Hopefully you got everything you wanted this year… but the odds are, you didn’t. That means it’s time to break out the gift receipts, leave on those tags, and get ready to regift. Know someone with a birthday coming up? Need to find a belated Christmas present? Well fret not, because in that pile of castaways, you’ve got your very own gift inventory. In the spirit of the post-present let down, let us help you abide the rules of the regift so as to not hurt anyone’s feeling and find a purpose for that special something you never wanted.
Rules for regifting
First off, there are a few general rules of thumb to follow:
- The gift shouldn’t be used, and it should be brand new and in its original packaging.
- Make sure the gift doesn’t have any monograms, personal signatures, or anything of the sort that could be attributed back to you. The only exception, obviously, is if you share initials with the intended recipient.
- Rewrap the gift in a fresh wrapping paper.
- And finally, don’t get caught. As obvious as this may seem, take all possible lengths to avoid the recipient knowing they’re being given something you didn’t want. Try to avoid giving a gift to a recipient who is close to the original gift-giver.
You really shouldn’t regift perishable goods, although gifts like wine (and maybe chocolates) are an exception here. But how do you tailor these gifts remotely to the recipient’s liking? There are a few strategies, and thankfully with social networks and other Internet tools, you won’t have to be a detective to figure it out what to give whom.
Tailor regifts by interest
Social media is your greatest ally here. Whether it’s a close friend you’re connect to on Facebook, an acquaintance with a Twitter profile, or a co-worker you know uses LinkedIn, you can browse through the posts that they’ve published to get an idea about their likes (and maybe dislikes). Facebook of course makes this easy if the recipient is publicly sharing their Likes and Interests, but don’t discount the information you can glean from these other social profiles either.
But if you really want to get technical, we’d recommend using Giftivo. It’s not intended for regifting, but it’s a powerful tool that pulls your Facebook contact’s interests and uses these criteria to suggest the Amazon gifts that they may like. You can use this information to cross reference the gifts you have lying around your discard pile to get an idea about what would suit them.
If you’re lucky, the person you’re finding a gift for might have an Amazon Wish List of items that they want. You’d be even luckier if the gift you want to regift is on the list. To find someone’s Amazon Wish List, you can go here and type in their name or email address. Also, be sure that whomever gave you the item you intend to regift isn’t a mutual friend. That is bound to come back to bite you.
Find a new home for that almost-used gift card
Say you have a gift card that you’ve already a few or more dollars of, but there are still enough credits left to make it worthwhile as a regifted present. It’s probably not in your best interest to be giving the physical card away, considering that the value is either printed or written on the card. Gyft can transform that card into a digital gift card to be regifted digitally as long as the recipient has an email address, phone number, or is on Facebook. A personal message can be added to the digital card, before being sent to the recipient.
Can’t bring yourself to regift?
There might be some of you that aren’t exactly comfortable with the thought of regifting, or might not have a regiftable gift on hand. There are some alternatives ways you can regift an item that’s become more of a chore than a present. For instance, you might get lucky auctioning it off on eBay, or if it’s upscale clothing you need to find a new home for, you could try Tradesy. But should you use these types of sites, you’re technically breaking regifting etiquette. We’ll let it slide this time.
Finally, if you have a gift that might not suit anyone on your list and you just don’t want to keep around, we’d recommend you donate it. The Better Business Bureau provides the resources to find accredited charity organizations that you can safely donate to.
And if you’re still having trouble deciding whether to keep, regift, donate, or throw out that unwanted gift, check out this infographic from Pronto.