The dos and don’ts of regifting when money’s tight

Christmas is on the horizon and money is tight for most of us. Is regifting acceptable, and if so, how can we do it right?

Imy Brighty-Potts
Thursday 01 December 2022 08:30 GMT
Christmas is an expensive time. Re-gifting could save you some cash (Alamy/PA)
Christmas is an expensive time. Re-gifting could save you some cash (Alamy/PA)

Christmas – and all the costs that come with it – might be increasing your stress levels right now.

This year, the festive season is set to be more expensive than ever, but Lizzie Grant, professional organiser and founder of Declutter on Demand, thinks regifting could help you make space and save cash.

Why should you regift?

“With the current cost-of-living crisis, regifting really has become a necessity to keep costs down at Christmas time,” explains Grant.

“Christmas is a notoriously expensive time of year, and many families take on more debt to cover their costs. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to reduce expenses where possible by regifting. This way, you can still pass on nice things to others who will enjoy them, without over-stretching yourself financially.”

It’s good for the environment…

Regifting is a very sustainable option.

“With the increasing need for us all to live more environmentally-friendly lives, giving and receiving second-hand and preloved gifts is rising in popularity. Regifting unwanted presents to those you know will enjoy them keeps things out of landfill and puts them back into use, contributing to the circular economy and avoiding waste,” says Grant.

But how can you regift well and still make Christmas feel special?

DO remember who gave you the gift

There are few things more embarrassing than gifting back something that person already gave to you.

Avoid this, Grant says by having “a dedicated box of unwanted presents you want to regift with a post-it note on each item of who gave it to you, when you received it, and who you are thinking of regifting it to.

“This avoids the embarrassment of regifting a present to the original giver. Aim to regift outside of the original giver’s circle of family and friends.”

DO wrap it in your own way

Wrapping is a good way to make a present more special and unique.

“Do not give a regifted present in its original wrapping. Everyone has their own style of wrapping, so it’s best to dedicate a bit of time and care to re-wrapping it nicely.

“Don’t forget to remove any personalisation on the regifted present, such as gift tags. Also check for messages addressed to you in the actual gift itself, for example, in the front pages of a book, which will mean you can’t regift this item and should donate or give it away instead,” says Grant.

DO be thoughtful, and regift to someone who might actually like it

Founder of jewellery brand Perfino, Kim Brookes, says: “You must always like the gifts you give, or even covet them yourself, so don’t give away things you don’t like, just things you don’t need or use.”

That way, you are saving money, helping the planet and also giving a really thoughtful gift.

DON’T regift something you’ve already used

“Make sure you only regift an unwanted present that’s in good condition, unopened and the receiver would actually want.

“The person on the receiving end should always be at the forefront of your mind, so consider whether they would really appreciate receiving this gift. Otherwise, look into other options to let go of it, like giving it to charity shops,” Grant explains.

DO check how much the gift cost

It may be taboo to do so, but it could save future confusion.

“If you think the gift may have been expensive, look up the cost of it before regifting. This way, you avoid the awkwardness of regifting a present to someone who is shocked you would spend that much on them,” Grant says.

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