No matter how comprehensive your registry may be, every bride has received a present that is less than ideal or unnecessary. So what's a girl to do when you have three Fruit Ninjas and a box full of knick knacks collecting dust in your garage? You may be tempted to repurpose them by "regifting" to someone else, but there are some key things you need to know before handing a present off without getting caught. Read on for the cardinal rules of the gifts that keep on giving.
Is it OK to regift?
"Yes, you can regift," says etiquette and lifestyle expert Elaine Swann. That said, you should always make an attempt to return the gift to the store before passing it along. Which gifts are absolute no-nos to repurpose? According to Swann, handmade ones should never be regifted because the gift giver "put time and effort into it." Additionally, don't try repurposing personalized or monogrammed gifts, or heirlooms, experts say.
How to do it successfully...
Jacqueline Whitmore, etiquette expert and author of Poised for Success, has a few guidelines for passing a present along. "Be careful that you don't regift in the same social circle," Whitmore says. If you're forgetful, make sure to document who gave you a present and when, so you don't give it to someone who may come into contact with the gift giver. Whitmore also says to ensure that the tags of the item are still intact, that it wasn't used, and that there's no evidence that it is secondhand. (Make sure to check for any hidden cards from the gift giver that may blow your cover, and rewrap with fresh wrapping paper, experts say.) Most importantly, Whitmore says, "put some thought into it." She adds, "An old tacky sweater that you don't like, [there's a good chance] someone else won't like it either."
Uh-Oh! You got caught.
Despite your best intentions, you may have to deal with an awkward situation if it turns out your coworker does actually know your second cousin — and she noticed that you handed over the glass figurine she bought you. If you're caught regifting, Swann says, the person who gave you the gift "may be hurt or offended, and there's nothing you can do about that process." She recommends acknowledging the person's feelings, apologizing, and putting forth an effort to move forward. Don't try to come up with a lie to cover up what happened, she says. Instead, after apologizing for the person's hurt feelings, say something like "[the gift was] not really my taste or style, but I really thought that [X person] would enjoy it." Whitmore says, "Honesty is always the best policy."