Is It Ever Okay To Regift Something?

It's happened to all of us. You get a gift from someone, and it's everything you've never wanted and will probably never use. A gift card to Starbucks, for example, even though you don't drink coffee or a nice sweater that's two sizes too small (but thanks for the compliment, Aunt Nora). You put on a fake smile, act as if you like it, and hope there's a gift receipt. Then, when asked if you like it, you may tell a white lie and say you do.

That's not to say the gift is bad. It's just not the proper gift for you. However, it might be the perfect gift for someone else. In other words, you might not drink coffee, but your coworker smashes three cups a day, or maybe, that extra small sweater would be better suited for your 10-year-old niece. And that's when the notion of regifting comes into play. Perhaps you've done it a time or two without telling anyone, but is it okay to regift something? Some people say yes, but others say it depends, and there are some dos and don'ts to consider.

Most people agree that it's okay to regift something

Perhaps you've wondered if you made the right decision about regifting or if there's some form of recommended protocol. Good Housekeeping had a chat with a pair of experts who know a thing or two about social etiquette. Nationally renowned etiquette coach and Beverly Hills Manners CEO Lisa Gaché told the outlet that there's nothing wrong with regifting. However, it's important that you follow a few guidelines, according to Jodi RR Smith, etiquette consultant and owner of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting

One thing Smith recommends is to make sure the gift is still in perfect condition — unless, of course, the recipient is a big fan of heading to the thrift store. The presentation of the gift is also important. If the item came in a fancy bag that's now creased and overly folded, upgrade it by placing it in a nicely wrapped box.

As it turns out, regifting is welcomed by many. A survey conducted by Credit Donkey revealed that 83% of respondents agreed that regifting is perfectly acceptable, but again, there are some caveats. One tip the site mentions involve keeping your decision a secret from both the recipient (person A) and the original giver (person B). That means you'll have to be sure person A has no connections to person B, so regifting a Christmas gift from your boss to your coworker is definitely out of the question.

Gifts that are okay and not okay to regift

Although most people seem to agree that regifting is an acceptable practice, that doesn't mean that every item is re-giftable. Even if all the aforementioned guidelines are followed, there are still some gifts that should have only one recipient. If you received a gift you don't like, ask yourself why you don't like it. If it's a nice, functional gift, but it's something you just don't want or need, it should be fine to regift it. 

For example, scented candles, small appliances (like an air fryer or waffle maker), or bottles of wine are generally fine to regift. Certain clothing items, like fashion scarves or gloves, are also acceptable. On the other hand, there are items that you should never regift. Personalized items are a regift no-no for obvious reasons. Pajamas and homemade items should also be avoided.

So, is it okay to regift? In many cases, yes, as long as you do it properly. Is every gift regiftable? No, but at the end of the day, the only person who can make the decision on whether or not a certain item is acceptable to regift is you. Sometimes there are exceptions to the rules, like regifting a monogrammed item to someone who shares your initials. Regardless of what you regift, regift wisely.