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Regifting: A Lesson from Seinfeld

regiftingRegifting is a great way to save money and declutter your own living space. It’s also budget-friendly and a sustainable way to celebrate the holiday season. If you are not going to use an item, why not gift it to someone who will? In celebration of National Regifting Day (12/19/2014), let’s explore some of the best regifting tactics and how to avoid a Seinfeld regifting disaster.

Seinfeld Regifting Debacle

In this classic Seinfeld episode, regifting goes horribly wrong. This is what happens when you don’t follow the rules.

Regifting Trends

In the past, regifting was seen as tacky, careless and shameful. However, a national survey conducted by Bookoo.com found that today, 92 percent of people find regifting completely acceptable. The 2012 Holiday Regifting Survey also found that 87 percent believe that they have received a regifted item and that 62 percent plan to regift an item this holiday season. Let’s take a look at how you can successfully regift an item.

Rules of Regifting

  • Think it Through. Only regift an item if you feel that the person you are giving it to will truly enjoy and use it. Do not simply regift because you have the item laying around. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.
  • Keep Track of Origin and Destination. Do not regift within the same social circles. For example, if your grandmother gave you a scarf you do not need, do not give it your cousin at a family gathering your grandmother will be attending.
  • Rewrap the Gift. When you rewrap a gift, you can eliminate any  chance of a personalized card or tag attached to the gift.
  • Check the Condition. Only regift an item if it is brand new and in excellent condition. Chips, stains, missing pieces are definite no-no’s.
  • No Personalized Gifts. If it has your name, initials or maybe even your likeness, it’s yours forever!

Regifting Classics

  • Bottles of Wine
  • Champagne
  • Chocolates
  • Gift Cards
  • Home Decor
  • Small Appliances or Gadgets

Regifting should be as thoughtful as regular gifting and help you stay on budget. Before regifting this holiday season, consider the recipient and what you are giving. If you can’t find a good match for your unwanted item, consider donating it to charity. Save money, time and resources by thoughtfully regifting this holiday season.

Have you ever regifted an item? Have you received a regifted item? Will you regift this holiday season?

Participate in this month’s poll: What worries you most about your finances?


Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

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