Monday, January 22, 2007

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

The art of re-gifting seems to be an ancient custom, albeit one of which I disapprove. However, Emily Post says it's acceptable and I don't dare question that. However, my thoughts lean more toward not getting caught doing it, rather than the act itself.

Be thorough in record-keeping. Make a list of who gave you what, so it doesn't accidentally go back to the original purchaser (at least from you). When you re-gift, don't use the original package if it's from a "name" store. If someone decides to return it, they're going to find out that it was probably not purchased all that recently.

Duplicates can be another matter, and if you absolutely don't have room to keep it as a backup, think about a charitable donation. Or, tell the gift-giver that you loved it so much you already bought one for yourself. They'll be flattered and perhaps suggest a solution of their own.

The bottom etiquette line is: don't get busted. Just remember it's a small world after all.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Give and Someone Will Return

Yes, give a gift and sooner or later someone will want to exchange it for something else. The post-holiday lines are filled with those people. Wrong size, bad color, or just horrible. When you're buying, you can avoid putting the giftee on the spot by making it easier for them to slink behind your back and get rid of the darn thing.

Keep the receipt, but also ask for a "gift" receipt and enclose it with the package. This doesn't list the purchase price, so if they do keep it, they don't need to know how much you spent. Additionally, if the item goes on sale, that's the price that gets refunded, unless you have a record of your purchase.

Always ask about the return policies. Read the fine print when making an on-line purchase. Know if you'll have two weeks, one month, or more to make that return. Many of the major electronics stores offer two weeks, while most major discounters allow for ninety days. There's more to the etiquette of making things easy on the giftee here.