How to Re-Gift Like a Pro

When it comes to the holidays, re-gifting is a taboo subject. Some people may be more comfortable re-gifting while others may feel that they’re being a cheapskate. If you’re going through hard times or are on a strict budget, re-gifting can be a budget-saver.

In 2011 American Express conducted a survey about re-gifting and found that 79 percent believed re-gifting was acceptable during the holidays. A different survey found that nearly 50 percent of adults with a yearly household of income of over $75,000 were guilty of re-gifting. Although the topic may not be something many talk about, it seems to be a growing trend. Before you start grabbing up gifts to re-gift, find out how to do it right.

First of all, is it something you can re-gift? When it comes to re-gifting you need to make sure that what you’re re-purposing will be put to good use, is in good condition, and could not be considered an antique. If you have to dust an item off, even if it’s in the original box, you probably don’t want to re-gift it. Don’t re-gift partially used gift cards, anything monogrammed, or promotional freebies. Do re-gift unopened (but still good) bottles of wine, unused household goods, newer clothing that still has the tags and was never used, and so on. Also keep in mind what the receiver wants or needs, if it’s something they may not like don’t bother trying to re-gift it.

Make sure your plan is foolproof, this means keeping parties separate. If you’re gathering a group of friends together for a gift exchange you need to make sure the original giver is not in the same group of the new recipient. If your relative gave you something, consider re-gifting it to a co-worker or friend who does not know you received the item before. You need to also make sure the gift doesn’t contain any evidence that it is a re-gift; look for tags, tucked away Christmas cards, receipts, etc.

Don’t skimp on presentation, while the gift was technically free don’t be stingy and present the gift as nicely as possible.

If you’re on the fence about re-gifting something consider adding on to the gift, but stick to a budget. For example, if you’re re-gifting cookware consider buying some inexpensive accessories to go along with the gift. Another idea may be to sell the items you could re-gift and use the money towards new gifts.

Don’t be afraid of re-gifting, it’s more common than you think. Just be smart about what you’re re-gifting, who it is going to, and how you present the gift.