It’s that time again when holiday givers ponder gifting – or re-gifting. And according to a number of studies, the once-dirty little secret of re-gifting is becoming almost perfectly acceptable these days.
You may remember the poll conducted by Ketchum Global Research for Liberty Mutual and the Responsibility Project revealing that 61 percent of participants believed re-gifting to be socially acceptable. More surprisingly within this poll, higher income households were more likely to say they had re-gifted than lower income households. And according to the Responsible Gift Giving Survey, more than one-in-five adults who said that re-gifting was not socially acceptable had passed one along, anyway.
And according to a nationwide consumer-spending survey by American Express from last holiday season, 58 percent of people believe re-gifting is fine – and that figure rises about 20 perfect for the holidays. Nearly one quarter of respondents to the Amex survey had re-gifted at least one item the year before.
A recent Wall Street Journal story looks at what constitutes successful gift giving. And in fact, it’s not the thought that counts – it’s actually the gift itself. WSJ noted a study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology that found that thoughtful gifts don’t necessarily lead to greater appreciation, nor does the amount of money being spent. Not too surprisingly, people are likelier to appreciate a gift that they had explicitly requested.
If you feel that the recipient of your re-gifted item would like it better than you (or even better, specifically requested the item you received), many feel you shouldn’t be ashamed to re-gift. According to Regiftable.com, creator of National Re-gifting Day (which happens on the third Thursday of December for its high likelihood to be the day upon which office holidays occur), it’s actually the responsible thing to do. Some regard it as a method of recycling as well as a way to save money.
Unsure about the most diplomatic way to re-gift? The site has a helpful primer on responsible re-gifting (the item should be new and unopened, shouldn’t be handmade, etc.).
Are you a re-gifter, or do you plan to re-gift an item this year? Do you regard it to be cheap, responsible, or just a way to recycle things you don’t want?