Before you take those unwanted gifts back to the store, I want you to consider regifting.
Yes, I know, regifting is such a cheapskate thing to do. But it can be a smart thing to do.
If you’re returning a gift you don’t want, you’ll have to do the following:
- Drive to the store. This will cost you gas and wear and tear on your vehicle. If you’re lucky enough to be within walking distance of the store, you’ll still have to spend the time to get there.
- Wait in long lines filled with unhappy people.
- Still not get what you want. Many stores only allow you to exchange for other items or store credit. But if the store doesn’t have anything else you want, you could spend that time waiting in line for nothing.
- Resist temptation. Stores will start discounting all of their holiday merchandise and you’ll have all that time to wait in line and think about those potential deals. It can be pretty tough to keep your wits about you in that situation.
Or you could save time and money by learning the fine art of regifting.
Use common sense when it comes to regifting. You cannot regift food items, monogrammed items, or signed books. The item you plan to regift should be in new condition. And for goodness sakes, RE-WRAP the gift! You don’t want someone to find a note in the package that’s meant for you!
Put a note on the gift stating who gave it to you and when. This is a crucial step in the art of regifting. You do not want to make the mistake of giving the same gift to the person who gave it to you. Or if you’re not into the old school paper and pencil approach, you can create a free account at Gift Elephant to help you or even save the info on your phone.
Take a close look at the item and consider who else you could give it to. Only regift the item when it is something you would have bought for someone on your list anyway. For example, maybe you just got your third Crockpot this Christmas, but you know your niece is getting married in a few months and doesn’t have one. Save it for her bridal shower. Just don’t do any re-gifting in the same social circles, or you could end up in an awkward situation. If I regift, I tend to take items I’ve gotten from family and give them to friends (and vice versa).
Once I’ve decided where the gift will go, I put this information into Evernote on my phone so that when I’m shopping for gifts during the year, I know that I’ve already got one gift taken care of on my shopping list.
Put the gift in a designated place. I have two Rubbermaid totes that I use for storing gifts I buy on sale during the year or for those items I plan to re-gift. Having all of the items in one place makes it easy for me to find them when a gift-giving occasion arises.
Consider upcycling. With a little creativity, you can turn a boring gift into a memorable one. Consider adding personalized embellishments to a sweater or adding a little bling to a pair of slippers. You can give something a totally new look and the new recipient will never realize they got a re-gift.
Regifting isn’t about being cheap. It’s about finding a purpose for things you don’t want or need. After all, what’s better: Keeping junk you don’t want in your closet, chucking stuff in landfills, or finding someone who will truly appreciate the item? I vote for the regifting!