Got some holiday gifts you’re never going to use? Yes, it’s risky to recycle them as presents for others—but these regifting guidelines can help you pull it off.

By Betsy Goldberg
Updated December 23, 2015
Jamie Chung
Jamie Chung

Label the Gift You Want to Unload

Tag the gift with a sticky note that has the name of the person who gave it to you. If you opened the package in front of others (say, at a holiday party), include the names of everyone else at that event too. This way, you’ll avoid regifting the item to the gift giver or anyone who may have seen you open it. (Just don’t forget to remove the sticky note before rewrapping!)

Gift Outside Social Circles

For added insurance, avoid regifting to anyone who knows the original gift giver. It’s the best way to stay in the clear.

Repackage Unused Gift Cards

If the “To/From” portion on the cardboard packaging is filled out, remove the gift card and use glue dots to adhere it to the inside of a new card.

Don’t Rush It

As long as the gift doesn’t have any sort of expiration date, it’s best to hold on to it for at least six months or so before regifting. That way, even if you do trip up, the recipient may not notice.

Disguise It in a Gift Basket

It’s easy to pass off smaller items as fresh gifts when they’re grouped together with a few other trinkets (like a candle, teas, a journal) as part of a personalized gift basket.

Prepare for a Regifting Fail, Just in Case

If you get caught in the act, you can escape awkwardness with a crafty line like, “I loved this product so much that it’s become my go-to gift to give.” Prefer to take the honest route? Try a straightforward response: “Someone gave this to me, but I thought it would work better for you. If it’s not right, I’m happy to take it back and get you something else.”