This year you can expect an expensive holiday season, even without the added expense of gifts, decorations and parties. Rising energy cost, interest rates, and stagnant wages already have many consumers reaching for their credit cards, and the holiday season is just beginning. However, according to the National Retail Federation, consumers are still planning to spend a whopping $791 each this holiday season.
If you are one of the many consumers who are faced with financial challenges, there are many tactics you can use to keep your spending and your budget intact; regifting being one. Regifting is the activity of giving something as a gift that you originally received as a gift, and it has gained in popularity since comedian Jerry Seinfeld first coined the term a decade ago. In fact, more than half of the adults recently surveyed by Money Management International find regifting acceptable.
"When done carefully, regifting, combined with other saving strategies, can help keep spending under control," said Jennifer Morrow, spokesperson for CCCS of Oregon. If you plan to regift this holiday season, here are a few rules to consider from the experts at Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) of Oregon, a division of Money Management International (MMI):
* Make sure the gift is regiftable. Never regift handmade or one-of-a-kind items. Signed books and monogrammed items are off-limits. Free promotional items are also a definite no, no. Some gifts that are good candidates for regifting include good (unopened!) bottles of wine, new household items and inexpensive jewelry.
* Make sure it is in good condition. Only new, unopened gifts in good condition should be considered for regifting. Always rewrap the gift in nice paper, checking carefully to ensure that you don't pass along the card that was intended for you. Never give partially used gift cards. Don't give items that you have owned for a long time. A general rule of thumb: if you have to dust it off, it is not regiftable.
* Keep track of the original giver. Successful regifters use common sense. If you are going to regift, be sure you know who gave you the item, so you don't return something to the original giver. Only regift items to people who are not likely to see the original giver.
* Consider the recipient. Don't just give a gift to give a gift. Be sure that the recipient will appreciate the item. Remember, if you feel that an item is undesirable, the recipient probably will too. If you are regifting simply because you ran out of time, gift cards are simple to obtain and always well received.
For more regifting dos and don'ts, interesting facts and figures, games, and more, visit Regiftable.com.