The seven simple rules of regifting

Regifting is a beautiful thing.

Wait. Check that. Thoughtful regifting is a beautiful thing. Smart regifting is a wonderful thing. Haphazard regifting is a bad thing, and a potentially dangerous one at that.

Regifting is a great way to show someone you’re thinking of them without spending any money. But that’s only if you do it right. And how do you regift the right way? By following the seven simple rules of regifting.

  1. Never used. Just because you’ve hardly used that blender and you’ve still got the box lying around doesn’t mean it’s okay to tape the whole thing up and stick it under the Christmas tree. Partially used gift cards aren’t a great idea either. Gifts should be unused, in their original packaging.
  2. Light on sentimental value. Did someone knit you that hat? Then that’s your hat – don’t try to give it away. Particularly sentimental gifts aren’t very good candidates for regifting. If you really don’t want it, consider giving it to charity instead.
  3. Nothing personalized. A book you don’t want could make a good present for someone else, but if the original giver inscribed some thoughtful words on the inside cover it becomes a slightly less good present for someone else. Basically, if your name’s on it anywhere, don’t regift it.
  4. Have a reason. The most important rule of regifting is the central rule of all gifting – have a reason for giving what you give. Giving any gift just for the sake of giving it undermines the joy of giving. Only regift something that you believe the receiver would value and enjoy.
  5. Consider the original giver. In general, people give you gifts because they think you’ll like them. There’s a universal understanding, however, that sometimes gift-giving misses the mark. So it’s not entirely surprising or shocking that sometimes you’ll give a gift that the receiver then turns around and gives to someone else. It happens. Still, it’s good form to make sure the regifted gift doesn’t end up some place where the original giver will see it – or worse, accidentally given back to the original giver as a regift.
  6. Presentation matters. Regifting means saving on the cost of a new purchase, but it doesn’t mean you can skip the time it takes to make it look nice.
  7. No shame. You don’t need to announce to anyone that you’re regifting (in fact, don’t), but at the same time don’t feel weird about it either. If you’ve followed all the other rules you’ve given someone something they’ll cherish more than you would have. And that’s a great thing!

The most important thing to remember is the spirit of why you’re doing what you’re doing. As long as there’s meaning, thought, and good intention to your giving you really can’t go wrong.

If you're looking for more regifting inspiration (regifspiration?), then check out some of our favorite regifting stories:

Jesse Campbell is the Content Manager at MMI. All typos are a stylistic choice, honest.