| Current Toronto Time: 
Newcomer learns the secret of regifting

Would you like a gift receipt in the bag?” the cashier asked with a perky smile. The question threw me off for a few seconds.

How did she know the items I had purchased at the department store were a gift and not for my personal use? They were, in fact, for a friend, but how did the girl know that? 

What was a gift receipt? 

Hadn’t she just handed me a receipt after I paid? 

And why would I want the recipient to know what I had paid? 

All these questions rushed through my mind in quick succession. 

“No, no receipt in the bag,” I said hastily, taking care of the first problem. “But what’s a gift receipt? I have the one you already gave me,” I said, brandishing it under her nose.

“That receipt is for you,” she explained. “A gift receipt is for the person you are giving the gift to, in case they want to exchange or return it.”

But wouldn’t they then know the exact amount I had spent on their gift? That seemed a little crass, I thought. The cashier was smart and caught what I was thinking pretty quickly.

“Don’t worry, it’s a blank receipt, doesn’t reveal the price, just the name of the store and date, etc.”

I thanked her, picked up the bags and left, but by then, I had another doubt. Did people really take unwanted gifts back to a store? How strange was that, I wondered. Why not just pass it on to someone else like I did sometimes when I received stuff I could not use or did not much care for? Didn’t people do that in Canada?

Later, as Christmas season picked up steam, and articles related to the festival started appearing in local media, I read about the phenomenon of regifting, as it is known here! It comes with its own set of rules to safeguard one from giving a gift back to the person who gave it to you in the first place!



What’s your story? Every newcomer, no matter how savvy or where he or she comes from, has a Fresh Off the Plane (FOP) story to share about their early days in Canada. Do you want to share your story? E-mail it to us at canadaboundimmigrant@rogers.com.

Posted: Nov 30, 2017

February 2020

Centennial College

Immigration Peel Canada

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