How to be good at regifting
- December 15, 2006 9:30 AM
- By Commodities
The Associated Press
It's fine to rewrap something received as a gift and give it to someone else - as a gift - or so etiquette mavens like Peggy Post say. But there are some rules.
Regifting started to lose its taboo when it was given a name - the Seinfeld writers are widely credited with coining the term in an episode about a label maker in 1995.
It seems straightforward: You get a gift that's not your style, but you know someone who would adore it. So you wrap it up and give it to that person. He or she likes the gift, never knows its origins, and you save some money and closet space. That's why it's accepted in etiquette circles.
Apparently, nearly everyone's doing it. According to Shopzilla, an online retail comparison site, almost two-thirds of the people it surveyed have done it. But evidently not everyone is good at regifting.
Websites like regiftable.com are littered with horror stories of recycled gift giving gone awry. Such mistakes are easily avoided. Post says there are two main considerations before regifting.
"The key thing is that the recipient would love to have it," she said. "Regifting out of laziness is against the principles of etiquette."
She added that the gift can't be "a cast-off or used item, and it can't be a one-of-a-kind thing. "You have to be careful not to hurt any feelings."
One other common pitfall, said Leigh Zarelli, vice-president of merchandising for Gifts.com, is regifting within the same social circle.
"It's best when you regift something to, say, a business associate or an out-of-town friend," she said. That reduces the likelihood that the original "gifter" will catch wind of the act.
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