Secret Sister Gift Exchange (Does it Work?)

Are you wondering if the Secret Sister Gift Exchange works? Don’t want to get left in the cold without any gifts?

Secret Sister Gift Exchange (Does it Work?)

Secret Sister Gift Exchange – A Scam?

Update: When calling the Secret Sister Gift Exchange a scam or a scheme – please understand that I don’t at all mean to imply that anyone is purposefully looking to cheat anyone else. I only mean to state that, statistically speaking, the plan is fraught with complications and the 36 promised gifts will very likely not come to pass. I just think it’s good for folks to know this going in. Carry on! 🙂

Jamie here! I’ve been seeing lots of my friends post on their facebook page about this Secret Sister Gift Exchange in which you need to recruit 6 friends to send a $10 Gift. In return, you’ll receive 36 gifts!!! Sound too good to be true? Well – not to be a Debbie Downer, but it is….

How the Secret Sister Gift Exchange Works

The Secret Sister Gift Exchange works like the age-old chain mail premise, where you’ll send one letter and receive a landslide of letters back. 

To be fair…. In theory the Secret Sister Gift Exchange could possibly work if all 6 people you sent your letter to stuck with the program and sent it out to their people, and all 36 of those people stuck to it and sent it out to their 216 people, and those 216 people ALL stuck with it and sent it out to their 1,296 people. And then you know – at some point, it would exponentially require the entire population of the world to participate and then CIRCLE BACK AROUND to the start of the list – in order for everyone on the list to get their 36 gifts.

In short, you might get one gift back – or maybe two if you’re at the start of the Secret Sister Gift Exchange pyramid where your chances are greatest. (I’ve heard from several folks who really did get one or a few gifts back – so doing it with people you know, and being one of the first to start it will improve your chances)  But there’s bound to be people under you who lose out completely. People who were hauled in by other people (or you!) and because they joined later they’re going to have very slim chances of actually getting a gift back. And that stinks.

And you will certainly not receive 36 gifts back with the Secret Sister Gift Exchange.

Secret Sister Gift Exchange (Does it Work?)

Here’s how the Secret Sister Exchange is worded…

Welcome to our secret sister gift exchange! Here’s how it works:

1) Send one gift value at least $10 to secret sister #1 below.

2) Remove secret sister’s name from #1; then move secret sister #2 to that spot.

3) Add your name to #2 with your info.

4) Then send this info to 6 other ladies with the updated name info

5) Copy the secret sister request that I posted on my wall, to your own wall. If you cannot complete this within 1 week please notify me, as it isn’t fair to the ladies who have participated and are waiting for their own gifts to arrive. You might want to order directly from a web-based service (Amazon, or any other online shop) which saves a trip to the post office. Soon you should receive 36 gifts! What a deal, 36 gifts for giving just one! Be sure to include some information about yourself … some of your favorites. Seldom does anyone drop out because it’s so much fun to send a gift to someone you may or may not know … and of course it’s fun to receive. You should begin receiving gifts in about 2 weeks if you get your letters out to your 6 people right away.

And if that doesn’t make you leary – just know that the Post Office warns that schemes involving chain letters. And last but not least – Snopes is all over it. So you know, there’s that. 😉





If you’re in a hurry to get in the Christmas spirit – just whip yourself up a batch of this amazing Christmas Crack and settle in to gain a few pounds 😉


  1. My thoughts on the whole thing is this: send a gift to your friends friend if you want to just bless that person, who knows what they’re going through this holiday season. If you have friends that want to join in with you and continue the process then great, if not then that’s ok too. My point is don’t go into it with the expectation of getting something in return, go into it with the expectation of just blessing someone. I sent out my gift yesterday, yes she’s a stranger to me but she is my bridesmaids best friend, she happens to be a mom of 3 and fighting cancer. I can’t imagine going through that, if I can make her day a little bit brighter with a $10 gift than that makes my heart happy. Our world could use some random acts of kindness right about now. How cool would it be to blow the media’s minds by doing this just for the sake of ‘paying it forward’.

    1. Kristin, I feel the same way. What an opportunity to make someone’s day just a bit brighter. I did this a couple of years back, sent the present off with the attitude of contributing to goodness, a few weeks later I received a couple of presents in the mail. I couldn’t remember the reason for a few minutes, I also was happy to wrap those presents and pay them forward as well. I wonder if it could be just what we continue to do and not make it a holiday tradition make it a living tradition?

  2. I had never participated in one of these, but thought “why not?” I bought the gift and mailed it. It cost $7 to mail that small gift in the mail. Later, I realized I should have used Amazon. No gifts for me have arrived, but I am glad I sent someone a cute gift. I had no idea this was illegal. A felony is serious business!

  3. I just sent my gift off and two other friends are on board. It was fun, never thought about the math but if I can wrap my head around the math and the last person loses, I will send them a gift. After all, this is in my circle of friends and I think the randomness of it all is fund.

  4. I would like to see if I could get on the list, I dont have many people on my fb and I dont think any one would do it.
    So because I dont have anyone would that take me off the list. I understand if it does to keep more people doing this and more gifts!

    Thank you for your time.


  5. I was skeptical but I think that even if I don’t get any gifts, I still got to participate in the Christmas spirit by sending a random person a cheap gift! And if I get one from someone that’s a bonus! 🙂 it’s all optional anyway

  6. I am in the middle of one now and had never heard of it before. I have gotten about 8 gifts back, some are so incredibly thoughtful because they went to my fb page to learn about me and sent things they knew I wouod like. I get that it might not be followed through on by everyone butvto say itvis a scam is a stretch.

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