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AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Thu Dec 6 2012 14:31:44

'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?

By: Julia Wilkinson
Sponsored Link
Do you re-gift? And, more specifically, have you ever sold unwanted gifts from other people on eBay, a kind of "gift card with fees"? If so, there may be no reason to feel bad: According to a recent study in the Association for Psychological Science, people who gave the original gifts that were re-gifted to someone else were not as offended as people had thought they would be. (This is assuming they ever find out).



"Regifting isn’t bad," said psychological scientist Gabrielle S. Adams of the London Business School. "In fact, it is one way to ensure that gifts are passed along to those who will truly enjoy them. People shouldn’t be afraid to pass along a gift they received to someone else."

While I don't think there is anything inherently wrong in re-gifting, so long as it is done with thought, in this age of ubiquitous social media, selling a gift online can be a sticky wicket. One eBayer I know gave her close friend a piece of jewelry. As this friend was an eBay seller as well, she looked at her friend's listings one day to see an item they'd talked about, and lo and behold, there was the jewelry item up for sale in her friend's Store.

Other people have reported seeing comments about gifts on relatives' Facebook feeds..such as one aunt who learned her gift of a scarf to a niece was not her taste.

What about buying gifts on eBay to get a discount...new with tags or otherwise? It seems the world of psychology tells us we can breathe easily about that too. Spending more money on a gift often doesn't translate into greater appreciation, reported "The Science Behind Gifting" in The Wall Street Journal.

I'm wondering how many of you will be buying gifts for people on eBay, and also if you think there would be anything wrong with selling a gift you didn't want on eBay, Amazon or another site. Have you done this or do you plan to do it this season? Post a comment here!



Comments (18) | Permalink
Readers Comments

'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww
       Web Site
Thu Dec 6 15:46:15 2012
OK, I'll go first. I did recently sell an item of clothing given to one of the members of the family. But..the person who gave the gift does not frequent eBay..I don't know if they've even ever been on the site..so that makes it OK, right? LOL.
No, I don't think there's anything wrong with it so long as it's done with thought, discretion and sensitivity.  
'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
This user has validated their user name. by: Ina
       
Thu Dec 6 16:04:03 2012
Julia says I should 'fess up here if I've ever regifted - unless if was something from David, of course! :)

I tend to keep gifts - even if I may never use or wear them - for quite a long time, and I then tend to put them in the yard sale pile just to be safe.

It's truly the thought that counts, in my book!
'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis
       Web Site
Thu Dec 6 17:19:15 2012
While I don't specifically regift, many gifts do find their way into my 'sell' basket. More to the point, I do often grab something from some box of unsold wares and giftwrap it up, if the time draws near.

In the book 'FutureShop' (link shown above) Daniel Nissanoff showed how the ebay of that day (2006) made regifting, reselling, forward-funding, or whatever you want to call it, easy and shameless. Through countless interviews with heavy ebay users, he showed that when people are certain they can recoup some value for their item, they become less afraid to spend on another one. This is a hidden way that Best Match could be hammering our economy. Truly a lost paradise- like the death of a family friend.
'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
This user has validated their user name. by: Al G
       
Thu Dec 6 17:43:21 2012
I'd rather not go there.

After making a big enough stink over the years, most people will only give food or food related products.

If we don't eat it, the dogs will - except of course grapes & onions. I don't think the cats go for the above 2.

Piece of earth & good fill to all as my grandpappy in the landscaping business used to say.
'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow
       
Thu Dec 6 17:54:18 2012
The only presents I ever re-gifted or sold were those given to me by my bosses. Despite working 35 hours a week for said bosses, they could never seem to figure out what my interests were.
'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
This user has validated their user name. by: Basset
       
Thu Dec 6 18:23:23 2012
Speaking as a down-sized empty nester striving for minimalist zen in an eBay inventory household:

If I am not going to use it, I don't keep it. It is either eBay'd or donated.

Like Al G, my family (except for small children) have gone the ''consumable'' gift route 95% of the time.

My 75 yr old mom just instructed me today, ''Don't get me a gift unless it is something we'll eat. I don't need any more crap around here to dust or take care of.'' Guess I take after her.  
'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly
       Web Site
Thu Dec 6 18:48:53 2012
eBay is THE PLACE to go for re-grifting!

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/grifter
'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly
       Web Site
Thu Dec 6 18:50:13 2012
Sorry... I meant eBa'al.
'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww
       Web Site
Fri Dec 7 10:23:23 2012
Ina, thanks for weighing in..that's really sweet. :-)  
'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww
       
Fri Dec 7 10:28:06 2012
Al, "piece of earth and good fill"..I love it..your grandpappy was a witty man. :)

This prompts me to recall, when asked, "Are you serious?" My dad would always respond, "I'm not Roebuck!" (Sorry, couldn't think of a holiday joke there). ;)
'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww
       
Fri Dec 7 10:29:32 2012
Jack Sparrow, your bosses couldn't get it right after that long? Why I am I not surprised? Hey I thought bosses learned holiday bonuses were what we want! ;) At least, they did at Random House, where everyone just got $5000 because ''Fifty Shades of Grey'' did so well.  
'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Sat Dec 8 10:06:38 2012
In our family, regifting has become somewhat of a tradition. But for the past 20 years, ONE gift has been continually regifted. Not ''one type'' of gift... but the SAME GIFT... every year.

I forget who started it, but someone received a ''Salad Shooter'' (the plug-in motorized slicer and cheese shredder). The following year, it was re-gifted BACK to the original person... who, in-turn the next year regifted it to someone else in the family. --- And so, the tradition had officially begun.

For such a silly tradition, it always brings howls of laughter whenever we discover who gets stuck with the ''Old Maid'' salad shooter.

It's been years since I've received it (so maybe I'm due this year?)
'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
This user has validated their user name. by: Basset
       
Sat Dec 8 10:21:52 2012
I'll trade Annie for her salad shooter.

Our family's ''old maid'' gift is an ugly wooden 12''tall birdcage with a moth eaten fake bird in it that looks like it is in a state of rigor mortis.

Try to leave it behind at whoever's house we have Christmas at? Darn thing turns up buried in your trunk when you get home! Or arrives in the mail!

maybe I could use the salad shooter for target practice shooting vegetables at gray squirrels.  
'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
by: SnapPost This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Sun Dec 9 23:49:35 2012
I don't understand what the problem is with re-gifting. If someone does not like what I gifted them then I would prefer that they re-gift it rather than throw it away. What's the fuss?
SuzanneW
'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
by: comet This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Dec 10 00:40:03 2012
Phew--now I don't feel quite so bad when we get things like--Barbie Hair for--a girl who was waaaay too OLD for Barbies--and-not even the COMPLETE Barbie--JUST THE HAIR.

Baby Legos for--high school kids

Japanese sex toys for my husband--from his MOTHER.  They were supossed to "Calm Him".  Um---yeah.  

But we also have the tradition of one special kid in the family who gets his gifts packed in Kraft Mac n Cheese.  Yup.  Because--he HATES it.  So--since we are EVIL---we pack his gifts in the Blue Box.  He has actually THROWN OUT unopened boxes which we then had to retrieve and fish out the concert tickets hiding inside or CD's etc.  One year I was too sick before Christmas to prank anyone and the same kid decided to prank the OTHER family members with the stash of Mac n Cheese.  

Do you KNOW how MANY boxes of Mac n Cheese it TAKES to fill a box with a MOTORCYCLE TIRE in it?  

But--karma--we even filled his WEDDING GIFT with not only Mac n Cheese but we ALSO packed it in a specialy sourced crate from Kraft.  And--his new bride???  Her favorite food?  Is--Kraft Mac n Cheese.  I can see this going for a lot of years.  

On the flip side--my mother once gave me something and said--I don't want to see this listed on EBAY!!!!!!!!   KArma --again---when she died--where did I end up selling most of her things????  


Karma will probably get me big time someday huh.    
'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Dec 10 04:44:00 2012
IF I DON'T LIKE IT - SELL IT.  MAYBE THAT'S WHY I DON'T GET ANY MORE GIFTS :-)
'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
by: Beth This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Dec 10 10:25:17 2012
Like Annie we had a "joke" gift that went round but ours was only the box that got recycled. I think it was a shoebox. Mom has some awesome paper that year.  We shipped that thing around the family for about 20 years.  It now resides in my attic with vintage Christmas cards in it.  No one had the heart after Mom passed away so it was "retired".  Might be time to did it out again now, 10 years later.
'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?   'Re-Gifted' Items on eBay: OK or Declasse?
This user has validated their user name. by: Tula
       
Mon Dec 10 15:47:37 2012
@Basset: It's an ex-parrot?

We had that kind of joke gift in the family back when I was a kid. One of the uncles gave another one a godawful ugly tie with a turtle on it. Every year after that, the tie would turn up in one of the men's gift pile. The tradition faded away after my grandfather and some of the uncles passed, but I always think fondly of all the laughter that hideous tie brought to our Christmas celebrations.

As for regifting, I've sold many things on ebay that were received as gifts. The one I recall most prominently was a ceramic "welcome" plaque I received as a wedding gift. One of my relative made it and I did appreciate the effort, but it was completely opposite to my tastes. It was country-style with geese and barnyard motifs on it (I hate hate hate anything with geese on it), while my tastes lean more toward modern styles. The thing sat in a box for years until I was doing a clean out and found it. Up on ebay it went. It's much better to sell something and give it a new home than throw it out. I probably only made a dollar on it after fees and shipping, but I hate trashing something that's still perfectly good (waste not, want not). Of course, this was prior to 2007, when stuff would actually sell.


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