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Rules of re-gifting

Rules of re-gifting

Re-gifting can be good or bad, depending on how you go about it. Good is when you give a gift that’s not your style that you would have gone out and bought anyway for someone because it suits them so well & you know they’ll love it. Bad is when you grab something you want to get rid of and randomly pass it on. Here are a few re-gifting do’s and don’ts:

– Give something that you know the recipient will actually like, use, or enjoy.
– Remove all traces of old wrapping paper, tape, tags, and cards.
– Freshly wrap the gift.

– Give a gift that you haven’t actually opened, examined, and found to be in brand new condition. (That camera box may not really contain a camera.)
– Give a used item. This includes cleaning up used items so that they supposedly look “like new” and then giving them.
– Give a new item so old that it’s only worth 89 cents when the recipient decides it’s not their style and tries to return it. No one wants to hear “Wow, we haven’t sold these for what? 8 or 9 years?”
– Give an expired food item. That box of candy that’s been in the drawer for two years? Throw it out.
– Give an item that includes coupons. People know that lovely, fresh-scented bath set is a re-gift when the accompanying coupons expired years ago.
– Re-gift a gift card without checking that it actually has the balance indicated.
– Give a personalized or specially engraved item to someone else. (I know, but it happens, presumably accidentally.)
– Give someone a gift back that they gave you. (Likewise, avoid giving a gift to someone who may show it to the original giver.)
– Tell the person or others who know them that it’s a re-gift.

What are your feelings on re-gifting? Do you do it? Have you ever gotten something that was clearly a re-gift or wildly inappropriate?

View Comments (4)
  • I don’t think there is anything wrong with regifting if done properly like you suggest. Sometimes you receive a gift that you have no use or value for, but someone else may. I don’t think you should just re-gift for the hell of it to get rid of something. If that’s the case just donate the item. Otherwise re-gifting is a kind and frugal way to send a gift. A lot times you see this when someone already has an ipod then gains a new one somehow.


  • Great tips. As a frugal, “green” (I’m really starting to loathe that word) gal, I have to say that I have no problem giving or receiving re-gifted items that have been used. I think of them like thrift store gems and lawd knows I love a good thrift find. I think it’s just a matter of comfort level. As long as you are gifting or re-gifting used items among like-minded folk, it’s grand.

  • I always remember this funny story from my wedding shower mumble mumble years ago. I opened a big box and found a dutch oven inside. I was pretty excited…nice useful gift. When we got home later and I was putting away the gifts, I found a tag inside: Dear Doreen, best wishes, love, Aunt Nancy.

    Of course nobody by the name of Doreen (or Nancy for that matter) was at the shower.

    I’m still not sure if this was a regift or a return to the store, but I get a giggle out of it. I still use the thing almost every day!

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