How To Re-Gift Like A Boss

December 20, 2012 by Caroline_Sessoms
shefinds | Style

Today is National Re-Gifting Day, and we’re celebrating by bringing you all the resources you need to be an expert re-gifter. Hesitant? Don’t worry, 68% percent of Americans admit to having re-gifted, which means it isn’t as un-common as you think. Plus, with our expert tips, no one will even know.

Avoid Getting A Bad Gift. As with anything else, prevention is key, so take steps to ensure you don’t get a bad gift. There are dozens of gift registry phone apps that you don’t have to be a bride to use. We’re fans of MyRegistry, a free iPhone app that allows you to place items on your wish list and share it with friends via social media. And if you’re into Facebook applications, try FulfillMyWishList, which works the same way. Alternatively, a more subtle approach would be to create a “Wish List” Pinterest board and direct your friends and family there.

Write A Thank-You Note. Even if you get a gift you hate and plan to re-gift or return, write a thank you note to the giver. According to etiquette expert Sarah Kidder, once you’ve done that then “it’s your gift to do with as you please (but not in a way that insults the giver).” Additionally, the thank-you note should prevent gift inquiries down the line.

Don’t Get Caught. This is a multi-step process, so be sure to read them all!

  1. Make sure to remove all markers or cards that could blow your cover and then double check. It would be terrible to get a gift with someone else’s name on it!
  2. Give the unwanted gift to someone who doesn’t run in the same social circle as the friend who gave it to you. Otherwise, social media (seeing a photo of the gift on Facebook) could give you away. One way to ensure your friend never knows is to use a site like, which lets you sell unwanted gift cards or, which allows you to post what you have and swap it for something someone else has.
  3. Re-wrap the gift to give it some extra pizazz, no one suspects the prettiest package to be a re-gift.

What To Say If You Do Get Caught. So you didn’t listen to our steps and you got caught? No worries, you have a couple of face-saving options, depending on your friend’s intelligence level.

  1. If she’s gullible, you can lie, and say “I just loved what you got me so much, that I knew it would be perfect for her, too!”
  2. If she’s savvy, tell the truth, but in the classic “It’s not you it’s me!” kind of way and say, “I know you put a lot of thought into that present for me, but I knew I wouldn’t use it and didn’t want it to go to waste, so I gave it to her because she would truly appreciate it’s coolness.”

When to NOT Re-Gift. As much as we love re-gifting, there are times when it just isn’t the best decision. Don’t believe us? Check out the stories on this re-gifting community site and then ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is this piece a collector’s item? If so, make some cash by selling it on eBay. It’s not tacky, it’s smart. We promise.
  2. Is it something you could use in the future? Sure you don’t have a need for that serving dish now, but you might decide to be the dinner party queen one day.
  3. Is it something you can return? Nordstrom, L.L. Bean, Zappos, Ikea, and the Gap all have incredibly liberal return policies – so if the item hailed from one of those stores, consider taking it back.
  4. Have you worn it? If it’s something that you’ve worn – even just once – do NOT even think about re-gifting. Only re-gift things in tip-top shape.
  5. Who gave it to you? If it was your best friend or a significant other, re-gifting or returning could cause some seriously hurt feelings and could even damage your relationship, which is just not worth it. Hold your tongue and hold on to the gift.

Now that you know the in’s and out’s of re-gifting, share your stories (or nightmares!) in the comments section below.

And be sure to check out what people really mean when they get a gift, and take a look at our Going Going Gone gift guide for gifts won’t get re-gifted!



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