Ask the Readers: Do You Find Re-gifting Socially Acceptable?

By Ashley Jacobs on 23 December 2014 49 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to momkeywest, Christina, and Louly for winning this week's contest!

Re-gifting used to be a little taboo — we may do it, but we don't like to talk about it. Not anymore! In fact, the American Express Spending & Savings Tracker found that 76% of people think it's socially acceptable to re-gift — up from 73% in 2013 and 71% in 2012. Surprisingly enough, more of the affluent crowd is OK with re-gifting (and more of them have re-gifted) compared to the general population.

Do you find re-gifting socially acceptable? What personal rules do you have about re-gifting, if any? Have you ever received a gift that you found out was re-gifted, and did that affect how you felt about the giver or the gift?

Tell us whether you think re-gifting is socially acceptable and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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Guest's picture
Guest

I think it is okay if the person who gave the gift is okay with it and if someone else would appreciate it a lot more.

Guest's picture
Kim

I think it's fine. Why not give someone something they would like that you won't be using. It wouldn't bother me at all to get a regifted present.

Guest's picture
Ernest S.

I've done it, and I'm not proud of it. I try to only re-gift if: 1) the original giver won't find out, and 2) it's a non-personal gift (e.g., office gift exchange). I have received gifts that I suspected were re-gifted, and I honestly did not feel too thrilled.

Guest's picture
Elena

I find re-gifting socially acceptable if the gift is something that the recipient would love

Guest's picture
Tina in NJ

If you have something you don't want/need that would be perfect for someone on your list, that's fine. If you're just trying to fill a quota, meh! Good gift giving is about finding the right fit for the recipient. It's about them, not you. And make absolutely sure your name or initials aren't on the gift!

Guest's picture
Savannah

I wouldn't think it was rude for someone else to do, but I would never do it myself. The fun of giving gifts is picking them out specially for someone, and if I didn't like a gift I received I would donate it to Goodwill.

Guest's picture
Monica

Regifting is good, as long as it fits the recipient!

Guest's picture
Julie Wood

I think regifting is okay, but make sure that the item is brand new and not given to someone who can tell if it is regifted.

Guest's picture
Gina

There's nothing wrong with regifting. It's better to have a gift go to someone that would enjoy it than to have it collect dust.

Guest's picture
Mami2jcn

I re-gift all the time. If the person can better use it than I can, why not?

Guest's picture
ARLON'S DAUGHTER

oh it's not only okay, it's a MUST...honestly my family is the worst. even when i tell them a direct answer to "what do you want for christmas" they still buy something else that i usually don't like one bit thus literally cannot use. if i did not regift, i would literally be dropping stuff off to goodwill and then i wouldn't get to have the joy of giving someone something perfectly new, perfectly fine but not useable by me...i feel regifting is honestly a perfect way to "pay it forward" hence NO SHAME IN REGIFTING!

Guest's picture
Revanche

Absolutely I think it's fine: If you won't use it (if you haven't used it) and it's in good condition, why not give it to someone who would like and/or use it? There's no reason to let it go to waste. Likewise I'd be happy to take it off your hands if you don't want it. I literally did this a few years back when one friend bought another friend something they already had and couldn't return it. I offered to give it a good home on the spot :)

Guest's picture

Re gifting is totally OK in my book. Whether its new or used if the person who is getting it will put it to more use why the heck not.

I have gotten a mans jacket from a coworker. I wasn't sure I would use it but I have and I've gotten compliments on it.
So I don't just re-gift I've been re-gifted too and I'm OK with both

Guest's picture
Liz

I think it's completely okay, provided you are giving it to someone who actually will like it AND they know that it's not re-gifted.

Guest's picture
Janet W.

I think re-gifting is fine as long as you know it's something the next person would really like to have and not just junk. That's a tough question though because sometimes when I find out that I was re-gifted, I almost feel like I got cheated or that person didn't think too much about me.

Guest's picture
Guest

It depends. If the item is new and/or gently used as well as something the person would like, then it's probably ok. That being said, I generally only re-gift to people who do the same with me. We are honest about it and that works for us.

Guest's picture
Malisa Y.

I do it on the downlow, especially if I'm obligated to get someone I don't care about a gift.

Guest's picture
Laura J

Oh I think its fine to regift if its something the other person really wants and its new and never opened or used!

Guest's picture
lostAnnfound

I think it's okay, if done right. I have regifted items, but they were new with the tags still on them. And they were given to someone who had no association with the person who originally gifted the items to me.

Guest's picture
Lani C

I think it's fine as long as you really think the person you are giving the gift to will really like it. If you're just trying to get rid of something, then donate it.

Guest's picture
Suz_Glo

As long as the gift is brand new and would truly be appreciated by the person you're giving it to, I think it is fine. It's also important that you don't regift within a social circle! For instance, I am giving my Dad something that a co-worker gave me. I know he will use and like it but I also know my co-worker and my father will never cross paths.

Guest's picture
Guest

As long as it's in good condition and something the recipient would like, I think it's fine.

Guest's picture
Christie

Absolutely! I did it last Christmas. The person who received the gift from me LOVED it and I really did not want it at all. (It was a TV show set that I don't like at all, but a friend LOVES!) Worked out well for both of us!

I try to be sensitive to the person who gives the gift in the first place and keep it a secret. There have been times that I've needed to honestly let them know that I've passed it on to someone who needed or wanted something more than I did, but thanked them sincerely for the thought.

Guest's picture
Louly

I find it totally acceptable if the gift is useful and unopened.

Guest's picture
momkeywest

I do it but the item needs to be new. People re-gift because they just don't want any more stuff in their house.

Guest's picture
Donna Sako

Yes, especially if the person would like or need the item. After all sharing and giving is an acceptable act.

Guest's picture
Happy Love

Yes, as along as it's something that you think the recipient may actually like.

Guest's picture
Christina

I have regifted when I knew no one would know, usually things I got from an office secret santa or other such thing that didn't suit me, but did suit the new recipient. I am also okay with returning gifts, and I always include a gift receipt when I give.

Guest's picture
Lynda

i think regifting is okay if it's still in good shape/condition and if it's appropriate for the receiver.

Guest's picture
Mary W

I think it's fine. Recycling at it's best!

Guest's picture
Susan P.

Re-gifting is fine as long as it is done thoughtfully and with the person receiving the gift in mind.

Guest's picture
Gail Woodbury

Regifting is OK and variations on the same. If you bought it for yourself and could not use it. If I have it in my house and it is in good condition, then it is open for a possible gift to friends and family. Some of the best gifts were ones I bought and could not use. I hate to see anything go to waste and so many people appreciate that you thought about them.

Guest's picture
Susan Smith

I find re-gifting socially acceptable if the gift is something that the recipient would love and you don't have a need for. It wouldn't bother me if I found out a got a gift that was re-gifted.

Guest's picture
Rebecca B. A. R.

Yes, I think it is fine, just as long as you don't accidentally give it back to the person who have it to you in the first place!

Guest's picture
Dee Dee

Yes, it is fine if the person can use it, but would just tell them I received it and can't use. So I am not giving as a gift. I don't like to see items go to waste.

Guest's picture
Lisa

Regifting is fine as long as 1) the person you are giving it to will like it and 2) the person you got it from doesn't know it was resifted.

Guest's picture
mpgoldstein

It's fine. If someone can use a gift that you received but don't need, what's the harm in re-gifting? Just don't give it back to the person who gave it to you.

Guest's picture
Betty

I think re-gifting is fine! Always be mindful of the giver's feelings though. They should never find out. It's better than wasting.

Guest's picture
An G

I think it is fine as long as both the receiver and the person that gave you it did not know. Also, if it tailors to the receiver. Better to regift than have something you don't use go to waste.

Guest's picture
Lindy

Of Course! Regifting is restoring, renewing, reinventing, recycling, remembering, rewrapping and sensible in the extreme. When I am given a lovely set of placemats, and i don't entertain, (perhaps the gifter is hinting?), it is only moral to regift to that friend whose art is culinary winders and beautiful table settings. As for the alligator with a top hat? ahhhhh, perfect for Uncle Bob. In closing, (and it is difficult to bear the horror of retailers) we have a regifting drawer and shelf in our home. Happy New Year. Lindy and the nefarious regifting gang

Guest's picture
Guest

I would rather give/share with someone who would appreciate it, rather than have it sit and collect dust.

Guest's picture
Carmen

I think it's fine but you do need to be careful you don't regift back to the same person and that it's still in great condition.

Guest's picture
Kyle

Re-gifting is fine, as long as you're not giving it to someone in the same social group as the person who gave it to you. We recently received an electric griddle but already had something similar, so we gave it to someone for Christmas and it totally made her day. Just make sure no one knows it's re-gifted, since both parties may be offended.

Guest's picture
Liisa

Absolutely, if it is in good shape and I think the person would like it.

Guest's picture
Kim

Totally, as long as the person who gave you the gift does not have any connections to the recipient. Regifting is a lot better than hoarding things you will never use!

Guest's picture
Amanda Sakovitz

I think its fine. I do it a lot!

Guest's picture
SerenityNow

I think it's absolutely fine if the intent is to give it to someone who would actually use and appreciate the item. I'm also lucky to live in a community filled with secondhand stores selling clothing and housewares, so people around here aren't touchy about that sort of thing!

Guest's picture
Tabathia B

I think that it depends on the type of gift (if it's personal or monogrammed, then no) and the value of the gift.

Guest's picture
Guest

If the item has never been used and is still in original packaging and is something I will really never use, I'm ok with re-gifting items - especially if I know another person will use the item and I won't.