What’s tackier: re-gifting or a gift card?
My wife is an amazing gift giver. She knows how to get to you. She once gave me a key chain, but on the wooden tab it had cryptic writing, a series of numbers. I realized quickly it looked like a longitude and latitude.
"Is this -?" I started to ask.
"-where we first met," she finished my sentence.
And it's always been like that with her. She puts her heart into everything she does. When it comes to gift giving many of us care just as much, but it's a creative spark we're lacking. We try. We really do. But sometimes, some years, what seems like the perfect gift is already in our closet. If you know someone who loves wine, and you barely drink the stuff, and someone else three years ago gave you a beautiful wine glass set in the exact color you know is this wine lover's favorite, is re-gifting it truly wrong? It's unopened. It's a thing of value that you possess, just like your money.
Now I understand what a bad reputation re-gifting has. And I have never actually done it for a holiday or for a birthday, nor have I ever done it without telling the recipient, "Hey I have this thing someone gave me once. It's brand new, and it's perfect for you, would you like it?"
So is it re-gifting if you let the recipient know? I'll put aside that moral question in favor of the main moral question. Is re-gifting wrong?
When you buy something for someone, you think about whether they'll like it. Then you exchange money for the goods. Well I could go through the trouble of selling those perfect wine glasses to get some money, then turn around and buy the exact same type of wine glasses with that money, just to rid me of the re-gift stigma. But isn't that rather silly if you really know it's the perfect item for them?
Now if it's a pair of gloves that you know they don't need in a color you know they don't like, and you're only doing it to get rid of them, yes then re-gifting is tacky. Which brings us to another moral question. Which is tackier, re-gifting or giving a gift card?
With re-gifting at least you're still matching a product with the person's likes and personality. With a gift card, you're handing them a piece of plastic just to say you did not hand them cash. Really though it's the same thing. Yes you can argue a gift card to a specific place shows you know them well enough to know what their favorite stores are. But well-thought-out re-gifting shows you know them well enough to know if the gift suits them. And how many gift cards these days are VISA gift cards or AmEx gift cards which really is just like giving them cash in an envelope?
So which is colder? Which is tackier? The re-gift? Or the gift card? Take our poll below.
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