I am a re-gifter. That feels like a confession. An admission of guilt. I have been ridiculed for being a re-gifter before. It is something that in certain circles has been considered as bad or improper. I’m not really sure why that is. Maybe it is considered that it is “second hand” or that the recipient of the re-gift is not as valued.
I don’t think that is the case at all. Firstly, I’m a firm believer that the dollar value is in no way an indication of the value you place on a relationship. Low cost gestures are often appreciated much more than expensive trinkets.
Unless you are talking about a car, which instantly devalues the minute it leaves the showroom, a product does not have a lower value just because it came from a shelf instead of a gifter. If anything you could argue that it gains value, because you are actually giving it to someone who appreciates it, who will have a use for it.
Re-gifting is also very sustainable and environmentally friendly. If you have no use for an item, isn’t it better to give it to someone who will use it, who might enjoy it, rather than having it sit in a cupboard somewhere gathering dust, or even worse throwing it in a bin? If you gave the item to a charity shop, it is considered a noble thing, so why is it not the same if given to a friend? Seems a bit strange to me.
There are a couple of don’t to re-gifting:
- Don’t use it first. Especially if they are consumables (think hand creams or chocolates) and certainly for hygiene purposes (think lipsticks, and dare I say it…. Underwear!) Probably not a huge issue now due to the popularity of Spotify, but also frowned upon is copying CDs and DVDs before gifting them (although I have done that in the past… maybe a grey area?)
- Don’t leave it too long to re-gift. This is especially important if there is an expiry date (think vouchers, gift cards). Some make up products lose their scent or effectiveness after a while. Also check the packaging for relevance. If it has Christmas decorations on it you can’t really give it away in June.
- Don’t give it to the person who gave it to you. As we have said above, some people can misconstrue a re-gift as a lesser gift, plus they may feel a little upset that you didn’t appreciate the gift they got you.
If it does happen to you, and you get something that you suspect is a re-gift, make sure you accept it with grace and gratefulness. The person that gave you the gift thought enough of you to give you something, and in the spirit of Marie Kondo, they think it will spark joy in you that they were not able to get from it. They made the effort to think about what you would like. If you really don’t like it, you know now what you can do with it.