to a strict beer drinker probably won’t go over so well either. And, if you received a gift a while back that’s just not in style anymore – think clothing or accessories – you’re better off donating it instead.

Regifting a Used Gift

If you receive a regift yourself, don’t regift it again. Instead, open up a seller account on eBay or Amazon and try to get some money for it. List it at a low price so it sells quickly and use your profits to buy an appropriate gift.

Not Keeping Track of the Original Giver

If you receive a lot of gifts you can’t use or don’t want, be sure to note who gave it to you. That way, when you’re ready to regift you can avoid the embarrassing situation of giving it right back. You may also want to avoid regifting to an acquaintance of the giver, just in case it’s recognized or spotted down the road.

Regifting a Spoiled Gift

Did you receive a gift basket recently that contains food items you’re not a fan of? Well, you might want to think twice before regifting it. If any of the food has spoiled it could end up making the recipient sick. You’re better off simply throwing it away.

Not Removing All Damaging Evidence

Whenever you regift, remove all old wrapping paper and tape and be sure to dispose of any other incriminating evidence, especially any notes. Clearly inspect the gift and make sure there’s absolutely nothing on it that might land you in hot water.

Regifting Homemade Gifts

If you receive something that took time and effort for a loved one to create, hang onto it. Even if it’s not your style, take pride in the fact that someone went to those lengths for you. To me, that type of regifting is simply bad karma – and if kids helped create it, you can be sure they’re going to ask about it the next time they visit.

To avoid having the gifts you give regifted themselves, consider giving gift cards instead. Just be sure they have no fees or expiration dates. If you’re not sure which store to purchase from, choose one from Amazon or a generic Visa or American Express gift card. There’s nothing wrong with regifiting – just do your best to make sure the folks on your own list never have to regift something you’ve given them.

Will Hamilton writes about smart money management, financial literacy, and lifestyle topics.

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