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Re-gifting involves passing on an item that you received from one person to another person, often on a different occasion. It allows individuals to share a gift that may not align with their personal preferences or needs, ensuring that it finds a new home where it will be appreciated.

If you are here you are probably thinking about regifting a gift that was previously received from someone else and wondering how to do it. By the time you finish reading this, you should have a better understanding of how to re-gift and whether re-gifting is the right choice for you!

Table of Contents

Is Regifting Rude?

Regifting can be an acceptable way to repurpose unwanted gifts and reduce waste. That being said there are some guidelines and etiquette to follow to ensure that you are not being rude to the person who gave you the gift or the person that is receiving the gift.

9 Rules of Regifting to Avoid Being Rude

1. Don't Be a Scrooge:

Regifting is a great way to save money, but don’t let that be your sole motivation. Ask yourself, “Would I actually buy this gift for the recipient?” If the answer is yes, go ahead. But don’t regift something cheap or thoughtless just to pinch pennies.

2. Remove the Traces:

No one wants to receive a gift with someone else’s name on it. Before passing it along, remove all gift tags and personal notes. Make sure the gift feels brand new, without any reminders of the original gift giver.

Giving a gift

3. Give it a Makeover:

After removing the evidence, take the time to rewrap the gift. Turn it into a fresh surprise, personalized for the new recipient. Let them feel like it was handpicked just for them. A little effort goes a long way.

4. Keep Track of Origins:

Remember who gave you the gift in the first place. Avoid regifting it back to them or someone within the same social circles. You don’t want to witness that awkward moment of realization and disappointment.

5. Timing Matters:

Just like trends, gifts have their time. Don’t regift something outdated or passé. That Tim Tebow jersey from 2012? Yeah, that ship has probably sailed. Be mindful of the relevancy and desirability of the gift.

6. Family Treasures Stay Put:

It’s common sense, but worth stating: family heirlooms are off-limits for regifting. Keep those sentimental items within the family and preserve their special meaning. Instead, find other thoughtful gifts for your friends

7. Moderation is Key:

Regift in moderation to maintain your reputation. Don’t develop a regifting habit that raises eyebrows and leads to whispers behind your back. Keep it occasional and genuine, rather than a recurring pattern.

8. Embrace Spontaneity

Regifting doesn’t have to be restricted to specific occasions. Be spontaneous and surprise someone with a thoughtful gift, even if it’s not a traditional gift-giving event. Enjoy the freedom of giving without the pressure of spending. Being spontaneous with your delivery can help make you a great gift-giver.

9. Preserve Sentimental Value

Some gifts hold deep emotional significance, like handmade or highly thoughtful ones. Avoid regifting these treasures, as it can hurt the feelings of the original giver. Cherish and keep those meaningful gifts close to your heart.

Gifts that are common for regifting

Here are a few examples of suitable and common regift items:


A carefully selected bottle of fine wine, whiskey, or other spirits can make for an excellent regift, especially if you know the recipient enjoys such indulgences.

Bottle of wine

Small Kitchen Appliances

Practical and functional, small kitchen appliances like coffee makers, blenders, or gourmet cooking tools can be regifted to anyone who appreciates or needs the appliance.

Scented Candles

Aromatic candles in delightful scents provide a warm and inviting ambiance, making them a popular choice for regifting and creating a cozy atmosphere in any home.

Scented Candles

Certain Types of Clothing

Consider regifting clothing items that are versatile, classic, and timeless in style. This can include scarves, sweaters, or accessories that have broad appeal and can complement various outfits.

Gift Cards

Gift cards can make a great re-gift if it is something that the receiver enjoys. Just make sure to double-check that it is not expired or expiring soon.

Gifts to avoid regifting

Here are some items you should probably refrain from regifting:

Opened or used items

It’s best to steer clear of regifting items that have been previously opened or used, as this may diminish their value and perceived thoughtfulness.

Personal scents like perfumes or colognes

Fragrances are highly personal and can vary greatly based on individual preferences. Therefore, it’s advised to avoid regifting perfumes or colognes, as they may not align with the recipient’s taste.


Monogrammed or personalized items

Regifting items that bear someone else’s monogram or personalization can be perceived as impersonal or lacking thoughtfulness. It’s best to opt for items that allow the recipient to make their own mark.

Homemade gifts

While homemade gifts can be incredibly heartfelt, regifting them may not always be suitable. Homemade items often hold sentimental value tied to the giver, and regifting would be very rude to the person who gifted it to you.

Is regifting unethical?

From an ethical standpoint, regifting can be viewed in various ways.

Some individuals believe that regifting is a practical and environmentally friendly choice, while others consider it an insensitive gesture that devalues the act of giving.

I stand with the former, but the ethics of regifting are subjective and depend on personal beliefs and cultural norms.

Should you tell them you regifted?

To tell or not to tell? When it comes to regifting, honesty depends on the situation. Consider your relationship, intentions, and cultural norms. If it’s a close bond, openness may be appreciated. 

If you feel like you will be guilty if you don’t say anything then it may be better to say something. 

You could mention before giving the gift that you thought long and hard about what to get and that this item you thought would be perfect for them. 

That being said there are no etiquette rules that state that you have to tell. As long as the gift is new and fresh, the receiver does not need to know where you got it from.

One of the keys to being a great gift-giver is to be thoughtful. So if the receiver believes that you put in a genuine effort to find them a gift. they will be appreciative. 

Woman unsure

What to do if someone accuses you of regifting?

This would be a very awkward situation, but if you are faced with an accusation of regifting, it’s important to handle the situation with grace and tact.

Be honest and transparent in your response, admitting if you did regift the item and explaining your motivations behind it. Highlight the fact that the gift was genuine and that you were thinking about them and what they would like best.

If the accusation caused hurt, apologize sincerely for any unintended distress caused. Shift the focus to the positive aspects by highlighting your excitement about the recipient’s reaction or the happiness you intended to bring.

If appropriate, you may want to offer a resolution such as discussing alternative gift options or finding ways to make amends, like exchanging the item or planning a future outing.

This would certainly be an awkward situation, but if it does happen to you use the experience as an opportunity for personal growth, reflecting on how to approach gift-giving and regifting differently in the future.


So are you going to regift or not?

If you aren’t going to regift then check around ParentPresents for some gift ideas! Our gift ideas are specifically curated for parents, but we have countless guides broken down by price and by interests that might help you get a great gift idea for whomever you are looking to give a gift to!

If you are going to regift, GREAT! By following the guidelines and etiquette discussed throughout this post, you can navigate the regifting process effectively and ensure that your regifted presents are appreciated!

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