What is Regifting?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Regifting is the process of passing a gift one receives onto another person. It may be that the gift makes it suitable for regifting because the color, or style of the gift would be ideal for someone else. Alternately, many people regift items like wine or food if they have dietary restrictions. Gift certificates to stores one doesn’t frequent might also make great opportunities for regifting, when one knows someone else will appreciate the gift certificate.

A simple thank you card.
A simple thank you card.

It is certainly not rude to practice regifting, particularly when another person would appreciate the item. A few rules do apply to regifting however. For example, a used item, unless it is an antique or holds some type of special value for the person you plan to give it to, should never be regifted.

Regifting should be given as much consideration as one would give to the purchase of a new gift. Does the gift really seem appropriate to the person to whom one plans to regift? In other words, don’t regift something that is likely not to be enjoyed by someone.

Further, one should always keep track of gifts one has received, and use thank you notes appropriately. It is extremely bad form to regift something back to the person who originally gave you the gift, or regifting to someone who might also regift. There are stories about presents being passed around until they come back to the original purchasers. Generally, the person who originally bought the gift can be quite hurt to receive it back.

Usually, one chooses to regift because the gift is something one does not need or care for. Such a gift should always be met with the appropriate thanks. Regifting the item should be performed with a little finesse so as not to offend the person who gave you the present.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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