The Etiquette on Re-Gifting

Tish Benjamin


Re-gifting is a nice way to utilize unwanted or unneeded gifts that others may value. Re-gifting is a crafty means of 'giving back' and it can also save you a significant amount of money. While you must always re-gift with care, it is extremely important not to hurt the feelings of the original giver or the new recipient. Always show gratitude when someone gives you something and always thank the person for thinking of you. Here are 8 basic rules you should follow when re-gifting:


  1. Send a Thank You Note as Soon as Possible. You should mention the thoughtfulness of the gift, but don’t mention what you plan to do with it.

  1. The Item Needs to be New and Unopened. Don’t re-gift Hand-Me-Downs or used items.

  1. Make Sure it’s Appropriate. “Only give someone a re-gift if it's something you would have gone to the store and got for the person anyway."

  1. Unwrap and Inspect the Gift. You don’t want them to find anything addressed to you on the gift.

  1. Prevent uncomfortable situations. You don’t want to give something back to the original person, so keep track of the person that gave you the gift.

  1. Never Re-Gift Something Personalized for You. This is something you might want to keep for times when you’ll be with the person who thoughtfully took the time to create something for you.

  1. Never Give within the Same Circle of People.  If there is any chance that these people may meet and discuss this gift, then don't give it.

  1. If in Doubt, Consider Alternatives. You might be able to return your gift to the retailer and get store credit.  You can sell the item on eBay to someone who will enjoy it. Or you can donate to your local charity.


Only you can decide when it is ok to re-gift. Think through each situation carefully, and if you're still in doubt, don't do it.


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