You can regift something only if it meets the following criteria, says Jodi R.R. Smith, author of From Clueless to Class Act: Manners for the Modern Woman ($10, amazon.com).
- It is new and has never been opened.
- It’s something you would have bought for the person anyway.
- The original giver and the new recipient don’t know each other at all.
- You’ve completely rewrapped it.
The only exception to the above? “If you’re giving an heirloom that you know the recipient will love,” says Smith.
And Learn From These Regifting Mistakes
Sadly, not everyone follows the rules above, as these stories from Real Simple readers prove.
“We received a waffle iron for a wedding gift and there was leftover waffle mix still on it. Gross!”
―Tracey Webster, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
“In 2008, when my daughter was born, someone gave us a Christmas ornament that said, ‘Baby’s First Christmas.’ Sweet. But when I turned the ornament around, it also showed the year―2002. Needless to say, it didn’t make it onto our tree.”
―Traci Ruhl Peugh, Rogue River, Oregon
“When my sister got married, she received a fondue set from my cousin―one of five total that she received. Months later, when she went to use it, there was a note inside the pot that was written to my cousin from someone else wishing the cousin a happy wedding day. My sister had actually regifted the other four sets, so thank God she kept the one with the incriminating note!”
―Rogenia Argoe Lembo, Manassas, Virginia