“Regifting” Is Common, If Unpopular Practice In New Jersey

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STATE – More than a third of New Jersey residents admitted to “regifting” – the practice of taking a present they’ve received an giving it to someone else. Yet while 38 percent of those responding to a statewide poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind™ say that they’ve engaged in the practice, an equal number said that they dislike regifting.

Of those who admit recycling presents, 72 percent say they do so just “once in a while.” Only 8 percent say they do it regularly. The majority of regifters (60 percent) say they do it because the present is better suited for someone else, while a few say they do it to save time (five percent), money (seven percent) or storage space (five percent).

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“The popularity of regifting is driven by many things for different people,” said Burçak Ertimur, a professor of marketing at FDU’s Silberman College of Business. “For some, it’s thrift in difficult economic times, or it’s a way to get around annoyingly high expectations about gift-giving.  It’s also awareness of, or guilt over, how much stuff goes into the landfill. But the main reason might be just the sheer volume of stuff we have,” she said.

The majority of regifters (60%) say they do it primarily because the gift is better suited for someone else.  In line with this finding, relatives (23%) and friends (33%) are the most common targets for regifts, followed by co-workers (13%) and then someone in the community like a child’s teacher, the mail carrier or the mechanic (19%).

The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of 601 adults statewide was conducted by telephone from Nov. 15 through Nov. 21 and including those who regift and those who do not, has a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points. Regifters numbered 227, and for that subgroup the margin of error is +/- 6.5 points.


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