To regift or not to regift

We’ve all heard that the thought is what really counts in gift-giving, but even when someone has your best interests at heart, you still might not love the prezzie. Sure, Aunt Suzie drove all the way to the mall to buy you that sweater at Express … but it’s the wrong size. You love the skirt your sister bought you at Target … so much that you’d already bought the same one! Are you stuck with presents you won’t use, or is it okay to return and regift sometimes?
If a present is from a store you like but is the wrong size or is something you already have, it might be in your best interest to return it for store credit. If the item still has the tags, most stores will take it back, but you’ll have to get a credit certificate instead of cash unless you received a gift receipt with the item. Don’t feel bad about exchanging it for something you like at the store – even if your family member or friend thought they bought the perfect gift (hey, she knew what store you loved, at least!), she would also definitely want her money to be spent on something you’ll actually wear.
An item with missing tags or one you’re not sure where it’s from can be trickier. Stores like Barnes and Noble will generally accept books without price stickers and give you store credit, but only if it’s something they sell. Other stores have stricter policies – for example, Target will take your ID information and only allow you to return one item without a receipt per year! You’ll have to decide if getting the money for that board game is worth using your only return until next holiday season.
With items like beauty products and handbags (stuff practically every girl loves), you’ll probably be able to get away with regifting. If you already have five shower gel and lotion sets, why not bring one to the next gift exchange you attend? Someone is guaranteed to like it! Accessory gifts are also great to save and give to girls you don’t know that well, like new friends or distant cousins.
And when you’ve got something you can’t return or regift (seriously, they still make Hairagami?), you can always donate it to a thrift store or Goodwill. That way, there’s at least a chance that someone will get some use out of it!
The most important thing to remember, though, is to always be gracious when receiving gifts, even if you’re not thrilled about them. Whoever gave you a present tried her best, so smile and say “thank you,” even if you’re not planning on keeping the gift. You don’t have to tell her that!

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by Meghan DeMaria | 2/1/2016
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