How to Regift

When it comes to regifting, for most of us, it’s a case of “been there, done that.”  Admit it.  You were anticipating the oh-so-adorable patent Mary Jane’s you had been hinting on, but instead, you receive a floral vase that has “I love my niece” written across it from your Aunt Ernestine.  You’re hoping that there is someone else in this universe who might want a floral vase that has “I love my niece” written across it.

We’ve all been there, but it’s important to remember that regifting, when done properly, is a win-win situation for all.  When done improperly, well, it can make you look cheap, uncaring, thoughtless, or all of the above.  Here are the ground rules when it comes to regifting.


The gift must be new: ONLY regift items that are new, unused, and unopened.  This means you can’t regift the blender you tried using once, but decided you didn’t like.  Also, don’t regift items that have been sitting in your closet for years.  A brand new toaster that you got six years ago hardly qualifies as new anymore.

Give something the recipient will like: Don’t confuse regifting with passing along unwanted items to someone else.  The motivation behind regifting should be the same as gifting.  Give something you think the recipient will love.

Remember who gave you the original gift: Regifting can result in hurt feelings both to the recipient and the original giver.  Translation: Don’t regift the floral vase your aunt gave you to your cousin Florentine, your aunt’s daughter!

Know that some items are off-limits: Anything that was clearly made for you is absolutely a no-go.  That navy blue scarf may be stunning, but if it says “Property of Ashley Smith” on it, you can’t regift it to your friend Jane Jones.

Don’t regift slightly used gift cards: Gift cards are great, but only if the balance is a whole number!  Your Target gift card may have a lot of money, but if the balance is $89.27, it’s obvious that it was used!

Rewrap: Updating the packaging or wrapping it up will make a regift seem new.  Plus, who doesn’t like a present wrapped in cheerful wrapping paper with a big red bow on top?

Hold a regift party: We’ve all been recipients of unwanted gifts, so why not hold a regifting party?  That way, you and your guests can regift guilt-free.  In this economy, regifting certainly isn’t a shabby idea.

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  1. allie says

    Great tips. So true that regifting doesn’t mean just giving someone your old crap. For example, I personally don’t like wine, but I often get nice bottles from relatives I don’t really know… I pass those along to friends who I know LOVE wine. Win win for everyone.

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