Not all those gifts were on your wish list. In fact some might already be on a different list, the regift list.
But before you feel guilty, keep in mind that six in 10 gift exchangers find it perfectly acceptable to give an unwanted gift to someone else, at least according to a 2007 Money Management International survey. After all, regifting can save you money (and storage space).
The key to regifting is to have good intentions – and not get caught! Here are some tips that will keep you in good graces while you simultaneously rid your closet of unwanted gifts.
Avoid disaster by keeping track of your regifts—put a note on the outside of the packaging reminding you who sent the gift and when. Odds are high that the person gave it to you because it’s her taste or style, which means she’ll likely spring to mind when you think of who to regift to.
Cosmetics, fragrances and food have expiration dates. Double-check before you surprise someone with a present past its prime.
Keep it clean.
If it’s damaged, worn or dirty from sitting in your closet or under your bed, donate to a local charity, rather than pass off to your pals.
Avoid intersecting social circles.
Regift outside your circle of friends and family to avoid hurt feelings. A set of candlesticks from mom can go to a neighbor or colleague.
Thoughtfulness still counts.
Put the same amount of thought into re-gifting as you would in original giving. If your best friend collects light-up holiday sweaters, then she’s sure to love the one your Aunt Alice sent you, but if she finds them as unappealing as you do, consider saving the re-gift for someone who will truly love it.