When regifting is OK, and when it’s not

Posted at 4:00 PM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 18:08:53-05

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

Regifting is hot -- 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.

Among the rules for regifting:

  • The item must be unopened, without the original tag showing any names.
  • Avoid personal names, initials or monograms -- a red flag of a hand-me-down.
  • Re-wrap it in fresh paper, so it looks as thought you bought it.
  • Don't regift something from a meaningful person, like your grandma or closest aunt.  She may ask about it next time you see her.

And from the "doesn't that stink" file, the 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's nothing wrong with regifting as long as you're 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.

This story was originally published by WCPO's John Matarese.

"Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").

For more consumer news and money saving advice, click here.