A Guide to Regifting

Thinking of regifting? Not sure if it’s wrong or rude? Discover how to begin regifting for Christmas or birthdays with our article. Read today.
Colby Brin
November 29, 2022
min read

What do you think when you hear the word regifting? For those who already practice regifting, it’s a great way to save money and produce less waste. But is regifting wrong? Not everyone is on board with regifting, and there’s a stigma surrounding it. 

With the financial and economic challenges families face, regifting is likely to be more popular than ever this year. 

If you have concerns about regifting or are unsure if it’s the right thing to do, this guide will include all the information you need about the rules of regifting, what you should and shouldn’t regift, and how to regift Christmas presents.

Regifting at Christmas: is it wrong?

Regifting is not wrong. Giving someone a gift previously received from someone else can feel like a strange thing, but regifting is perfectly acceptable. Although it may feel wrong, regifting at Christmas is fine, especially if you’re sticking to a budget.

Regifting will help you to save money and spend less at this already expensive time of year. You can stop spending and start saving  for more important things.

As well as saving money, you’ll reduce your impact as a consumer. Sustainability should be high on everyone’s list this year, so don’t throw something away if you know there’s someone who would love it.

Choosing a gift can be stressful, so it’s important to show appreciation to the giver for the gift. Once you have thanked them, you can regift it with a clear conscience.

The 6 rules of regifting

Regifting is totally fine to do, but there are rules. Not all items are regiftable, and you shouldn’t look at regifting as an opportunity to clear out your cupboards. It’s not a decluttering exercise but more a way to redirect items that serve no purpose to you.

If you’re concerned that regifting is rude or wrong, follow these six rules of regifting to regift like a pro.

1. Only regift never-used gifts

The number one rule is only to regift never-used gifts. This doesn’t necessarily mean it must be brand new, but it will depend on the item. The gift should be sealed and boxed as if it was new. The item should be in good condition without any excessive signs of wear or use. You don’t want the recipient to feel like an afterthought. Be considerate of their feelings when you choose which items are suitable for regifting.

2. Don’t regift sentimental or personalised gifts

You shouldn’t regift sentimental or personalised gifts. Not only are these difficult to regift as they are so specific and personal, but it’s hard to hide the fact it has been regifted. It would be heartbreaking to lose a sentimental gift to regifting. Check with your friends and family that the item is OK to be regifted and doesn’t have sentimental value.

3. Be considerate towards the original giver

It’s important to be considerate towards the original gift giver. You don’t want to offend or hurt their feelings, so you must regift considerately. Make sure you remember who gave you the gift originally, so you don’t accidentally regift it back to them or someone in their close circle. For example, if a family member gives you a box of chocolates, you should be OK to regift them to a co-worker.

If the original giver does find out, it’s important, to be honest and move on. Think about how you would feel if someone gave a gift you had purchased to someone else. Explain that you didn’t want the lovely gift to go to waste and knew someone else would enjoy it more than you.  

4. Think about the presentation

The presentation of the gift can make a big difference when it comes to regifting. Spend extra time wrapping the gift to show that you have put in the effort and picked out this gift, especially for them. Ensure that all original tags, tape, and wrapping paper are removed from the item, so it looks presentable, and no evidence of the original buyer remains. If you are regifting clothing, keep all the original tags on.

5. Regifting all year round

Regifting is not just something that happens at Christmas. The rules of regifting can be applied all year round. You could start a ‘regifting stash’ of unwanted gifts and ask your family to add to it. You then have a selection of gifts to choose from for events throughout the year. Just make sure you keep tabs on who originally gifted what to whom. As long as you know they will love it, it doesn’t matter who receives it. Regifting is so much better than clutter in your home or adding waste to a landfill.

6. If in doubt, donate instead

If you have unwanted gifts that are inappropriate for regifting or don’t have anyone in your life who would appreciate the gift, donate it. There are lots of charities that would really appreciate your donation of good quality gifts. You will be getting rid of items you don’t need and supporting a charity too. If you want to learn more about what to do with unwanted Christmas gifts, you should read this article.

Examples of presents you can and can’t regift

It should be obvious that some gifts are appropriate for regifting, and some aren’t. You should think about what you are regifting carefully. In most cases, it’s obvious what can and cannot be regifted, but there are some grey areas.

The below will give you a good idea of what you can and can’t regift.

Good regifting examples:

·   Unopened gourmet foods that are not past their expiry date
·   Accessories with labels on (scarves, hats, gloves)
·   Brand new jewellery
·   Unused handbags or purses
·   Books
·   Unexpired gift cards
·   Candles
·   Wines and spirits
·   Unopened health and beauty products (creams, bubble bath, perfume, shower gel)
·   Beauty gift sets

Not good regifting examples:

·   Worn clothing item
·   Personalised gifts
·   Sentimental items
·   Out-of-date food items
·   Unsealed items (perfume, DVD, make up)
·   Gifts that are just plain bad. The truth is, sometimes we receive awful gifts, so don’t pass them on to anyone else. 

Next steps 

Have we changed your opinion on regifting? When you do it the right way, it makes complete sense. Regifting is a win-win situation. When you know the regifting etiquette and understand what to (and what not to) regift, it’s a walk in the park. I bet you have items in your house right now that you could regift this Christmas.

If you found this article useful, you can read other handy Hyperjar articles and guides on our blog, including cheap Christmas gift ideas, how to do a Christmas budget, and how to live below your means.

Colby Brin

Head of Copy

Colby Brin is Head of Copy at HyperJar. With over 17 years of professional writing experience, Colby’s been a journalist, ghostwriter, language consultant, and writing trainer. Having previously served as Head of Copy at Wise, he’s worked in fintech for over six years. A native of New York City, Colby graduated from the University of Michigan, and has lived in London for two years.

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