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How to Make Sure Your Gift Won’t Get Re-Gifted This Holiday Season

Gift cards were once seen as the last-minute alternative to thoughtful gifts, but new research shows that personalizing them forms connections as strong or stronger than giving physical gifts.

Shopping for holiday presents is supposed to be a fun way to show your appreciation for your friends and loved ones. However, we all know at least one person who is impossible to shop for! Whether they’re the type who seems to “have it all” or someone with extremely discerning tastes, this is the person who is usually last to get crossed off your “to shop for” list. More often than not, you wind up getting a last-minute gift that you’re certain will be met with a fake yet polite smile, a gift doomed to catch dust in a drawer or guaranteed to get re-gifted at the recipient’s earliest convenience.

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It’s also fairly likely that this difficult person on your list is a Millennial. Whether this persnickety Millennial you’re shopping for is your child, niece or nephew or your friend or co-worker, you might find yourself racking your brain for the perfect gift—or at least one that won’t be re-gifted.

According to a recent study from Center for Generational Kinetics and Gift Card Impressions, Millennials are thirty-three percent more likely than any other generation to re-gift one or even two gifts this year!

They’re not doing it to be disrespectful, though. Jason Dorsey, Millennials expert and co-author of the study, says they’re doing it out of practicality. “No need to waste a gift someone gave you,” he says.

Even if you put time and effort into finding the perfect gift, many Millennials either still live at home with their parents or in a small apartment with roommates, so they might not have a place to put that decorative crystal bowl or have any use for a pasta maker.

But this isn’t just a trend we’re seeing for holiday presents. Millennials have definite attitudes about gifting and receiving year-round, especially when it comes to weddings. Wedding gifts used to revolve around registries, and guests would be expected to purchase things for the new couple that would help them outfit their new home and life together. But since many Millennial couples cohabitate before marriage and therefore stock up on these things well before their nuptials, they are beginning to prefer cash and gift cards much more to a set of flatware or a blender.

“We found that almost fifty percent of all consumers across all generations preferred a gift card to a physical gift of the same value,” added Dorsey, “and you know that a gift card won’t be returned!” The odds are also pretty slim that someone would give a gift card away to someone else, so you can be fairly sure that its intended recipient will use the money.

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Of course many people feel as if giving a gift card can run the risk of seeming impersonal or last minute, but with companies like Gift Card Impressions, you can specialize a gift card in such a way to show that you did put time and effort into the gift.

“Our research showed that recording a video, creating a photo montage or some other personalized element that goes along with the gift or message can make all the difference in conveying meaning and emotion to the recipient,” said Dorsey.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift to round out your holiday shopping list or you’re planning ahead for a wedding or birthday present, a personalized gift card of this kind might just be the way to go for people of all ages!

What are your thoughts on giving and receiving gift cards? Join the conversation at @WhatTheGen or @JasonDorsey and don’t forget to add your #generation!

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