Recycling unwanted gifts is a growing practice, especially in today’s economy. And there’s nothing wrong with it as long as you follow some basic regifting rules. Disregard them and you could end up hurting someone’s feelings and appearing thoughtless.
If you are the recipient of a nice gift that—for whatever reason—does not work for you, consider passing it on to someone else. But before you do that, make sure you understand the etiquette of this practice.
Receiving the Gift
Show gratitude when someone gives you something, even if you don’t want the item. If you decide to regift instead of donate to a thrift store, choose the person whom you would like to pass it on to. Having a regifting box will help you find a new home for unwanted items and keep clutter under control.
Some items, however, should never be regifted because people may have allergies to certain foods and chemicals, or their tastes may be very different.
Avoid food (i.e., canned ham or fruitcake), perfume, wine or champagne, monogrammed or other personalized items or used times. If the item you received is cheap-looking or poorly made, donate it instead. If it looks cheap to you, it will look cheap to others.
When handling the gift, remember to remove the original wrapping paper and rewrap it in your own. Make sure the box is in good condition so the item doesn’t appear used. Check the item and make sure there are no cards or names on or in the packaging.
If you just can’t bear having to explain to someone what happened to the gift they gave you, take the initiative by photographing yourself with the gift before you regift it. Then send them the photo. They’ll appreciate it.
Finally, put some thought into the gift. Make sure it is something the recipient would want or need.