The Ultimate Guide To Re-Gifting​​​​​​​


Christmas is on the horizon and you know what that means. The season of gift getting is officially upon us. We’ve all been there: you open a present as someone looks on with high expectations. But when you tear through the festive wrapping paper and fish out your gift, you find yourself underwhelmed...and maybe even disappointed. Let me throw this out there: gift giving is HARD. Sometimes no matter how well you know a person, or how much you love them, or how much money you spend on them, you just can’t hit that sweet spot of something that they’ll really like and actually use.

So you have a gift that you’re not in love with. Is it cool to pass it along to someone else, who may love it more than you do? In my opinion, the answer is yes—with a few exceptions. Here are the rules of re-gifting all in one place, so that you can turn a gift into a gesture. Because it really is better to give than to receive.

Acceptable Re-Gifts:

Winter Accessories

For the most part, these will look great on anyone. Who doesn’t love a scarf? And actually on that note, what’s wrong with you? Why are you re-gifting this cute scarf?? JK.

Gift Cards

As long as it’s for a store that you know the person likes, everyone loves the option to pick their own gift. Easy bets are things like Starbucks, Sephora, Amazon, iTunes, Apple, etc.

Beauty Products

For the most part, beauty products can be universally appreciated. Avoid regifting foundations and concealers that come in specific shades and instead go for eyeshadow palettes, mascaras, and skincare items.

Wine, Liquor, Chocolates

So I love giving and receiving all of these things! Often, I find that I’ll bring these to an event as a hostess gift—you won’t really see me buying any of these for someone I know really well. My family hosts a holiday brunch every year and we often find ourselves with dozens of bottles of wine afterwards. But if the flavor or the taste isn’t for you, don’t feel bad about passing these along to someone who will appreciate them more.

Soap, Hand Cream, Candles

These things can be universally loved and appreciated so if you get a scent you're not in love with or you can't use a certain moisturizer, there's definitely someone else who will be happy to receive them.

Avoid Re-Gifting These:


Especially if you’ve worn it before, don’t even try it. Sizing and color and personal taste all factor into this and unless your BFF has the exact same taste as you, it will more than likely be a flop. Instead donate unwanted but lightly worn clothing to the Red Cross or another worthy cause.

Anything personalized

I mean, I shouldn’t have to say this, but if it’s monogrammed, DON’T DO IT. Anything that has your name embroidered, stamped, or glued onto an item is something that you will have to either learn to love or let go of.

Anything that you got more than 3 years ago

People are pretty aware (sometimes too aware) of what’s going on out in the world, so if you’re trying to hook them up with an flip phone or an iTunes gift card...get with the times.

Home decor

This may not apply as much to 20-year-olds whose apartments often are more eclectic, but I think that once you get a little older, you like to be the one to buy things for your home. Most of the people I know have apartments or houses that center on a specific color scheme or idea, and that can make it hard to shop for someone else’s home. Chances are what works for you may not make sense for someone else.


What are your rules of re-gifting?