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Passing on presents

CHOICE says re-gifting can leave you in Allsorts

8 January 2014

Online trading sites currently boast a book on Australian Mongrel working dogs, Stuart Crystal wine glasses, a bamboo manga drawing tablet and a surfboard CD rack. What do these items have in common? They’re re-gifted items for sale. 

These recycled offerings come after a recent CHOICE online poll  revealed that 64% of respondents suspected receiving a re-gifted present, while 57% were forthcoming about re-gifting unwanted presents.

“Topping the list of undesirable items were wine, chocolate and sweets, followed by candles, ornaments and perfume. Moisturisers and vases also received frequent mentions,” says CHOICE spokesperson Tom Godfrey.

“After the buying blitz before Christmas, followed by the often frenzied exchange of gifts, many people are left with presents they’re less than thrilled with.” 

Quirky items were also mentioned in CHOICE’s re-gifting poll, such as a garden gnome that had been re-gifted back and forth between friends around 20 times and Royal Doulton musical Christmas tree decorations, described as “soooo ugly”.

“It can be hard to find the perfect gift for a loved one, and often we end up receiving things we don’t want. Re-gifting can be a good option, as long as you do it right.” 

“You can donate your gifts to a charity, repackage your presents and give them to someone else, or try to sell them online.” 

“Selling items on sites such as eBay or Gumtree can be a good option, however being seen to profit from a present can be perceived by some as worse than re-gifting and can land you in all sorts of trouble.” 

“‘Unwanted gift’ is a popular search term so be sure to add it to your description.”

“If your gift has a receipt or exchange card, you can always take the gift back to the store. If you don’t have either and can break the news gently to the gift-giver, a bank statement with a purchase record is enough to warrant an exchange.”

CHOICE’s re-gifting guide
  • Only re-gift non-perishable items
  • Look for notes in the present and be sure to rewrap the gift
  • Avoid re-gifting anything that is one of a kind or handmade
  • Be sure you know who gifted you the item, so you don’t return something to the original giver 
  • To learn more about your rights for returns and refunds check out CHOICE’s guide

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