Regift: (verb) To give an unwanted gift to someone else; to give as a gift something one previously received as a gift. Webster's New Millennium™ Dictionary of English, Preview Edition (v 0.9.6).
Regifting has gained in popularity since comedian Jerry Seinfeld first coined the term a dec-ade ago. According to the Macmillan English Dictionary, the increasing popularity of the word and its recent link to online auctions has made the phenomenon of regifting more ac-ceptable. In fact, more than half of adults recently surveyed by Money Management Interna-tional (MMI) find regifting acceptable. Even the etiquette experts at the Emily Post Institute approve of the practice in some circumstances.
If you are thinking about regifting this holiday season, ask yourself the following:
Is the gift regiftable? Never regift handmade or one-of-a-kind items. Signed books and monogrammed items are off-limits. Do you have to be told not to regift free promotional items? Some gifts that are good candidates for regifting include good (unopened!) bottles of wine, new household items and inexpensive jewelry.
How is the condition? Only new, unopened gifts in good condition should be considered for regifting. Never give partially used gift cards. Don‘t give items that you have owned for a long time. A general rule of thumb: if you have to dust it off, it is not regiftable.
Is this going to work? Successful regifters use common sense. If you are going to regift, be sure you know who gave you the item, so you don‘t return something to the original giver. Only regift items to people who are not likely to see the original giver.
Do you have good intentions? Don‘t just give a gift to give a gift. Be sure that the recipient will appreciate the item. Remember, if you feel that an item is undesirable, the recipient probably will too. If you are regifting simply because you ran out of time, gift cards are simple to obtain and always well received.
How does it look? When it comes to gift-giving, go for show! While gift bags in good con-dition can be reused, wrapping paper is a one-time thing. Always spring for a new card or gift tag.
Can you handle it? If you don‘t plan to announce the gift as a regift, ask yourself if you can keep the secret. Never feel guilty about regifting once you‘ve done it.
Have you considered your options? An unwanted gift could be a welcome donation to a charitable organization. It is also an option to suck it up and keep an unwanted gift—after all, it was a gift.
Finally, if you suspect that a gift you‘ve received has been recycled, take comfort in the fact that MMI survey respondents regift because they know the gift is something the recipient would really like.