The Rules of Re-gifting

All the holiday gift giving should be over by now and that means there are quite a few of us who are stuck with things we don’t want. Not to be unappreciative, but what do you do with a gift that you can’t use? If you’re lucky it comes with a gift receipt and you can exchange it for something you do want, but that’s not always possible. That’s when you re-gift.

Re-gifting might seem to go against the rules of etiquette, but if you think about it, it’s really pretty practical. After all, why should I be stuck with a gift I hate when I know someone else would really love it? Not to mention the money I save by not having to spend it on an entirely new gift. It’s a great way to avoid waste, really. According to most etiquette experts, re-gifting is perfectly fine- as long as you follow these important rules for re-gifting:

Be mindful:

Don’t regift randomly just to get rid of something; give things topeople who would really appreciate what you’re regifting.


This is obvious, but so important it belongs on the list. Come on, you can put in just a little effort!


Always open a wrapped gift before sending it on to make sure there’s nothing personal tucked inside. Remove all stickers, tape, scraps of wrapping paper, and anything else that will give you away.

Know what you’re giving away:

If you think your original gifter is going to check up on you, don’t re-gift.

No personal gifts:

Don’t re-gift anything personal or handmade. Besides, your grandma is going to want a pic of you in the fluffy scarf she knit especially for you.

Only new items:

Don’t ever re-gift something that’s been used.

Don’t re-gift within a group:

That’s too close for comfort.

Keep it relevant:

Don’t give anything that’s obviously out of style or out of date.

Be honest:

The best thing to do if you’re caught is to come clean. Lying will just make it more awkward.