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To Re-Gift Or Not to Re-Gift, That is the Question

Patricia Campbell

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With a nod of thanks to Mr. Shakespeare, let's talk about re-gifting. It continues to be a hot topic; so let's just wade right into the controversy!

My short answer is - YES! Absolutely re-gift - but I do have a few basic caveats.

First, think about your reason for re-gifting. Is it something lovely, but just not your taste, and you know it's perfect for your friend? Then by all means, re-gift it to her. But if you're looking at it and thinking it's the ugliest - tackiest - lamest - dumbest gift of all time - then do not re-gift. Under those circumstances it's best to hide it away in a closet and only bring out when the gifter is present (usually the case when certain family members are involved. )

Or, if you're not going to suffer any negative consequences from not keeping the gift around; by all means donate it to a charity, or sell it on an internet site: Craig's List, Ebay, etc. Who knows? Someone else might find it positively fabulous. Again, just make sure that the gifter won't be any the wiser; as you don't want to have any hurt feelings.

So now that your re-gifting motivation is out of the way, here are some practicalities.

Keep track of who gave you the gift in the first place, so you never, ever accidentally return it to that person. That would be the ultimate faux pas, and certain to cause serious strain, if not ruin a relationship.

Re-package the gift. No, you don't have to find another blender box to put the blender into. But you must do completely new wrapping, bows and gift card, or a new gift bag, tissues and ribbon. It's just downright tacky to give something perfectly nice, but leave it in the old wrapping.

And when you're re-packaging, check twice to make sure that the original gift tag (addressed to you) has not somehow found it's way into the new package. The jig's up if Aunt Mary opens the gift bag, and laying at the bottom is a card reading, “With love to Jane and Scott. " Hard to talk your way out of that one!

And please, do be sure that the gift is viable to begin with. That tin containing a fruitcake from ten years ago is NOT a viable gift. And that expensive bottle of single malt scotch your boss gave you (but darn, you only drink vodka) don't even think about giving it to your friend who tends to imbibe a bit too much! Always keep in mind the gift giving mantra: Know Your Audience.

And finally, ask yourself one more time, “Is this item lovely - for the other person?" Is it something that will be appreciated and deemed “fabulous" by your intended recipient? Will their response to the gift be, “Oh, I really love it?"

With these caveats in mind, re-gift away to your heart's content. I'll never tell!

Patricia Campbell is the founder and president of Bella Figura USA, an online boutique specializing in artisan home and fashion accessories, and eco-chic gifts from around the world. She also writes for several blogs, including Savvy Style, The Gift Corner and Travels With Bella Figura USA. To find a wide variety of unique, luxury gifts, visit us at


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