If you enjoyed this, please share:

We’ve all received gifts at the holidays or birthdays that weren’t quite our taste or style. We give an obligatory smile to the giver and share words of appreciation for the “unique” gift. But, what might be the fate of such a gift? Wear/use/display it when the giver comes to visit? Donate it to a charity?…or is “re-gifting” in good taste and considered proper etiquette?

According to research, 60% of people feel that “re-gifting” is acceptable. It is not only a way to save money but a way to “recycle” an item to a recipient who might enjoy it more.

Many of us etiquette experts agree that “re-gifting” is an acceptable option, but only if you keep the following re-gifting tips in mind:

Keep the gift in the original packaging.  It must be in excellent condition and not appear worn or used. For specialty food items, such as jams, nuts and coffee, be aware of expiration dates.

Be sure to remove the gift card enclosure. When I was a newly-wed college student, I’ll never forget “re-gifting” a wedding gift to another young couple, but I forgot to remove the gift card that was tucked between the item and the tissue paper. At a gathering of college friends a few years later, the other couple shared my faux pas with me and we all had a good laugh. But, this embarrassing blunder is not one you want to commit!

Re-gift in different circles. When storing an item to re-gift later, place a sticky note on it with the name of the giver. Then, re-gift in a different circle such as family, work friends, church, Bunco or Bridge group, etc.

Re-gift the item specifically to someone you know will appreciate it and use it. For example, if you have an assortment of specialty teas in a decorative tin in your gift closet and coffee is your drink of choice, this is the perfect gift for the tea aficionado on your list. Also, avoid re-gifting items that are too personal such as scented soaps, perfume and wine.