You’ve done it. And if you haven’t, you know someone who has. That’s right-re-gifting! The holiday gift-giving season is right around the corner and many consumers are asking themselves what they can do with gifts they’ve already received but didn’t-and still don’t-want.
Wondering what your special someone or relatives might get you this holiday season?
Hopefully, it isn’t something you bought for one of them last year!
Re-gifting has grown in popularity and, believe it or not, two out of three people do it or have considered doing it.
The term re-gifting was coined in an episode of Seinfeld in which Elaine calls Dr. Tim Whatley a “re-gifter” when he gives her a label-maker-which she originally purchased for him-as a gift.
Recently, the idea has become so common, websites teaching you how to re-gift properly and get rid of unwanted sweater vests and fruitcakes have begun to pop up.
Regiftable.com, a site created by Money Management International (MMI), whose catchphrase is ‘Really, you shouldn’t have’, offers a re-gifting crash course called Re-gifting 101.
The website is based on Webster’s New Millennium Dictionary’s definition of re-gifting-a verb meaning “to give an unwanted gift to someone else; to give as a gift something one previously received as a gift.”
According to Regiftable.com, “successful re-gifters use common sense.”
The first rule states that one should never attempt to re-gift one-of-a-kind or monogrammed items.
This would simply be too obvious to the receiver of the gift.
Second, make sure the condition of the gift is new and unopened.
You can only regift untouched items, so it looks like you actually took the time to go out and buy a nice present for your gift receiver.
The third and arguably most important rule is never to re-gift to the person who gave you the unwanted gift in the first place.
Make a list and keep track of who gave you which undesired present to avoid a potentially embarrassing situation.
It is also advisable to remember who you were with when you received the unwanted gift. Don’t give it back to one of them either.
Regiftable.com also suggests one not feel any guilt after doing the deed.
If you think you might not be able to be able to keep the secret, don’t do it.
Edgar Allen Poe made it clear in “The Tell-Tale Heart” that guilt can drive someone completely mad.
Consider this before re-gifting; there simply is no turning back.
Regiftable.com also suggests one final way to rid oneself of useless gifts.
Strangely, it is found in the last section of Re-gifting 101.
“An unwanted gift could be a welcome donation to a charitable organization.”
This, however, doesn’t constitute re-gifting; it would only be a kind gesture.
Regitable.com isn’t the only website offering gift receivers tips.
Swapgift.com, for a profit, of course, allows receivers of useless gift certificates to swap for better gift certificates.
For $3.99, Swapgift.com allows consumers to sell and exchange gift cards from many different places, including The Gap, Blockbuster, Banana Republic and other retailers.
Swapgift.com will even purchase gift cards from gift receivers and re-sell them to those in search of it.
Re-gifting’s newfound notoriety has even earned it a Wikipedia entry which explains the root of the word and proper re-gifting etiquette.
Emily Post, author of “Emily Post’s Wedding Planner” and “Excuse me, but I was next: How to handle the top 100 manners dilemmas,” says re-gifting isn’t as bad it seems.
“At the bottom of all this, it’s about being respectful and considerate,” she says, explaining that re-gifting should be about making good use of a gift by giving it to someone you believe actually wants it.
Post doesn’t suggest re-gifting in an effort to save money, save time or simply dispose of a useless object. One must be certain the recipient will like the gift.
The world, it would seem, is admonishing us to re-gift.
With two thirds of consumers contemplating re-gifting, you have most likely been on the receiving end of that situation once or twice.
It might make you think there is hardly any point in buying presents at all this holiday season, but look at the bright side.
This year, when you open up a present you don’t want, you’ll know exactly what to do with it.