You have received a gift. And it’s all wrong. Agh! What do you do?
Firstly, be thankful – when someone buys you a gift, the person who has done so will have done their best to choose something they think you will like. This is an important lesson to teach your children and grandchildren too – make sure they understand that time, thought and money goes into buying gifts and gratitude is the appropriate first response.
Ensure you thank them for their thought, either in person if they present it to you that way, or via a phone call, card, email or text if not.
Secondly, assess your options. If it is something that can be exchanged, then maybe suggest you may need a different size, (if it is clothing), or if it is a book/movie etc, ask if it can be exchanged and you have seen/read it). Ideally, when one buys a gift, they will include an exchange token if there is any doubt about fit/suitability. That removes any awkwardness. However, some people can be offended by the prospect of changing gifts, so tread carefully!
If exchanging isn’t an option, then you have three possible course of action – use it, regift it or sell it.
Use it – after further investigation, you may just find that the gift can be useful after all, or will work better than you first thought – an ideal outcome!
Regift it – this is exactly as it sounds – you may know someone who would absolutely love your unwanted gift – it’s the ultimate in recycling! Be aware that in some instances, it’s best to come clean and say that it is a regift (for example if the item is worth more than you would normally spend, or is re-gifted without an occasion – eg birthday or anniversary).
Take care not to regift too close to the original gift giver!
Re-gifting can also take the form of a donation – kindergartens, retirement homes, refuges and schools generally welcome donations of items is good working order, no matter how big or small.
Sell it – some may prefer to turn an unwanted gift into cash – via Trademe or the local paper.
However you decide to handle your unwanted gift, if you are questioned about it by them person who gave it to you – be upfront. It may open up a useful discussion about future gifts.