Re-gifting may appear cheap and superficial, as it were. But your resident Etiquette Expert says that it’s perfectly fine as long as some basic criteria are followed. Let’s face it, not every gift we receive is to our liking or taste. The hassle of returning the gift or asking for a gift receipt from the person could be perceived negatively unless your relationship is very close. Or you determine that the gift may be perfect for another friend. 

Do many people actually re-gift? You might be surprised to know that many actually do re-gift. A recent survey commissioned by The Patron Spirits Company, importers and marketers of ultra-premium Patron tequila, has found that 68 percent of people claim they’ve re-gifted, or considered re-gifting, a holiday present. Another national poll, conducted among 1,040 adults ages 21 and older by Russell Research in late October, also revealed that co-workers are the most common recipients of re-gifted gifts, followed by family members and service providers.

Nonetheless, the fact that re-gifting isn’t frowned upon too much anymore, we still need to keep these tips in mind:

Post-it Notes

Add a post-it note to the item that you want to re-gift indicating who gave the gift and the date. We don’t want to inadvertently give that gift back to the original giver!!

Brand New

Don’t open the gift or remove the cellophane. Don’t light the candle and decide the scent is too strong. All re-gifted items must be brand new and never used. 


Be discerning when shopping through your re-gifted collection of gifts in the closet. Choose the item that you think your family member or friend would love to receive. Please don’t pick something just for the sake of giving a gift. It’s insincere and the receiver will notice that.


If the recipient asks point blank if it’s a re-gift, then be honest and tell them. Explain why you thought this gift would be better for them than yourself. However, as the recipient, please don’t ask this question!!

Don’t re-gift the gift wrap

Use a new gift bag or wrapping paper to make it special. Using the original wrapping or gift bag is definitely a no-no!! Have fun preparing the gift as you would if it was bought at a shopping mall.

Don’t re-gift these things

There are items that shouldn’t be re-gifted. Lotions or perfumes that have a shelf life would go on this list. Hand made items would be included especially if the new recipient knows that you are not a crafty person by nature!! Besides, the person who made the original item took the time to create something beautiful for you. Travel souvenirs or items with corporate logos on them would also be excluded. Add any outdated or unusual DVD’s, CD’s or books, as well.

The importance of sustainability by keeping trash out of the landfill means that re-gifting is actually a good thing to do!! Children can re-gift, as well. And it doesn’t have to occur around Christmas. Be confident in your decision to re-gift. You have chosen something from the heart based on the tastes of your friend or family. And that’s what giving a gift is all about, anyway.

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