What To Do When Someone Gives You a Cheap Gift

We’ve all been there. Someone gifts you a present that leaves you utterly speechless – not in a good way. You know the kind of gift – a fruitcake, a box of cheap chocolates, a funky tie or scarf, not to mention ugly sweaters and socks.

According to Cheapism, a website centered around frugalists, the worst presents are holiday sweaters, anything for pets including a pet, photo frames, and topping the list are keychains.

Now that you’ve been the unlucky recipient of a cheap awful gift, in mere seconds it’s up to you to decide how to react and hope you haven’t already given your sentiments about it away by the expression on your face.

🤔 All Things Considered

Depending on the person giving it to you, your relationship to them, and their current situation, you may feel angry, amused, baffled, or a million other emotions. But if you are above acting on emotions (or are trying to be), take a minute to reflect on the possibilities that may be surrounding the cheap gift.

Try not to bring assumptions into the equation. Start with a level playing field so you can truly figure out what motive or thoughts are behind the cheap gift…if anything even are.

💸 Flat Out Busted

The first thing you should ask yourself about the giver of the cheap gift is if he or she is broke. We’ve all had holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and so forth pop up at the worst possible time financially.

If the person that gave you a cheap gift had to scrounge up the change to buy it and possibly even missed a meal to do so, give them a break for crying out loud. It’s the thought that counts anyway…right?

💬 Subliminal Message

Some cheap presents have undercurrents swimming all through them. You aren’t positive, but you are pretty sure, the giver is sending a message of some sort by the horribly inexpensive gift but you’re not even sure what he or she is trying to say without saying it. You are right where the giver wants you – dazed and confused. The joke is on you.

But what are you going to do with a bottle of dandruff shampoo or a poop-scented candle? And what is the meaning of it? Don’t stress on it to much because you’ll probably never know. People who give cheap gifts with subliminal messages are not worth spending that much time and effort on.

🤨 Revenge

The ex-boyfriend that gives you cheap dark chocolate knowing you only like milk chocolate is obviously being vindictive.

If someone gifts you a cheap present that is full of spite, you have all the right in the world to be angry. But don’t be. That’s the best revenge you could have because they will have to chalk the ill-intended gift up as a fail.

🛍️ No Shopping Skills

While ignorance is no excuse, it almost is for the non-shopper. Some people, men especially have gift-o-phobia. They absolutely panic when it comes time to buy a present. You’ve got to give them an “A” for effort…or, maybe not.

If the gift giver is someone you expect to have in your life awhile, you might pass out some hints the next time your birthday, anniversary, Christmas, or Valentines rolls around.

🪙 Broke in a Different Cents (Literally Speaking!)

Then there are those who give bad gifts because they are cheap. They have plenty of money tucked under their mattress, but they aren’t about to spend any…especially on you.

As you look at the cheap gift, appalled, you may be tempted to be insulted but don’t be. The giving of cheap gifts by this type of person is about them…not you. Of course, now it’s up to you to figure out what to do with it.

😶 Your Reaction is Your Call

Whether the cheap gift was for your birthday, Christmas, or for no reason at all, think of it as a chance to grow. In an extensive article on Airfrov explores the subject of why people give presents, and the psychological implications involved.

As outlined in the article, most give gifts for honorable reasons such as to build and reinforce relationships, show appreciation and love, or to help individuals. Others, however, want something in return or give out of guilt. The gifting of a cheap gift can be in either category, honorable or dishonorable.

When someone gives a cheap gift for a dishonorable reason, such as to belittle someone or as a subliminal message that they don’t care what you think or that you’re not worth spending money on, you can still choose to handle the situation with grace. You can say little or nothing at all.

The psychology behind gift giving is complex and the practice dates back to cavemen. According to the website Listverse, many animals and insects give gifts including crows, bonobos, and spiders.

The reasons people, and animals and insects, give gifts differ and the gifts they give differ as well. Why people give cheap gifts is anyone’s guess. The better you analyze the person who gave it to you and the situation behind it, the more you’ll be able to determine why.

💛 More than a Feeling?

It’s best to give the gift giver the benefit of the doubt. Assume he or she didn’t intentionally give you a crummy gift for a vindictive reason. But, if that’s not the case, you may want to take measures to distance yourself from the person because obviously, there’s a problem.

Gift receiving can be as complicated as gift giving. It can always be as joyous. It’s all about perspective. If someone gives you a cheap gift, as long as there isn’t malice in the mix, one way to look at it is to be happy they gave you one at all. If they took the time to buy it, regardless of the price tag, then you might count yourself lucky they at least spent time picking it and giving it to you because in the long run, giving comes from the heart.

Cheryl Jerabek
Cheryl Jerabek
Cheryl is a professional writer that has been writing ever since she could hold a crayon. She has authored over 200 fiction and non-fiction books for teens and adults (both credited and ghost-written) on a wide range of subjects. Cheryl also writes blogs and articles on various topics and themes. Residing in a small mountain community in Southwest Colorado, Cheryl draws her inspiration from the gorgeous scenery, her 2 adult children, and 3 grandchildren. She enjoys traveling, party and event planning, and hanging out with family and friends. “I write so you don’t have to,” is Cheryl’s motto.

Leave A Comment:

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Browse Gift Ideas

See our comprehensive gift ideas based on the recipient’s interests / hobbies