It is a very common occurrence for people to receive gifts that they don’t want or need. Although we enjoy receiving gifts, people don’t always know what we want or like. What are you going to do with all those extra kitchen appliances, towels, and white elephants? They’re brand new. It would be so easy to wrap them back up again and give them to your niece who is going off to college this fall. Before you regift, here are some things to consider.
*Arguments against regifting
1. It is rude
There’s no way around it. If someone gave you a gift but didn’t expressly give you permission to return or regift it, you’re really not supposed to. Although a lot of people wouldn’t mind, some consider it bad etiquette.
2. They might come in handy
Appliances, towels, and other household items don’t last forever. Before you regift, ask yourself if you’ll need the item down the road.
3. It could hurt feelings
How would your gifter feel if they knew you had given away what they gave you? How about the person you regift it to? Would they be offended to have a secondhand gift? If the answers to these are yes, you may not want to regift.
*Arguments for regifting
1. The gift is terrible
Maybe you got the same gift ten times. Maybe your aunt gave you her collection of lawn gnomes and it hurts your eyes to look at it. Maybe they gave you a beef jerkey maker and you’re vegetarians. There are some gifts you just won’t be keeping, period. It may be better to regift than to return it or throw it away.
2. Recycling is good
Regifting, repurposing, and giving gifts of things you already own are good ways to live lightly on the earth. Often there is less packaging, less carbon used in transporting the gift, and you’re keeping something useful out of a landfill.
3. Simplicity is good
You’re in charge of your life and the choices you make. You know if the benefits of keeping an unneeded gift outweigh the detriments or not. Often, there won’t be enough room in your home or your life to house things you can’t use or don’t like. Don’t hang onto something that causes you discomfort just out of guilt.
4. It’s win/win?
Often, the gift you can’t use might be just the widget your best friend has been dying to get. Giving them the gift means your life is less cluttered and they get the gift they had their heart set on. Another positive is that it will also save you money and time for searching for a gift.
You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of regifting for yourself. Primary factors to consider are if the giver will find out and also your own personal feelings about regifting. If you feel like, if they ever knew you had regifted their gift, your gifter would be crushed, you may want to keep it for awhile just in case.