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The Rules For Re-Gifting Your Presents

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV
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(File Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)

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Award-winning journalist Paula Ebben co-anchors WBZ-TV News at 6PM...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Did you get a present that you don’t really want? If you’re thinking about re-gifting it, there are some rules to follow so it doesn’t backfire.

When we talked to shoppers on Newbury Street, they were honest about the fact they do re-gift. One young woman admitted it made her feel a little guilty.

But when you think about all the gifts we have to buy, it’s not really surprising there are some duds. And the urge to re-wrap something and pass it off to someone else as a present doesn’t seem as taboo as it once was.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports

Shoppers said they don’t mind the idea of getting a gift that was originally meant for someone else. One man, however, said the gift can’t look like a complete cop-out with no connection to the new recipient. That’s why etiquette experts say one of the primary rules is to have good intentions and make sure the gift really captures the spirit of giving.

Second, keep track of where you originally got the present so you don’t create an awkward situation. One woman said, “You can’t give to the same circle of friends or they will find out, and maybe two different sides of the family would be OK as long as there is limited contact between the two.”

Also, make sure the gift is in good condition and in its original packaging. Wine and champagne can be great candidates for re-gifting. Gift cards, with fees and expiration dates, can be a little more challenging.

In the end, the economy might be the thing that really keeps this trend alive. As one shopper said, “Gifts are expensive.” Another woman was more blunt, saying she’d understand if she was re-gifted because “the economy sucks.”

It looks like re-gifting is here to stay. A recent survey found that 57% of those asked see nothing wrong with it.

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