Regifting etiquette: The dos and don’ts 2019

Christmas is notoriously a time for regifting. Here's how to do it properly and without getting caught.

With all the gifts you receive at Christmas time sometimes repurposing gift seems like an easier alternative to Christmas shopping for all the people on your list. Unfortunately, regifting is often considered a big no-no. We've all seen that Seinfeld episode. But when done tactfully and correctly, regifting can actually work. If you’re considering repurposing a few unwanted presents this year, Finder is here to guide you through the process. Read through our dos and don’ts before you get started.


1. Don’t regift within the same circle of friends or family Make sure you never regift something if the original gifter could potentially find out. If your aunt gives you a photo frame that she later sees in your sister’s room, both of them may end up feeling hurt. If you’re going to regift, make sure you regift to someone that will never cross paths with the original gifter.

2. Don’t regift anything meaningful As much as you may not like or care for a gift, if the gift has some sort of meaning or sentimentality attached to it, don’t regift it. Anything handmade or crafted especially for you should stay with you, regardless of how much you don’t need it or like it.

3. Don’t regift anything that’s expensive This is dangerous territory. The original gifter has clearly spent a lot of money to get you something special and you should respect that. Also, regifting something expensive puts a lot of pressure on the receiver of the gift who may feel like they need to reciprocally equal the value you appear to have spent on them. If you receive something expensive that you don’t like, it’s kinder to admit you don't like it and to ask to return it.

shutterstock_341434913 - edited 360
4. Don’t regift anything that your receiver might ask you to return or exchange Gifts like clothes, shoes or jewellery are all things that are tricky to regift. Some people have very specific tastes and it’s hard to get sizing exactly right. If you regift a top and the receiver asks you to exchange it for a bigger size, things can get awkward. Always try to stay away from regifting anything that you think your receiver may ask you to return.

5. Don't regift anything used Let's say your mum gives you a teapot and after using it, even just once, you decide you don't like it - is it okay to regift? Absolutely not. You should never regift anything that you've opened up and used. You wouldn't like to received a used gift and neither does anyone else.


1. Do regift double ups Did your cousin give you a cute bag, but you don’t have the heart to tell her that you already have the exact same one? This is a perfect item to regift. Since you already have one, it won’t be obvious to the original gifter that you have regifted the item.

shutterstock_321535145 - edited
2. Do regift things that are of good quality but that just aren’t you. Did someone give you a really pretty silver bracelet but you only wear gold? Maybe someone gifted you a video game that isn’t compatible with your console? These are good candidates to be regifted. Regifting items that are stylish, popular or of good quality are the best ones to regift. Rather than off-loading the crummy, generic items that you dislike, repurposing a great gift that is better suited to someone else is the most sensible form of regifting.

3. Do rewrap when regifting Don’t reuse the wrapping paper or packaging when regifting. It’s one of the easiest ways to get caught. Plus, using your own paper and wrapping the gift yourself adds a personal touch. It gives the feeling that you put time and effort into the present - even if you didn't.

4. Do include a well-written card Even if you’re not the card-giving type, you really should include a card when regifting. Try to include some heartfelt words or in-jokes – something that adds personality and thought to the gift that you’re giving. It makes the gift appear more authentically tailored and chosen just for them.

5. Do regift with good intentions Let's say you have a friend that has been talking about buying a french press coffee maker. She loves them. Suppose you receive a french press from a relative but it's not really your thing. So you decide to regift yours to your friend because you know she'll love it. If you can regift items that the new receiver genuinely wants or loves, you've nailed it. Regifting with thought and good intentions is definitely the best way to do it.

More Christmas inspiration

Images: Shutterstock

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site