Regift Without Getting Caught

gift giving

Admit it. You’ve totally taken a present you were just given, gone home, and rewrapped it to give to someone else. More than 75 percent of Americans think regifting is socially acceptable and 42 percent admitted to regifting last year, according to data collected by American Express. It all works best, however, when no one is the wiser that it’s happening.

Here's a three-step plan for how to regift on the down low.

1. Regift strategically.
Most people will re-give to a friend (41 percent), coworker (32 percent), and sibling (29 percent), according to AmEx. It almost goes without saying that if you’re going to regift, it should be a present that the recipient didn’t see you open or give to you (it happens!).

And while you might feel completely safe, say, regifting something your aunt gave you to a coworker, do a little digging just in case. Cross-reference the original giver and the new getter's Facebook friends to make sure they don’t have overlapping circles. You can never be too careful. Your aunt might be really popular.

2. Completely repackage the gift.
Never, ever regift a present without revamping the bag or wrapping. "I actually received a gift bag recently that had a note in the bottom for someone else … oops," says etiquette instructor Callista Gould, who works with the Culture and Manners Institute. Be sure to remove all original wrapping, the card (and torn envelope), any gift tags, and that telltale crumpled tissue paper.

Hey, if you're not spending any money on the gift itself, you can at least splurge on some new wrapping, right?

3. Regift only good gifts.
"Regifting is like handing someone your leftovers instead of inviting them to dinner," Gould says. Unless, of course, you're regifting nice presents. Think: a pretty scarf you know your sister would wear more than you would, or a chic serving tray your cousin could really use.

Don't think of regifting as trying to get rid of stuff you don't want, but as a form of conscious recycling. Plus, when you find the best possible home for good gifts you may not use to their full potential, you also reduce clutter in your own home.

Next, 10 presents to give again.

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