December 26th, 2013

Regifting Etiquette: How Not To Embarrass Yourself or Others

by Jacqueline Whitmore

Did you receive a lousy or unwanted gift during the holidays? If so, regifting is the perfect solution, especially if you’re short on cash. The most important thing to consider is to keep organized, as giving an obvious regift to someone can be humiliating as you can see in the Seinfeld episode above.

Here are five guidelines to follow to avoid any regifting repercussions.

Never give a gift that has been opened or used. Make sure to keep the gift in its original box and that the seals are still intact.

Remove the original card or any other evidence that the gift was given to you. (This happened to me. Someone gave me a hostess gift and when I opened the bag, I pulled out a card that was addressed to them!) Always re-wrap the gift beautifully and add a new card.

Make sure the person who receives the gift will enjoy, appreciate and use it. If you’re not sure, don’t bother giving it to them.

Don’t regift in the same social circles. Make sure the person receiving the gift doesn’t know the person who originally gave you the gift. To avoid this mishap, consider labeling any gifts you plan to regift. Jot down when it was received and who gave it to you.

Keep quiet. If you suspect that someone has regifted something to you, don’t put them on the spot and say something tacky like, “Didn’t our friend, Sally, give you this sweater last year?” Accept the gift, say “thank you,” and if you can’t use it, dump it or donate it.

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