Pachter's Pointers:
Business Etiquette Tips & Career Suggestions


7 Regifting Guidelines for the Holidays

I was really pleased that the decorator for the office gave us a plant –until I found a note under one of the leaves that indicated the plant had originally been given to her.

Ouch. Is it okay to regift?

In today’s economy, regifting can be sound fiscal policy. Why let a perfectly good plant or fruitcake go to waste? Yet, how you regift is important. You always want the receiver of the gift to feel valued.

Here are 7 guidelines for refined regifting:

1. Make sure the gift is appropriate. Don’t just regift to get rid of the item. Give a gift that the person will like, use and enjoy.

2. Don’t leave incriminating evidence on the gift. You don’t want to damage your relationship with the person. Check the item carefully and remove any indication that you were given the gift previously.

3. Don’t regift the giver’s gift. “Oh, that looks familiar” is not what you want to hear when the person opens your gift! Keep a list of the gifts you have received and the gifts you have given.

4. Make sure the gift is in good condition. Check the item carefully and inspect the expiration date of food items. You may need to rewrap the gift, but don’t use boxes that indicate the gift came from a specific store—when it didn’t.

5. Be careful regifting items that the recipient may want to exchange, unless you have the gift receipt. The receiver of the gift may ask you where you purchased the item in order to exchange it for a different size or color.

6. Tell the person it’s a regift, if the gift is really special for the person. A colleague regifted tickets to a concert that were her best customer’s favorite band. She told him that she knew he would enjoy the show more. The customer was thrilled.

7. Be polite. If you receive a gift that you know is a regift, you still say “thank you.” And if the item isn’t for you, follow the above regift guidelines.

Additional holiday guidelines can be found in my book When The Little Things Count …And They Always Count.

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