Re-Gifting: The Gift That Keeps on Giving?


Our friend Jane was recently invited to a wedding.  She went on her friend Anna’s registry and started searching for a gift to buy, when it dawned on her that she had a closet full of unwanted gifts she had received for her own wedding the year before.  She ran to her closet and pulled out a Nambe bowl -  perfect, she thought!  True, it wasn’t really her friend’s taste (at all), and it was no longer returnable, but it was brand new – and probably cost more than she would have spent on a wedding gift for Anna anyway…  Delighted with her find, and the idea that she would not have to outlay any more cash for Anna’s gift, Jane re-wrapped the bowl feeling she had done her part in recycling– so to speak…

So, what do you think?  Was Jane acting frugal by re-gifting the expensive Nambe bowl..or was she just being cheap?  Do you think it’s okay to re-gift a present? When is it NOT okay?  What about kid’s birthday presents? Holiday gifts? Hostess gifts?  When is re-gifting frugal and when is it cheap?

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11 Responses to “Re-Gifting: The Gift That Keeps on Giving?”

  1. This is not okay, especially for a wedding. No matter how well you know someone, it is not good to steer off the registry unless for a gift card or gift of money. Developing a registry is hard enough for a couple to agree on things to put in their home, so respect their choices. It will only incite an argument if you regift – one of them will have to defend it or they’ll have to choose words carefully for the thank you. Be courteous by remembering this is their day and you are offering a gift because you care about them – so don’t be selfish and bring something you don’t like/use to get off your hands. That’s not frugal – that’s rude!

    Regifting can be appropriate in some circumstances, such as when you know the person you’re giving it to really wanted/needs it. When in doubt, perhaps you should package up two gifts – one you purchase and another regift.

  2. I think that was just being lazy, not cheap or frugal. Instead of finding something that was her friend’s taste Jane just picked something out the closet and gave that instead. It doesn’t matter if it was more expensive than what she would have spent, it’s the thought and there was no thought behind that gift.

    Re-gifting is okay if you really think the person would like it and they would have no idea that it was gifted to you first. Don’t re-gift within your circle of friends. A better idea is to sell the item on ebay and then use that $$ to buy a proper gift.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    This is cheap and lazy! If you know the person would not like the gift, then why are you giving it to them, other than being too cheap and too lazy to go buy something they would like. I really don’t think it needs to be off the registry, but it needs to be something you know they would like.
    In certain circumstances regifting is okay, but this is not one of those situations. Regifting something you don’t like to someone else when you know that it is not in their taste is really cheap and rude.

  4. carol says:

    Jane doesn’t seem like a good friend. Giving a gift that number one, she knows her friend won’t like, and number two, is not returnable, is just rude and tacky. Jane wasn’t being frugal, just cheap.

  5. Ian says:

    GOOD & FRUGAL! I’d like to say a few words IN FAVOR of re-gifting. The problem here is that she didn’t think the re-gift was her friends taste, not that she was re-gifting. Regifting can have just as much thought (sometimes more) than buying new. Not only is it frugal, it more environmental (you’re recycling!) and may end up with the gift receiver getting a much nicer gift than you can otherwise afford to give. I say get over yourselves people, and do a little re-gifting. It’s good for the soul…

    • Elodie says:

      Absolutely no way. Re-gifting is doubly rude. Rude to the person who gave you the gift and rude to the person you’re giving it to.
      If I don’t like a gift, I give it away to someone who will, telling them that it is an unwanted gift.
      Re-gifting is masquerading as a generous person, when you’re merely a cheapskate who don’t want to spend money on others. I will never re-gift and I would be very sad if I found out someone gave me an unwanted gift while making it sound like they bought it.

  6. Erin says:

    I don’t think regifting is horrible, but for someone’s wedding you should get them something they will like and use. Probably the reason Jane didn’t like the bowl enough to use it herself is because it wasn’t on HER registry! I would think to stick to the registry unless you know them really well and make sure what you get them is something you KNOW thay will love, no need to ruin a friendship over money of all things! On the other side I think regifting can be useful, but I would make sure a. it’s something they will use and b. I would give it as a just because gift, not just to save money. :)

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  8. Gologan says:

    Pretty good article. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.

  9. shericost says:

    In her case regifting was just being cheap. You can regift with taste. She know her friend did not like the bowl so why do that. Not a wedding gift maybe a birthday or a hostess gift. I have done regifting but know the person would like the gift.

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