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Signs You Were the Victim of Regifting

Written by: Lindsay Shugerman

December 28, 2012
Filed Under Gift Ideas 

Tags: ,

top 10 signs you are a victim of regiftingContributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman

Christmas has come and gone. And that means you probably got at least a few gifts. But when you opened that present from Aunt Martha, or that gift bag from your office mate, do you know you could have been the victim of … (insert scary, minor key music) REGIFTING!

Sure, regifting can strike any time of the year. Your birthday. National Sock Day. But Christmas, when we are surrounded by beautifully wrapped presents and decorated trees, is when this scourge is most likely to strike.

Yes, it’s true! That beautiful velvet wall art? That silver-plated pen and pencil set? They could be the gifts that were given before! Oh, yes! But now you can identify the dreaded “regift”. Here are the top ten signs that you’ve been the victim of re-gifting. And tips for how you can do regifting the right way, too.


10. The tag reads “Happy Birthday Joe”

top 10 signs you are a victim of regifting wrong tag on gift

But your name is Gloria. And it was a Christmas present? So why would Uncle Joe’s birthday wish be on the gift tag except … Oh yes. You have indeed been regifted by your very own dear uncle. You know, the one who is at this very moment looking at the ceiling and whistling nervously? Yup, that’s him!

TIP: If you’re passing on a gift, do make sure to check for the tags! Look under the tissue paper, inside the book cover and under the lid. Then add a beautiful new gift tag (and fresh gift wrap) for the new recipient.

9. Coffee grounds in the coffee maker

top 10 signs you are a victim of regifting coffee in coffeemaker

You always admired that fancy coffee maker in the store. And now you have one, thanks to Cousin Sue! What a great gift — you can hardly believe she bought it, especially since she’s always said she doesn’t like coffee.

You think you’ve escaped being regifted this time. Oh, think again. Take a closer look, my friend. New coffee makers don’t come with coffee grounds in the filter basket. Snap! Regifted again.

TIP: Make sure anything you’re passing along is clean and looks (and works) like new. If it’s clearly used, offer it to a friend or family member as a hand-me-down, instead of trying to pass it off as new. And sweeten the deal by throwing in a bag of Free Trade coffee or whatever else you use with it.

8. It’s monogrammed … but not with your initials

top 10 signs you are a victim of regifting wrong monogram

There’s nothing like a monogram to add a certain element of sophistication to fine linens, purses, silver flatware and other gifts. But if the initials on it aren’t yours, and it’s not an antique? You, my friend, have been regifted!

TIP: There are only two ways to regift a monogrammed item. One, is if the initials match. The other is if it’s an antique, and the monogram is just part of its charm. Otherwise, skip the regift, and opt for a personalized gift that’s actually meant for the recipient.

7. You remember them complaining when they got it!

top 10 signs you are a victim of regifting they complained about the gift earlier

As you look at your just-unwrapped gift clock, you remember a time not too long ago when you heard someone complaining about that very same kind of desk clock THEY had received as a gift. Wait … it was the same person who just gave it to you! Oh, yes, regifting in progress!

TIP: Make sure the person to whom you regift 1) Didn’t see you get the gift the first time, and 2) Hasn’t heard you complaining about the gift.

6. That $25 gift card is worth $7.22

top 10 signs you are a victim of regifting gift cards

Every one loves a gift card, right? Well, until you get up to the checkout counter and find out that the face value isn’t what’s actually on the card. Whether it’s because the fees some stores charge for unused balances, or the shopping someone already did using the card, you have been oh so regifted!

TIP: Check balances on gift cards before you pass them on. If it’s not 100% of the face value, use the balance to buy a new gift from that store!

5. Birthday paper on your Christmas present

top 10 signs you are a victim of regifting wrong paper

The presents were stacked up, each wrapped in colorful red and green Christmas paper, or cool winter shades of blue and white. And then there was your present.

Pink and yellow balloons? And wait a minute … is that a birthday cake in the background? And why are there tape marks where there isn’t tape … Oh, yes, my dear. Regifted!

TIP: Before you regift anything, rewrap it! This is a non-negotiable. Buy a pretty new gift wrap to match the season or occasion. Or if money is super-tight, try some creative gift wrap ideas using magazine pages, newspaper or other recycled materials you already have.

4. Isn’t that what I gave …

top 10 signs you are a victim of regifting someone recognizes their gift

Sometimes it takes awhile to realize you’ve been regifted. You’re proudly displaying that lovely family room wall decoration your friend gave you, when another friend stops by. You show off your new winter table decoration.

“Isn’t that the vintage sign picked out for Jessie? Why do you have it?” And then you know. Jessie has broken one of the prime rules of regifting: never give a regift to someone who knows the orginal gifter. Never. Ever.

3. The bottle is half full

top 10 signs you are a victim of regifting open bottle

What a great bottle of wine! And that Scotch is the single malt you’ve been dying to try. But wait! The bottles aren’t sealed! And they’re not full, either.

For some reason, this is one of the most common mistakes made in regifting … and one of the easiest to spot! And yes, you’ve just become another victim of it!

TIP: No one can miss the fact that the bottle is missing something … like part of its contents! Instead of passing on that open bottle, order them a great wine and have it delivered right to their door. It costs less than you think, and it makes a better gift than that half-bottle of Reisling.

2. The book is inscribed to …

top 10 signs you are a victim of regifting inscription in book

It’s always nice when someone writes a personal note in a book they’re giving. It’s not quite as nice when the personalized message you find is for someone other than you! If you come across that special message to Grandmom or your brother Jeff, warning, Will Robinson! You’ve been regifted!

TIP: If there’s a message in the book, and you still want to give it as a gift, make sure you’re upfront about the second-hand status. Close friends and family really might not mind if you tell them why you thought this was the perfect book for them.

1. The one you get is the one you gave

top 10 signs you are a victim of regifting same gift you gave them last year

You spent days picking out the perfect gift for someone. Okay, maybe not days, but at least hours. They seemed to love it, and showed it off to the whole family.

Then the holidays roll around again, and you open your gift from them with anticipation. Then what to your wondering eyes should appear? No, not the miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer! Wrong article!

It’s the gift you gave them last year. The one you poured your blood, sweat and tears into! You have just experienced the prime time of regifting. No tips for this one!

So now that you know you’ve been regifted,

What do you do? Do you confront the person? Give back the regifted gift?

Of course not! No matter why someone regifted, the fact is they gave you a gift. And now you have only one job remaining. Write a thank you note. And tell them how much you appreciated the gift. And never, ever, ever mention the regifting.



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