The Art and Discipline of Regifting

Learn the fine Art and Discipline of Regifting

Who out there knows the art and discipline of regifting? With the holiday season approaching, we have to face some cold facts. There are two reasons we regift:

  • We were given something we don’t want or need.
  • The economy is in too terrible a shape to buy everyone gift cards.

Sure, one could also argue we’re lazy, as well as uninspired to come up with any “creative” ideas for gifts. However, do we really need to rack our brains for the perfect gift for the guy at the office who gives everyone home-made jam each Christmas? Or that lady from church who knits ugly scarves every year? No. Instead, we regift the jam to the scarf lady and the scarf to the jam guy as if we made them ourselves.

Cardinal rules for regifting

However, as many of you may know, regifting comes with a tricky set of risks. People can easily become hurt, offended, or embarrassed through the regifting process. It is very easy for a regift to be perceived as a careless, inconsiderate act although I have no idea why. Fortunately, there are a set of rules you consult before handing your regift into unsuspecting hands:

Don’t Call Yourself Out.

It can be very tempting to get paranoid, think that your giftee is going to not like the gift, figure it out, and hate you; better be upfront and tell them it’s a regift. Avoid this trap! If they don’t like the gift, the will really not like the gift once you tell them it is a regift. It’s just asking for unnecessary awkwardness, and unless you were going for an obvious regift gag (like a half-eaten box of Cheez-its), it is probably better for them to not like the gift (and regift it) than for them to realize the gift wasn’t even intended for them (in which case they may burn it).

Rewrap It and Remove Evidence.

You want this gift to look pristine and new, not crinkled and messy. Not to mention, it’s a good idea to inspect the original wrapping and box for tags, receipts (dated from 4 years ago), and old gift cards.

Don’t Regift Used Items.

Even if it looks new. Even if you only used it once. Of course, there are exceptions such as antique furniture and vintage clothes. But the used rule still applies to these items too. If you’ve used it, it’s probably better not to regift it on the odd chance that they are someone else will remember you once wore or had it.

Remember Who Gave It to You Originally.

I know this seems funny, but many regifters have a stash of gifts that they plan on regifting. The problem with storing all the gifts in a stash is that you soon forget who gave you the gift, and wouldn’t it be embarrassing to give someone the exact same gift they gave you a couple years ago? That’s why it’s good to write down who gave you what and keep that in your stash as well.

Clean Your Used Regifts.

Despite the fact that I listed “Don’t Regift Used Items” as a rule, I still know some of you thrifters will. And for those of you who do, please clean the used item before gifting it. Stained coffee mugs, greasy cooking ware, and dusty frames are horrible excuses for gifts. Even regifts.

Author Bio:

This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics.

By | 2017-10-19T11:28:45-04:00 November 1, 2011|Shopping In-store & Online|2 Comments


  1. Kathy November 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Good advice!! I’ve never been a huge re-gifter, but on occasion I have helped my mother in a re-gift. I agree with all your tips, they make perfect sense! Especially the washing out part, though I can’t believe one would have to be reminded of that!!

    • November Sunflower November 2, 2011 at 9:01 am

      OMG. You’d be surprised what people re-gift and how it looks when re-gifted. Most of he re-gifts I give are kids’ gifts. People don’t always realize my kids are a little older than some of the toys they receive for xmas or their birthdays. I save them and gift them to others. Or else they sit, unused. And my kids don’t need any toys, so I don’t want to return it and buy another toy. You know? Besides, they need to learn the fine art of GIVING BACK. Beyond what we do for charity. I give a lot of wine away, too. Host gifts. I don’t drink it, might as well give it to people who do!

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