The Art of Regifting: 10 Essential Etiquette Rules to Follow

Is it ~ really ~ ok to re-gift?

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Regifting Rules - Is It Ok To Re-Gift

Regifting – the art of passing on a present you received to someone else – can be a delightful and savvy way to spread the joy of giving. But beware! This whimsical practice comes with its own set of unwritten rules, wrapped in a dash of wit and a sprinkle of tact. So, if you find yourself pondering the ins and outs of regifting etiquette, fear not! We’ve got you covered with our top ten fun and fabulous rules to make your regifting adventures smooth, seamless, and, of course, unforgettable.

But before we get into all the rules, tips, and tricks.  Let’s answer that age-old question:  Is it ok to regift a present? Personally, as professional gift recommenders we say “yes” it’s totally ok to regift most presents.  We also consulted with the etiquette expert Emily Post and even the Today Show and – good news – both agree that it’s perfectly acceptable to regift.

Now that we have relieved you of your guilt, let’s get into some of the rules and best practices when you’re about to regift.  And then, at the end, we’ll give you some fun response just in case you get caught re-gifting and are not sure what to say!


Rule 1: Embrace the Regifting Spirit

Regifting is not about simply passing on a gift you didn’t like. Embrace the true regifting spirit by thoughtfully matching the gift to the recipient’s tastes and preferences. Ensure that the regift will genuinely bring happiness to its new owner.


Rule 2: The Art of Re-Wrapping

Regifting doesn’t mean recycling the original wrapping paper. Take the time to re-wrap the gift with fresh, new wrapping paper and a beautiful bow. A well-presented gift shows that you cared enough to make it special for the new recipient.


Rule 3: Keep a Regifting Diary

Avoid regifting mishaps by keeping a regifting diary. Record the source of each gift, the date received, and the name of the person who gave it to you. This diary will help you prevent any embarrassing regifting faux pas, such as giving the same gift back to the original giver.


Rule 4: Avoid the Regift Loop

The regift loop refers to the situation where a gift endlessly circulates among the same group of friends or family. Break the cycle to avoid awkward moments and potential hurt feelings. Regift to individuals outside of the original gifting circle.


Rule 5: Never Re-Gift Handmade or Personalized Gifts

Handmade or personalized gifts hold sentimental value and are unique to the giver’s thoughtful efforts. It’s best not to regift these items, as doing so could hurt the feelings of the original giver.


Rule 6: Check Expiration Dates

Before regifting perishable items, such as chocolates, food baskets, or beauty products, check their expiration dates. Ensure that the gift is still fresh and suitable for the new recipient.


Rule 7: Avoid Regifting White Elephants

White elephant gifts are those quirky and amusing items typically exchanged at parties. While they can be hilarious in certain settings, regifting them may not always be well-received. Avoid regifting white elephants to maintain the integrity of your gift-giving intentions.


Rule 8: Regift with Discretion

Regift thoughtfully and discreetly. Consider the recipient’s tastes, interests, and needs when selecting the perfect regift. The goal is to bring joy and show you care, not to offload unwanted items.


Rule 9: Accept Regifts Graciously

If you find yourself on the receiving end of a regift, graciously accept it with a smile and genuine gratitude. Focus on the gesture and the thoughtfulness behind it, rather than the item itself.


Rule 10: Keep the Regifting Mystery Alive

The mystery and fun of regifting lie in the surprise. Never reveal the true origin of a regift. The allure of regifting keeps the act playful and lighthearted.

What to Say If You Get Caught Regifting

Getting caught regifting can be a little awkward, but honesty and a touch of humor can help smooth over the situation. Here are some things you can say if you’ve been caught regifting:

  1. “You got me! I guess the secret’s out. I wanted to find something just as perfect for you, but I thought you might appreciate this too.”

  2. “I thought it was such a great gift that I wanted to share the joy with you as well. I hope you like it!”

  3. “Well, I guess it’s true what they say – good taste is meant to be shared! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.”

  4. “Oh, you caught me red-handed! Honestly, I loved this gift so much that I wanted you to have the same experience.”

  5. “You have such impeccable taste that I thought you’d appreciate this gift as much as I did. Consider it a testament to your great style!”

  6. “I didn’t expect to get caught, but I figured you might like this as much as I did. Great minds think alike, right?”

  7. “It’s the season of sharing, and I wanted you to have something special too. I hope it brings you as much joy as it brought me!”


Regifting can be a wonderful way to share joy, reduce waste, and put a smile on someone’s face. By following these ten essential rules of regifting etiquette, you can navigate the world of regifting with ease and thoughtfulness. Remember, it’s not just about passing on a gift; it’s about the sentiment and the effort to make someone’s day brighter. So go forth, regift with confidence, and spread happiness in the artful tradition of regifting!