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The proper etiquette of re-gifting

Elizabeth Foulston

Elizabeth Foulston

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Hanukkah has begun, while Christmas and Kwanzaa are right around the corner. In other words, gift-giving season has arrived.

Here comes the big question: what’s the protocol on re-gifting.

ABC News conducted research on the appropriate situation for re-gifting and found that many Americans endorse re-gifting, but they keep it a secret. Despite its concealment, ABC’s reporters decided that it is still important to set standards.

If it’s for your grandparents, skip the re-gift to them and offer something more sincere. If it’s for an inexpensive gift exchange with a friend, go for it. Remember that it must be unused and re-wrapped in new wrapping paper.

If you do decide to re-gift, do so with caution as to avoid any hurt feelings. Follow ProFlower’s set of guidelines to ensure success.

If you receive a gift that you already own, some justify re-gifting the duplicate. Some Central students do not condone this, and they offer alternatives to re-gifting.

“Return it and take the money,” said Jayne Jiganti, senior. “Or, exchange it,” said Maggie van Shaayk, senior. Either way, this avoids re-gifting and allows the gift-receiver to keep something.
Another re-gifting scenario is when you receive a gift that you don’t want. If you know someone else who will love it, you may be tempted to give them the gift. This saves money and still keeps the gift thoughtful because you know the receiver will like it.

However, Meagan Yeh, junior, does not support this. “If the other person sees it, it will be awkward,” Yeh said. In case you do still decide to re-gift, Yeh suggests waiting a couple months between receiving a gift and re-gifting it, to ensure that the original gift-giver doesn’t notice.

There is also the situation when you realize at the last minute that you forgot to get your friend a present, so you wrap up a re-gift. An embarrassing moment, you must weigh out the consequences: what is worse, showing up empty-handed or with a re-gift?

Although convenient, re-gifting is not a fail-proof system. Junior Cooper Orler thinks there is no situation that constitutes re-gifting. It may benefit you to read about frugal shoppers’ re-gifting stories gone wrong (or right) at Money Management International–don’t make the same mistakes that others have already made for you.

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The proper etiquette of re-gifting