For entrepreneurs in the early stages of growing their business, every penny counts. With many business owners choosing to reinvest all their profits back into their companies, oftentimes they're left with very little money to play with.
Regifting is the perfect solution if you're short on cash. You'll still be able to give friends and clients holiday presents and, if you're strategic, the only thing you'll pay for is shipping. The most important thing is to keep organized, as giving an obvious regift to someone can be humiliating.
Here are eight guidelines to follow to avoid any regifting repercussions.
1. Designate a space for potential regifts. Keep a stockpile of gifts you've received throughout the year that you don’t want or haven’t used. You'll be able to pull from the pile when you find the perfect recipient or when someone surprises you with a gift. Keep items in plastic bags to avoid dust and fading from sun exposure.
2. Don't include any gifts you've used or opened. The item you plan to pass along should be in good condition. Ideally you'll want to give the gift in the original box with the seal intact. If you plan to give a perishable item, check the expiration date to make sure it is still fresh.
3. Ensure the item is worthy of regifting. Be sure the person will enjoy and appreciate the gift. Promotional items or free swag bags from someone else’s company should not be regifted to anyone unless you plan to participate in a gag gift exchange.
4. Remove any evidence that the gift was given to you. Remove the original card or receipt. I once received a candle from a friend only to find a card addressed to her when I opened the box. Any evidence that the present is a regift should be removed.
5. Rewrap the item. The gift should look brand new. Use fresh wrapping paper and include a personalized card. There’s no need to announce the item is a regift to the recipient.
6. Don't regift in the same social circles. Make sure the person receiving the gift doesn’t know the person who originally gave you the gift. To prevent a mistake, jot down when you received it and who gave it to you.
7. Know when you can't regift. Ensure the receiver of your present will enjoy the gift. If you have a pile of unwanted fruitcakes and tacky holiday sweaters, it’s probably time to dump them or donate them to your favorite charity.
8. Don't feel guilty. If you've followed all the guidelines above, you'll avoid wasting a gift while giving the recipient a present they'll love — all while choosing the best financial path for your company.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.
Jacqueline Whitmore is an etiquette expert and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach. She is also the author of Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals (St. Martin's Press, 2011) and Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work (St. Martin's Press, 2005).