Not spending? Try regifting this holiday season

Holiday spending has undoubtedly been a popular topic this season, but according to a November poll hosted by the NFCC, 40 percent of respondents revealed indicated that they do not intend to spend any money on holiday purchases.

If you’re someone who looking to make cuts in your spending this holiday season, but you're not sure how, try regifting! Regifting can be a great way to ensure you have a frugal, yet festive, holiday season, but first, you should brush up on your knowledge and take a course in Regifting 101.

The path to becoming a regifting master begins by asking 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. Do you have to be told not to regift free promotional items? 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 see the original giver.
  • Do you have good intentions? Don’t just give a gift to 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. And be sure to 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’re looking for more ways to save during the holidays, check out our new Holiday Headquarters section for tips and resources for cutting back without taking the cheer out of the season. And if you have regifting tips of your own, we’d love for you to share them! Leave a comment on this post or head over to our Regifting forum to share your experiences and ideas with the community.

Jessica Horton is a former copywriter and community manager at MMI.