The dos and don'ts of regifting

The dos and don'ts of regifting

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by DION LIM / NBC Charlotte

WCNC.com

Posted on December 25, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 27 at 8:09 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Say the word “regifting” and to most, the reaction, is usually guilt.

“Yes, I have, and I felt really bad. It was a thoughtful gift from a friend, but I didn’t have the heart to tell her I didn’t like it,” says one shopper at the Boulevard in South End, Charlotte.

The sentiment seems to be shared by many during the holidays. According to Simone McDowell, a local gifting expert, concierge and creator of HoneeBee Gifts, more than 62 percent of Americans are planning to regift an item to a friend, neighbor or colleague.

She recommends being honest about a re-gift.  Telling your recipient the origins, can take out some of the possible embarrassment. She uses the example of a cookbook, given to you by grandma.

“Let’s say I’m not a great cook, but a friend is.  Let’s do a “just because” gift.  Say [to your friend], 'Hey, I’m not a good cook, maybe my grandma is, and I know you are, so maybe you can enjoy this and you can make a dish. I love that you can appreciate this.'”

Another tip: always repackage.

“You don’t want to give monogrammed or handcrafted items. If someone took the time to make something, it’s something you do not want to regift to someone else. It would definitely hurt their feelings. Repackage it. Don’t dust off your closet and give it to someone. New gift wrap and new bags with tissues [shows] taking care. It’s like giving a new gift. Just because you got it, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be new when you pass it on.”

McDowell also recommends lowering your expectations, and looking at the gift in a different light.

“If there’s something you don’t like, it doesn’t mean someone else isn’t going to love it. I don’t think you should give a gift because you have it. Think about that person, and if you feel there’s a gift that doesn’t suit anyone, donate it to charity.”

But what about giving a gift that’s already been re-gifted? According to McDowell, the “re-regift” just may get you into trouble.

“…that starts to complicate things.  You don’t want to go through the six degrees of separation. Maybe give in a different social circle. Don’t give a gift from a friend to a co-worker. Make sure the circles do not connect if you’re trying to keep things quiet.”

Still have gifts you don’t like and can’t quite find the right recipient to regift them to?

Simone’s hosting Charlotte’s first, regifting party, called Flip Your Gift, January 5 at The Ashton, 125 W. Tremont Avenue, in Charlotte from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This free event allows participants to exchange gifts, similar in value. Complimentary small bites, wine and desserts will be provided. More information can be found here.
 

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