Posts Tagged ‘when is it okay to regift’

Rules Of The Regift

I spoke about the “Etiquette of Regifting” on Clear Channel’s NewsTalk 1530 KFBK last week. Some notes:

Don’t give a regift to those who are close. Reason: “It’s the thought that counts.” Literally. Special occasion gifts from intimates–boyfriend, wife, longtime friends and close family members and so forth–come with the expectation that a) you are deeply familiar with their likes, dislikes, habits, desires, and b) your gift will reflect this intimacy.

A regift says simply: “Hi. I know you really well, but don’t really care.”┬áIn this case, no gift is better than a regift.

Do regift, but only if… You can regift those who are not close, such as a coworker, neighbor or other acquaintance provided the regift meets the following two conditions:

  • It must be something the receiver a) can use, and b) will enjoy. Otherwise you’re just pawning off your unwanted stuff, which is neither elegant nor jolly. No dusty bottle of Tequila to the guy who hasn’t touched a drop since the mid-80’s, framed Thomas Kinkade print to the thoughtful art collector, or chocolate truffles to the gal who’s wrestling with weight reduction.
  • You must eradicate any signs of a regift. This means no Scotch tape stuck to the box along with tiny remnants of the original giver’s plaid paper. No faded graphics on the box, frayed openings or worn-away edges. Again, here no gift is better than a regift.

If your regift meets these conditions, but the receiver still suspects that something is amiss with your gift, don’t fudge or be coy. Tell them the truth, along with the reason(s) why you thought they, in particular, would like the item.

A final word on regifting: If in doubt, don’t do it.