Re-gifting Unwanted Gifts: Gift Giving Etiquette
Good Grief! You Bought me What...?
Stuck with a gift that you don't want but are not too sure if it is to okay to re-gift or sell? It is a issue that most of us have faced at one time or another.
Yep, sometimes you just want to tuck that inappropriate item right back into the box it came in and pack it away never to be seen again.
If it just isn't a gift that you want to keep then this is when re-gifting that item could be the ideal solution to your problem.
Re-gifting can be a controversial topic and one that can get pretty emotional if things unintentionally go wrong. Passing that present forward is a perfectly acceptable thing to do but there are definitely a few distinct etiquette rules that come along with gifting out unwanted items. Let's make sure that it gets done right.
A Wrapped Present Can Look so Very Enticing
Yep, we all have an item or two tucked away still in the box it arrived in. You know that you are never going to make use of that item but not all gifts come with a means of returning or exchanging them.
No receipt, the gift came from out of town, or the person who gave it to you simply presumes that you are going to absolutely love it so provides absolutely no information on the source of it.
The reason most people do not re-gift is because they do not want to hurt the feelings of the person who gave them the inappropriate present in the first place. If you don't need it, you don't like it, and you don't want to keep it, then this is probably the perfect time to re-gift it.
Now That You Own it What Will You do With it?
There really are some gifts that simply leave you speechless. A factor in giving that sometimes gets over looked is the fact that seasonal gifts can look a little strange out of season. Actually some items look a little weird any time or any place. It may be a unique gift that is ideal for most adults, teens, or kids but is it right for you?
Some gifts really do require a certain personality to suit the person they are gifted too. Kind of like Billy Bass the famous motion activated singing fish. He is still around and still singing his favourite fishing songs.
Hide it in the Basement Closet or Re-Gift it?
You don’t want to leave those inappropriate gifts packed forever away in your closet and you certainly don’t want to trash them either. The practical solution is to either sell the item or gift it to someone else.
It is perfectly logical to re-gift unwanted items to someone who may enjoy them more than you do. Generally re-gifting an item is an acceptable way to dispose of an unwanted gift.
It is an environmentally friendly way to insure that an item which you cannot use is put to good use. It also saves you the cost of having to purchase a present for someone. There are many positive reasons to re-gift. If you are absolutely unable to tell the giver that their present is something which you absolutely cannot make use of and you still want to re-gift the item then simply keep a few rules in mind when you do.
Rules for Re-gifting an Item You do Not Want
Re-gifting that too small sweater that you were given for Christmas really is an acceptable way to remove this unwanted item from your closet but keep in mind that specific rules apply to the re-giving of unwanted gifts.
1. Be aware of who you are gifting to.
Whenever there is a likelihood of the original giver seeing their item being given to another (or used by another person) then this is not the situation to re-gift in. You want to insure as much as possible that your re-gifting will not offend the original giver or the person now receiving the item.
If it is someone related to you who gave you this ill suited gift in the first place then never pass the item to another relative. If you received the present from a co-worker then never re-wrap and pass that item onto another business associate.
Keep in mind who the person was that gave you the item in the first place. Never re-gift to other individuals who that person associates with on a regular basis. Any situation in which there is a likelihood of this item becoming a reminder of where it came from is a situation where it is inappropriate to re-gift.
2. Be absolutely sure that all gift tags and personal notes are removed.
It is usually best to completely remove the gift from it's original box and then wrap it in new packaging whenever possible. Sometimes a caring giver will slip a little extra something or a personal note into the box along with the gift. By removing the item from it's original packaging you can insure that you are not passing along any extras that you don't want to.
3. Never re-gift an item from a store or company that has gone out of business.
Electronics are an especially touchy area for re-gifting. If the article turns out to be defective then the recipient is going to want to exchange it so insure that they will still be able to.
It can be more than a little embarrassing when the recipient discovers that the item they just received came from WHIMPLE'S USELESS GADGETS and that company shut down a couple years previous. Ooops.
Caftans and Robes are Looser Fitting Garments
Some Items are More Universal Than Others
Some clothing items can fit a wider range of sizes making it easier to get an accurate fit for the person you are gifting to. Robes are a great clothing item because they really can fit okay even if they are a bit loose. A robe or afghan will generally fit over a few size ranges so are a great clothing item to purchase if you are not quite sure of a person's exact size.
If in doubt pick them up a gift card instead. Fashion is a touchy area anyway but choosing a wrong size can make your choice a disaster. Play it safe where clothing items are concerned.
Sending it in the Mail?
Wrap it so it Arrives There in Good Condition
It is Your Gift and You Can do With it as You Please
Although sometimes gifts are given with an ulterior motive in mind, generally gifts are given with the sole intention of increasing the well being or happiness of the receiver. Defined as such, once gifted to you these gratuities are yours to do with in whatever manner you most see fit.
It is generally quite acceptable to re-gift any item you have received which is inappropriate for your needs. If the gift will not bring you enjoyment or is something which you cannot make use of then re-gifting is a perfectly fine way to dispose of this unwanted item.
Keeping a small note book of your gifts received and who you received them from is always a good idea. It reminds you to send a thank you card out to the person who showed you the kindness of a gift but it also a great way to remember who originally gave you the gift.
Just be sure that the person who you are gifting to is someone who will want, need, or appreciate this gift. Even re-gifting has a code of etiquette which needs to be followed.
Get a Unisex Item for a Pre-Birth Baby Shower
If you don't know what that baby is yet then choose neutral colors for your gift. Parents don't usually like to don a newborn girl in blue or their little boy in pink.
Play it safe and go with unisex colors. White, yellow, green, and beige are generally safe colors to choose.
Babies need a variety of items so there are a multitude of areas to select from. Gift cards can be one of the best gifts to give.
Some Gifts May Have a High Monetary Value
Gifts of artwork, jewelry, antiques, and other collectibles can be cherished for more than just their sentimental value. These items may come with the added benefit of a potential increase to their original value the older they become.
Luxury items are of course usually given to enhance the pleasure of the person who receives them but over the course of time that pleasure may be more aptly received from the money that their sale can bring in.
As true gift giving is done without obligation on the part of the beneficiary the choice as to whether or not to take advantage in the selling of the original gift is one that should solely to be decided upon by the recipient of that gift.
How a person can derive the greatest pleasure from a gift is something that only the recipient may know so logically it should be at their discretion to choose how the gift will best serve their needs. The gift after all is theirs. As previously defined a gift is given without obligation and as such it should no longer have any connection to the giver once it leaves their hands.
Yes, You Can Re-Use a Gift That You Don't Want
If the diamond brooch you received last Christmas bring you more pleasure as food on the table than it currently does sitting in your jewelry box then stop by eBay or visit your local antique dealer to see what price it might be worth.
You have every right to sell a gift if you decide to. I you have a gosh awful painting that sits in your closet because it is just too ugly to put in your living room then go ahead and place an ad for it on eBay or sell it to a friend.
If Uncle Henry truly cares about you then he will understand. If he gets angry when he discovers that you have sold his carefully chosen gift then perhaps the next time he selects a gift for someone he will think a little more carefully and choose that present for their enjoyment rather than his own.
In other words go ahead and enjoy your gift as you see it fits you best. If selling that item makes you happier than keeping it then you most certainly have every right to do so.
Hint: Re-Usable Cotton Shopping Bags are Eco-Friendly
Gifts Given as an Act of Charity?
Generally when we think of gift giving we picture the present itself as a tangible object that is presented to the receiver. Food items, clothing, comfort items, gift certificates, collectibles, works of art, jewelry, and so very many other items fall into this category but a gift can be virtually any item or service.
Gifts do come in many forms and are given for many different reasons. Sometimes a gift is the giving of one's service to another. When it comes to re-gifting charitable gifts fall into a very distinct category all their own.
Gifts given to uplift the spirits of another person or creature can be as simple as the giving of a kiss or a hug. Other gifts of this nature might include watching a neighbors home while they are away, mowing an elderly persons lawn, housecleaning, babysitting, accounting services, a haircut or a manicure.
Each of these gifts would be given strictly for the immediate benefit that they provide to the receiver. Although these gratuities can be re-gifted they are items that would rarely be passed onward. If you are disposing of a charitable gift to another person it is proper etiquette to insure that it is done in the same manner as it was gifted to you. It should once again be gifted out as a charitable act.
Writer, blogger, wife, mother, and grandmom. I love to write and I love to shop, combining these elements just seemed logical so here I am.