Is It OK To Regift?

There comes a time in everyone’s life where, let’s face it, we receive a gift that is just a bit… shit. Usually it comes about because the person has just not put any thought in to the gift and it’s totally wrong for you. Or they were being a little stingy and bought something easy and cheap just to get it out of the way. It might even be that the gift is another of something you already have – not necessarily the gift-giver’s fault. Is it ok to regift this little-bit-crap present?

Here are some things to think about:

#1 Will the next person appreciate the gift?

Just as you didn’t love getting the gift in the first place, consider whether your second-hand gift recipient will enjoy receiving it. If it was just a bad choice of gift for you, it’s entirely possible that the next person might like it – we’re all different. If you’re gifting a video game to a person who’s never owned a game console, perhaps that’s not such a good idea.

If the gift is simply something you already had another of, go ahead. But always make sure your recipient is the person you’re thinking of – don’t just see this as an opportunity to pass on something you don’t want. That’s not any way to make someone feel special.

#2 Will the original gift-giver be upset?

Sometimes people are attached to the junk they gift you, and if they don’t see that cupcake-shaped cookie jar on your bench each time they visit you, they’ll be forever offended (this was an actual thing that happened). So you keep that giant disgusting cupcake jar on your bench for the next year. The following year you put it out again each time they visit, until they finally forget about it and you can trash it.

The point is, if they’re likely to be offended that you don’t like their gift, you have two options. You could stick with it and skirt around their disappointment, or you could talk to them frankly and put forward an excuse as to why you don’t want it any more.

“I don’t have enough space for this cupcake jar,” or “It’s just not my style,” would do. Then feel free to regift it to that friend who loves cutesy baking-related ceramics.

#3 How would you feel if someone did it to you?

Hopefully you’re the kind of person who puts thought into every gift you give, trying to bring joy to your loved ones. Hopefully we’re all that kind of person. That’s not to say that gifts you give people are always spot on. And you know your Mum would fake happiness just to make you feel like your gift was good.

Let’s be real – if you’re reading this wondering whether it’s OK to give away that ceramic cupcake, you’re probably on the OK side of whether it’s OK to regift. If you’re fine with re-gifting yourself, you really should be applying that sentiment when you’re the victim of it, too. And hopefully whoever gives you your next gift has read this article, too.

If you’re keen to regift to newlyweds, read more here.

Mitch is Editor of The Cusp and is pro-regifting under the right circumstances.