SURVEY SAYS: Regifting

January 7, 2013 ( - In a newsletter I receive, the author contends that regifting (presenting a gift to someone that is something you received from someone else) can be an ethical thing to do.

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, have you ever regifted something you received? Have you ever been “caught” regifting?  

Eighty-one percent of responding readers admitted they have regifted, while 19% said they have not. Sixteen percent have been caught regifting, and 84% have not.  

In the verbatim responses, readers discussed the “rules” of properly regifting, and shared tales of how they got caught, as well as instances they realized someone had regifted to them. Editor’s Choice goes to the respondent who said: “This year for Christmas, I received a gift certificate from my Uncle that I gave to my mother for her birthday. Another way to look at it is…this year for Christmas, I received from my Uncle my Mother’s next birthday present. ;-)”


The last time I visited my mother, a friend of hers gave me a candle as a gift. It was the same fancy imported candle I had given my mother a year earlier. I guess nobody wanted it! 


I think it is fine to regift something that you don't want or need as long as you believe that the individual you are regifting it to can really use it or would enjoy having it. 


If the item is tasteful, I regift if I know someone would really like the item. When in doubt, I donate to the Goodwill Store. 


I think that regifting is fine. Ownership changes when the recipient receives the gift. All too often, especially adult children hold on to parent gifts that are treasures only in the parent's eyes. 


I absolutely support regifting, especially if I receive something that I know someone else will like that I personally do not care for. As far as getting caught - I don't think so, but I also don't think my friends would actually call me on it! I am also pretty sure that I have been a regifting recipient (really, who would purchase a YELLOW wallet from Neiman's?) but in most cases I'm good with that (wallet came with Nordy's gift card). 


Be very careful who the person knows that receives the gift. You don't want the original giver to find out. I usually send stuff to the Goodwill store or a resale shop that you don't want. Then it doesn't turn up in the family again. 


I normally don't do it. It's the thought of the giver that counts. 


Regifting is okay within certain guidelines, especially if it's something that's never been used for sure. I regift wine all the time as I don't care for red wines, so gift them to people who do. Just because you didn't actually purchase it yourself doesn't mean it's not a gift. 


Good excuse for our White Elephant parties in January - except we even had to have a 'regift' rule after same ugly yellow kitchen clock appeared three consecutive Januarys. 


If you plan to regift an item, it is absolutely vital that you keep the gift tag with the item to ensure that you do not gift it back into the circle where it originated (where the original gifter will have a chance to see it!), much less where it might be regifted to the original giver -- unforgivable!

Verbatim (cont.)  

I'd rather donate something I didn't want than regift it. 


I just can't give a gift that I would I not want myself. As a result, I have never re-gifted (except for a white elephant gift exchange). On the other hand, I am suspect I have been the recipient of re-gifting, particularly from co-workers. 


Sometimes it just makes good sense to regift something that you cannot or will not use. The next person may love it. Example: basket of scented lotions, bath soaps, etc. You may be allergic or just not like the scent - but someone else may love it. You may also get something that you already have - and know someone who would love to have that particular gift. 


I am a regifter but only if I think the new recipient will appreciate the item more. I don't pass on junk. 


Reminds me of a hilarious scene from "Old School" when Will Ferrell's character regifts a blender he received at his wedding to his friend's son's 4-yr old birthday party! "It's got 4-speeds Max!" 


Just make sure that what you re-gift does not end up in the possession of someone the original gifter knows. Lesson learned once the hard way. 


Make sure the item doesn't contain a note to you in it, e.g., an inscribed book, don't give it to anyone who know the person who gave it to you, only pass on if the new giftee will really appreciate the gift, otherwise, donate. 


When I regift, I take into account the location of the individual. So if I receive a gift from someone on the east coast I will regift it to someone in CO or on the west coast. All items received from individuals in CO will be re-gifted to individuals on the east coast. 


If it's in good condition and you feel it better suits someone else..why not 


Regifting is the equivalent of a yard sale: one person's trash is another person's treasure.

Verbatim (cont.)  

I wouldn't feel right about regifting something...but oddly enough I don't think I would mind having something regifted TO me if it was something I would like. Weird I know... 


I don't regift, but I have received regifts. Whether I take offense depends upon the regifter, the gift, and what I perceive is their motive. 


I've donated a gift to a white elephant sale and to a gift exchange. When I haven't liked a gift, I say "Thank You" and either return it or give to charity. 


Regifting is so 5 minutes ago, the new trend is - sell it on EBay! 


I would never regift with someone close. However, there are lots of situations where there are obligatory gifts for people you don't necessarily know well (showers, secret santa, etc) where it is perfectly appropriate to recycle gifts. 


I only regift items that I think would be good gifts for others, just something I don't need or want myself. Regifting crappy stuff is just mean -- if you don't want to throw it away, donate it to a local charity thrift store instead. 


This year for Christmas, I received a gift certificate from my Uncle that I gave to my mother for her birthday. Another way to look at it is...this year for Christmas, I received from my Uncle my Mother's next birthday present. 😉 


Only regift high quality gifts and only if you are sure the recipient will like the gift. 


Just don't give it back to the person who gave it to you originally! 


When I was a kid (am I showing my age or what) it was called a hand-me-down. We exchanged nearly anything, but mostly clothing, with relatives, friends and neighbors that didn't fit but could be used again. Come to think of it, having mostly been on the tail end is probably why I'm "fashionably" late to this day. Anybody want this leisure suit - hardly worn.

Verbatim (cont.)  

Is it that much different from having a yard sale and selling something someone gave you? There comes a point when you just have to clean out the house and giving an item to someone who might really enjoy it and use it or need it seems okay to me in those instances. 


I regift only if it’s something I know the new recipient will love (even if he/she is aware it’s a regift). For my wedding I rec'd a vase that was the pattern my sister-in-law collects and loves, and which I think is pretty but isn't my style. She knew I rec'd it, and I gave it to her for Christmas. I felt this was fine (it was an expensive piece) and she seemed happy, though I will admit my brother seemed to think that meant it was okay for them to give us crap they didn't want. Apparently he doesn't follow the same regifting rules I do. 🙂 


I regift all the time. One just needs to remember where they got the gift so that they don't regift to the giver. I've had many receivers of a regift be quite pleased with the gift. 


I think it’s perfectly fine as long as the regift is something the recipient would actually want and not just an act of desperation because you need a gift! I just give my unwanted gifts to charity or save them for the office White Elephant exchange..... 


Better that someone get benefit of the gift, rather than no one, if the original recipient isn't going to use the gift. 


My husband and I regifted a lovely fruit basket to my aunt for Christmas. Unfortunately we didn't notice the gift card tucked inside the basket from our realtor...but SHE did! 


If you are given something you don't like or know you'll never use, I see no issue with giving to someone who you know will like or use it. 


I get caught because I usually say up front that it's a regift, although not always. When I receive something that I don't have a use for or don't like, I put a note on it telling me who I got it from so that I don't regift it to that person in the future. 


Not that there's anything wrong with it (to coin a phrase), but I'd put regifting in the "don't ask, don't tell" category... 


If you get something you don't want or need and cannot return it, why not give it to someone who will appreciate it? 



NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.