When is it okay to re-gift? Always! You just have to be smart about it so as not to hurt anyone's feelings or end up looking like a chump.

Let's be honest. Re-gifting makes a lot of sense. Sometimes we get nice gifts that we just don't like or simply can't use. What about a pretty sweater in a horrible color? Or the decorative picture frame that matches nothing in my house? Or the clever and useful kitchen gadget that will never see the light of day in your kitchen?

Why not pass those good gifts onto someone who can really use them? (Plus all the tree-huggers have got to love the idea of "recycling" gifts, no?)
Here are four keys to pulling off the successful re-gift:
  1. Make sure it's something the recipient would enjoy. Re-gifting something that you know she won't like or ever use is pointless. Ask yourself, "Would I ever actually purchase this for her?" If the answer is "yes," then chances are it's a good re-gift.
  2. Avoid re-gifting gaffes: When you get a gift that you think would make a good re-gift, write down who you got it from and when. That way you won't risk re-gifting it to the person who gave it to you or to a mutual friend who might inadvertently reveal your re-gifting secret.
  3. Leave all original packaging intact. What better hint that you're re-gifting than not having the box or making the item look a little used? Make sure you remove any gift cards or gift tags that came with the item.
  4. Use fresh wrapping paper and bows for the item. Nothing screams "used" like some shabby wrapping paper that's been wrinkled and ripped.
Experience the joy of giving and receiving when you can successfully gift what you've received!!!

Forensic accountant Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations through her company, Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners honored Tracy as the 2007 winner of the prestigious Hubbard Award and her first book, Essentials of Corporate Fraud, will be on bookshelves in March 2008.

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