Is it okay to regift presents?

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It’s a question we all wonder…is it bad to regift presents bad? You’re bound to receive a few Christmas presents that you don’t love, so is it okay to regift them or should you keep them and let them gather dust?

I’m guilty of regifting.

To be completely honest, I think a lot of people are. I’m 100% certain I’ve been regifted presents before and I probably will be this year too.


What is ‘regifting’?

When you give somebody a present (or gift) that you’ve been given by somebody else. You don’t say it’s come from somebody else and you act as though you bought it for them.

Prefer to watch?

Check out the video version from sister blog Save Like A Bear. They borrowed an AI (! can’t give one of those for Xmas…) to make the video, so see what you think of that experiment also.

Why do people regift presents?

There are so many reasons why somebody might want to regift presents, it could be simply because they don’t like or want it or because they already have one.

Regifting isn’t always because you have no use for it, maybe you can’t afford to buy a new present for someone else (check out my stocking fillers for under £5 blog post) or you’re in a last minute rush and have no time to get to the shops or wait for online delivery.

A lot of people have a stash of cards and small gifts ‘just in case’ for those last minute panics. I’m pretty sure that a few of those gifts came from other people…

Pros and cons of regifting presents


  • Saves money and time finding and buying a present for someone
  • Helps you to declutter your unwanted things (learn how to sell them here)
  • It’s a win-win if you will be regifting something the recipient will really like
  • Environmentally friendly


  • Some people frown upon it and think it’s rude or deceitful
  • You could be caught out if you regift something back to the person who gave it to you
  • Might not have the personal touch. If you bought something, there’s a higher chance that you thought about it and are giving them something they’ll like.
  • Someone might ask to see or use the gift you’ve already passed on…that could be an awkward conversation!


What things are acceptable to regift and what isn’t?

In my opinion, there are certain things that you can get away passing onto someone else and likewise there are certain things that you shouldn’t (or can’t) really pass on.


  • Bath stuff – bath sets, bath bombs, skincare items
  • Beauty – perfume, makeup, hair stuff
  • Stationary
  • Home wear – candles, cushions, hampers, photo frames
  • Accessories – bags, purses, wallets, jewellery


  • Unique or sentimental items such as a souvenir from somebody’s holiday
  • Anything which makes the gift specific for you such as a name or age on it (unless they have the same name or are the same age as you)
  • Matching items – remember those matching bracelets you’d get with your best friend? It wouldn’t be acceptable to pass yours onto somebody else. Or whatever the adult version of that is.
  • Out of season items – if you receive a bath set for Christmas that has snowflakes on and you give it to somebody in April for their birthday, that’s a very obvious regift. Don’t do it.


What you can do instead of regifting presents?

If it doesn’t sit right with you or you have nobody in mind to regift presents to, there’s quite a few other ways to get it out the house if that’s the aim:

Donate it to charity

The next time you take a bag of old stuff to the charity shop, throw in all of your unwanted gifts. It helps you clear them out and benefits the charity when they sell them.

Donate to a homeless shelter or food bank

Similarly, you can often donate certain gifts such as bath sets, clothing and food hampers to your local food bank or homeless shelter. It’s a great way to give something to the people who need it the most. You won’t miss that bright green bobble hat but to a homeless person that could make all the difference during a cold winter’s night.

Sell it

This could be another blog post in itself! Like regifting, some people think negatively about selling on gifts for profit. There are pros and cons to everything. If it is a sellable item and for whatever reason you aren’t able to regift or donate it then selling it may be a suitable option.

Give it away as a gesture

Be honest about where it came from rather than packaging it up (quite literally) as a gift you’ve especially bought for somebody. This can easily be done by saying ‘I got this for Christmas but it’s not really my thing, I thought you might like it’. Sorted!

Keep onto it and hope you end up using it one day

Keep onto things in the hope that maybe one day you’ll use it. It’s not the most efficient option…

Kindly give it back to them if/when appropriate

This works best with close family or people who won’t be offended. One of the easiest things to give back to somebody without seeming rude is food and drinks. Especially around Christmas, kitchens are full with food and drink so if somebody brings over a pudding or bottle that you’re not too keen on, use the ‘we have so much to eat/drink already, but thank you’ excuse and politely ask them to take it back with them.


How can I buy better presents?

Of course, none of this would be a consideration if we got it right first time. Here are some suggestions:

What about buying an experience from Buyagift instead of something that might gather dust?

Or personalising a gift for anyone from Menkind?

As a podcaster and podcast lover I was surprised to learn you can gift Audible audiobooks or subscriptions:

Check their size before buying anything in an ASOS sale…

Pool your money together and go away, and support UK businesses at the same time:

Etsy is a haven for more specific and personalised gifts:

You can also make gifts and cards more personal at Moonpig:

Snapfish are all about helping you turn photos into mementos:

If they’re a creative type themselves, I’d look into supplies from somewhere like CraftStash:

I noticed Paperchase have bumped up their student discount to 25% for a while; it usually varies between 10 and 20%, so see how much you can snag off for that friend who loves items to be beautiful and practical:


So, is it bad to regift presents?

Ultimately, regifting presents can be deemed ‘bad’ if you have no need to regift or you’re not thinking about the feelings of the person who gave it to you originally. If you’re going to regift this year, take a few moments to think about it before you get caught out or possible offend somebody.

Have you ever regifted a present, or received one that was regifted? Let me know by commenting below!

16 thoughts on “Is it okay to regift presents?

Add yours

  1. Regifting is a great option for things that you wont use! I don’t understand the stigma at all!!! Al;though if you gave it back to the same person that would be bad lol! I guess you do have to think about it first! Great post!

    1. Thank you Megan! Yes, be veey careful with that haha! I’ve even written a label saying who it was from so I never accidentally give it back ?

  2. I have regifted presents in the past. Especially to relatives who had bought me something and I had felt bad about not buying for them. I think there is nothing wrong with it.

  3. I love that this topic is something people usually avoid but you addressed it very tactfully. Like you said, I think everybody has re-gifted at least ONCE in their lifetime (I know I have…?) but sometimes the gift you receive honestly just fits someone else much better. Thanks for the tips on re-gifting (like food/drinks; that one is brilliant!) and discussing something nobody really talks about!

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Heather! It’s a bit of a taboo but it really shouldn’t be. We’ve all done it before or considered it at least…

  4. I have regifted some lovely things that were just not me, and would have been wasted. I’d like to see it as a more sustainable way of giving gifts if it is appropriate to the person

    1. So true! If it’s going to sit around and collect dust then I think it’s definitely better to pass it on than let it go to waste as you said.

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