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When regifting is OK, and when it's not

Make sure you know the rules before you regift
Last minute Christmas gifts
Posted at 3:32 PM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 19:52:06-05

The hottest trend in gift giving in January? It's "re-gifting": taking an unwanted gift someone gave you, re-wrapping it, and handing it to someone else.

Regifting is so hot that there's now a National Regifting Day (it was December 19, 2019, if you are tracking). And Donald Trump Jr. last year claimed that even his dad once regifted something back to him.

It can be fine, as long as you know the rules.

But financial guru Dave Ramsey says you need to be careful.

You don't want to get caught regifting, a trend first named back on the TV show "Seinfeld."

Know the rules

Among the rules for regifting, Ramsey says:

  • The item must be unopened, without the original tag showing names.
  • It should have no initials or monograms, a red flag of a hand-me-down.
  • Re-wrap it in fresh paper, so it looks as though you bought it.
  • It should be something that person would appreciate or could use.
  • Don't regift something from a meaningful person, like Grandma or your closest aunt. She may ask about it next time you see her.

The worst-case scenario

And from the "doesn't that stink" file, the worst-case "Seinfeld" regifting scenario?

That's when you accidentally give it back to the person who gave it to you, or regift it to someone in the same social circle, so they find out, such as at a dinner party or family gathering.

You'll say "Doesn't that stink?"

It's best to give it to someone on the other side of your family, or someone who doesn't know the original gifter at all.

Bottom line: There is nothing wrong with regifting, as long as you are careful, and don't do anything that embarrasses you or the person who gave it to you.

And that way you don't waste your money.

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