According to a recent survey commissioned by GameStop and conducted by research partner Survata, nearly half (49 per cent) of over 400 respondents consider re-gifting an appropriate practice, thinking it will not harm anyone. With the holiday season upon us, there are many factors to consider before handing off a castaway.
“Do re-gift with caution,” says Diane Gottsman, etiquette expert and owner of The Protocol School of Texas. Sharing her expertise on the subject, she says “it is no longer taboo to give a perfectly lovely or useful gift to someone you know will enjoy it.” However, she warns re-gifters to make sure the gift isn’t given to someone from the same circle of friends. How awkward would it be for your friend watching another mutual acquaintance opening up a present that was given to you?
While many people consider re-gifting items that they don’t like or want, sometimes the thought that others may feel the same way is forgotten. Though ideal re-gifting items like wine or gift cards can be crowd-pleasers, the sentiment may not be there. The gift receiver may let on to the fact that not much thought was put into this gift. Preferably, a re-gift should be suitable to the recipient, and should be in mint condition or brand new.
“Do give the gift in the original package,” is another one of Gottsman’s tips. Some may attempt a bait-and-switch to lead the receiver into believing the present came from another store, simply by changing the bag. She calls this a “shifty move,” foreseeing the event that the receiver may try to take it back to the store only to be disappointed to learn that it wasn’t originally purchased there.
Do hold on to non-perishable gifts. Saving them for a different occasion is a good way to re-gift something according to Gottsman. Duplicate items received during the holidays can be given away on birthdays or anniversaries later on in the year instead.
Don’t ever re-gift an heirloom. Gottsman is pretty adamant about this and has a right to be. Items that have been passed down to family members should stay in the family. With so much being mass-produced these days, a good old-fashioned piece should be cherished.
“Don’t hide it, own your actions” is the final piece of advice from Gottsman. Instead of trying to re-gift inconspicuously, consider letting the other person know you received a present that you cannot use but know it’s their favourite brand, colour or scent.