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The Art of Re-Gifting

Written by Nickel - 7 Comments

Just in time for Christmas… Tips for the gift that keeps on giving (or at least being given). First off, the numbers… According to a recent survey, close to four in ten people are re-gifters (i.e., they re-give a gift that they’ve received in the past). In general, women re-gift more than men (41% vs. 33%), and people with household incomes of ? $50k re-gift more than those with lower household incomes (42% vs. 33%). If you’re among those that choose to recycle gifts, then read on for some tips…

(1) Have you heart in the right place. Only do it if you honestly think the other person would like whatever it is that you’re passing on. If the present really sucks, chances are the next recipient won’t appreciate it, either.

(2) Keep it out of the social circles. The secret of re-gifting is to keep it a secret. So don’t pass it off to someone in your social circle, as there’s a decent chance that you’ll get ‘caught’. And try to avoid re-gifting one-of-a-kind items — the more personalized a present is, the more likely the original giver will recognize it if they see it in someone else’s home.

(3) Throw a white elephant party. If you can’t imagine yourself re-gifting, but you still want to clear out some junk, consider a white elephant party. At white elephant parties, each guest brings something from their home that they want to get rid of. They wrap it up, toss it in the ‘gift’ pile, and then people take turns selecting a gift from the pile. This is, however, a two-way street… Sure, you’ll get rid of your white elephant gift, but you’ll end up bringing another one home in it’s place.

[Source: CNN/Money]

Published on December 22nd, 2005
Modified on December 28th, 2011 - 7 Comments
Filed under: Miscellany

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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7 Responses to “The Art of Re-Gifting”

  1. 1
    FMF Says:

    Funny you should write about this today. Just last night my wife and I got something, opened it, and I immediately said “it’s a re-gift”. We didn’t want it, but knew someone we needed a gift for that would LOVE it. It will work out for us both. ;-)

  2. 2
    Jeremy Says:

    I’m very careful about tip #2. We entertain a lot and often receive bottles of wine from guests. There were a couple incidents when we subsequently brought that same bottle of wine to a party being hosted or attended by the original gifter.

    We all laughed it off, but now I put little Post It notes on all our bottles with info about when and from whom the bottle came.

  3. 3
    Nick Says:

    My best re-gifting story, and a very good lesson in tip #2…

    I once received a gift from a friend I had no use for. A couple years later, I re-gifted it to another friend. The next year, I got the gift again from the original friend. It took some digging to find out, but apparently my re-gift victim re-gifted it to the original gift-giver, and the original gift-giver had forgotten he gave it to me in the first place. The funny thing was that when I received it a second time, I actually had a use for it, so I kept it and used it! The gift? An 11×14″ picture frame. (Apparently, once you get married, you need all the picture frames you can get.)

  4. 4
    mbhunter Says:

    FMF we’ve been known to say that too. We have a couple of shelves of things that are still wrapped, still perfectly new, that we give away at showers.

  5. 5
    Blaine Moore Says:

    That’s a great story, Nick…I am also discovering a need for picture frames now that marriage is looming on the horizon.

  6. 6
    FMF Says:

    mbhunter — we keep ours in a dresser in the basement (it’s a metal one I had in college — so it needs to be in the basement). My wife just used it yesterday to get a gift for someone who was coming over at the last minute.

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