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MMI offers tips for successful regifting

Posted on December 17, 2009

In honor of holiday office parties and the “unique” gifts exchanged at them, the creators of Regiftable.com have declared the Thursday before Christmas (December 17) – National Regifting Day.

According to a recent survey, by Money Management International (MMI), a majority (60%) of people think regifting is becoming more accepted; the top two reasons are to save some green.

  • 25% believe that regifting is becoming more accepted because it is a way to save on holiday expenses.
  • 14% believe that regifting is becoming more accepted because it is a method of recycling.

If you are thinking about regifting this holiday season, ask yourself the following questions:

Is the gift regiftable? Never regift handmade or one-of-a-kind items. Signed books and monogrammed items are off-limits. Some gifts that are good candidates for regifting include good (unopened) bottles of wine, new household items, and inexpensive jewelry.

How is the condition? Only new, unopened gifts in good condition should be considered for regifting. Never give partially used gift cards. Don’t give items that you have owned for a long time. A general rule of thumb: if you have to dust it off, it is not regiftable.

Is this going to work? Successful regifters use common sense. If you are going to regift, be sure you know who gave you the item, so you don’t return something to the original giver. Only regift items to people who are not likely to know the original giver.

Do you have good intentions? Don’t just carelessly give a gift. Be sure that the recipient will appreciate the item. Remember, if you feel that an item is undesirable, the recipient probably will too. If you are regifting simply because you ran out of time, gift cards are simple to obtain and always well received.

How does it look? When it comes to gift-giving, go for show! While gift bags in good condition can be reused, wrapping paper is a one-time thing. Always spring for a new card or gift tag.

Can you handle it? If you don’t plan to announce the gift as a regift, ask yourself if you can keep the secret. Never feel guilty about regifting once you’ve done it.

Have you considered your options? An unwanted gift could be a welcome donation to a charitable organization. It is also an option to suck it up and keep an unwanted gift—after all, it was a gift.

“If you suspect a gift you’ve received has been recycled, take comfort in the fact that most regifters regift because they know the gift is something the recipient would really like,” said Cate Williams, vice president of financial literacy at MMI.

About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, and counseling services; including housing counseling, bankruptcy counseling and education, and debt management assistance. MMI has been helping consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan, and repay debts since 1958. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24/7 by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call 800.432.7310 or visit MoneyManagement.org.