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Website creates discussion on pros, cons of regifting

NEW YORK -- More people say they're regifting -- giving a gift they received from someone to another person. Is that financially savvy, or is it tacky?

That's the debate under way at regiftable.com, a new website created by Money Management International, a nonprofit organization based in Houston that does consumer education and financial counseling.

MMI created the site because "whether or not you're a fan or a foe, regifting has become a phenomenon," said MMI spokeswoman Kim McGrigg. And it does constitute a spending alternative for the holiday season .

McGrigg noted that a survey done by MMC last year found that some 40 percent of respondents admitted that they had regifted. The main reasons were to save money, to save time, or because they felt the recipient would like the item.

Some people writing the website share those attitudes. Others do not.

One woman wrote, for example, that her sister "thinks by putting a big bow on her regifts, no one will know they have been regifted." It seems the tactic didn't work last year because the woman last Christmas got back the gift she had given her sister a year earlier.

"I am thinking of wrapping it up again and giving it back to her this Christmas," the woman wrote.

McGrigg -- who admits to being a regifter herself -- said it needs to be done tactfully. Her tips for doing it right:

  • Always rewrap the gift and, of course, change the gift tag

  • Only give items that are new and in their original packaging

  • Never regift one-of-a-kind or handmade items

  • Know who gave you the item so you don't regift it to the original giver

    MMI had planned to maintain the site just during the holiday season, but will keep it in place longer, McGrigg said.

    "We've noticed regifting is also done for weddings," she said. "So there might be some reason for this to extend beyond the holidays."

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