We’ve all done it at some point: A friend gave us a gift we really didn’t want or need, and we fobbed it off to someone else at the next available opportunity. Whether this gift was a bottle of wine brought to a dinner party or a sweater you were given for Christmas, the same re-gifting rules apply, and the same mistakes are often made. Make sure that next time you’re presenting your friend with a box of chocolates you received from another friend, you don’t embarrass yourself and appear cheap, selfish, or thoughtless by avoiding these six re-gifting etiquette mistakes.
Friend of a Friend
If you give the gift you received to a friend or acquaintance of the original gift-giver, you run the risk of being found out by the person the gift originally came from. The person you’re re-giving it to may have already seen it or maybe even received the same gift.
Give Back to the Giver
If you’ve had lots of unwanted gifts lying around for some time, it can be easy to forget who gave you what. If you’re even the tiniest bit unsure of who gave you the gift, don’t re-gift it, as you could make the worst re-gifting mistake of giving it back to the original owner.
If you’ve had a gift sitting around for such a long time that it’s no longer in season, on trend, or edible, then don’t be tempted to re-gift it. Either cut your losses and throw it out or donate it to charity.
Before you re-gift, make sure you inspect it closely to ensure that there is no trace of personalization on it. Whether it’s a card addressed to you tucked inside, or if it’s embossed with a monogram, be sure to triple-check so that you don’t get caught at your re-gifting game.
If you received a gift that you thought was so terrible that you laughed and cried upon opening it — and for days afterwards — just don’t re-gift it. Not only is it unfair on the recipient to give them such a bad gift, but it only reflects poorly on your own tastes.
If you didn’t think the gift you received was that bad when you first opened it, so you tried it out before realizing that actually you don’t really want it at all, you can no longer put this into the re-gift pile. Once used, a gift should never, ever be given again.