Monday, December 19, 2011

An Ethical Question

Is re-gifting okay?  Is it okay in some situations but not others? 

What do you think about re-gifting?  Do you ever do it?

A while back, someone gave me a bottle of Champagne.  Very nice.  Then I noticed that they had received the bottle as a gift from someone else -- because that original gift-giver had printed his name on the label!  I don't know who that person is. 

This is like getting a watch, turning it over, and seeing an inscription, "To Joey with love from Mom" when your name isn't Joey...


  1. I think it depends on the gift. Wine (or champagne, in your case) is okay to re-gift. A lot of people don't drink or are particular about their wine, so they may have gotten something they knew they would never drink.
    Unless the original giftee's name is on the bottle! LOL! You know the gifter never even noticed that.

    Other than that, I can't really think of anything else that is appropriate to re-gift.

  2. Yeah I'd say 90% of the time it's ok to regift. Especially booze/food things. However if someone printed your name on something. I would say 'Not OK to re-gift'.

  3. LOL! poor Joey's Mom... I once bought a used book at the bookstore (Harry Potter) that had the sweetest "Happy Birthday, Joey! I know you love Wizards! Love, Aunty" type of message on the inside. Apparently, Aunty was wrong...

    I think it's perfectly fine to regift most of the time -- you just absolutely have to make sure that all indications of the regifting act have been erased! That's regift commandment number 1!!

  4. I think re-gifting is fine if it's something that the recipient would use, that you haven't used, and that isn't still obviously addressed to someone else.

    I frequently get presents from my family that aren't things I'd care for (jewelry, socks, items that aren't my size), and my mom and I openly "regift" each other things right after the holidays with things we think the other might use from these gifts.

    Doing it with friends may be a little touchier in terms of appropriateness.

    Personally, the worst gifts to receive are ones I wouldn't use. Someone may think me selfish or rude, but giving a thoughtless gift can mean giving someone the obligation to get rid of it without offending the giver. I'd honestly rather receive nothing but holiday well-wishing than clutter or a guilt trip.

    As for gifting of the champagne, I probably would have laughed a bit, but drank it (if I drank) anyway. Consumeables are the best gifts next to money/giftcards.

  5. I think regifting is fine if the item is something that you wouldn't use, but know that someone else would really like that item. You do have to be careful though about tag!
    Your champagne is one of those memorable gifts that will be a funny memory for a long time.

  6. I think it's all right, depending on the situation. For example, if the person who received the champagne chose not to drink, and knew you appreciated a fine champagne, the thought of wanting to do well by you is still there. Of course, I might have been more overt about it ("I received this and knew you'd appreciate it more than me").

    We found ourselves in a weird situation this year. We kept a detailed list of what we received for our wedding and who we received it from. We've been to two weddings since then, and reciprocated the exact gift (in both cases, cash). I know in that case, even though it wasn't technically a re-gift, it certainly doesn't have as much thought as, say, a regift carefully selected.

  7. I've done it. I do it. It's all about how you go about it. I'm regifting a bath & body set I got last year not because I don't like it, but because I'm allergic to an ingredient in it AND I think the person I'm giving it to will actually like it and be able to use it. But some people, like in your case, fail at regifting, and that bothers me. Like, last year, my aunt gave my mom a book for Christmas, and on the inside cover, "[Aunt's name]: I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do!!! [Original gift giver's name]" That's just tacky.

  8. I do it all the time ... for people who you just have to get that obligatory gift (like all the birthday parties that my kids would go to when they were little? Definitely recycled gifts). And if I get something that I don't particularly care for? But I know the person who I'm regifting it to will like it? I go for it.

  9. Well it should ideally not be so obvious! But otherwise I'm all in favour of regifting... there's enough clutter in life without hanging on to things that I don't use when they could be gifted away!

  10. I think re-gifting is okay. AS LONG AS THEY DON'T KNOW, and the gift isn't a crappy one.
    Thank you for your lovely comment and for sharing your story! Must have felt great, knowing you were the best dressed man in the restaurant ;)


  11. I was taught that gifts are gifts...even if they were meant for someone else and you should be happy you got anything at all. I think if someone's heart is in the spirit of the season it is all good. I mean, if I was a non-drinker (heaven forbid), and I got a lovely bottle of booze, I would totally give it to someone I know would appreciate it.

  12. I re-gift pretty frequently - I really think its the spirit of the gift that matters so if someone gifts me something that I know I won't be able to use, as grateful as I am for the gift, I try to pass it along to someone who will appreciate it more.

    xoxo ~ Courtney

  13. I'm a regifter, because I'm extremely picky and am trying to reduce the amount of clutter in my life. So keeping something just because someone gave it to me isn't a good enough reason. Throwing it away is wasteful, donating it isn't always practical, and if someone else would enjoy it, I will certainly pass it on. I regift things vendors bring me at work all the time, along with the incentive things that we get if we order X amount of merchandise from our office supplies company. (Somebody's getting a KitchenAid pot!)

    However, there's certainly regifting etiquette to be followed, and a sharp eye is the most important thing! Honestly, I may have missed this one since you don't expect personalized labels. I would have gotten it, said thanks, put it away, and given it to a champagne lover at the first opportunity.

  14. Re-gifting is ok, I think, but NEVER EVER when the person's name is still on the gift. That's just rude!

  15. I don't know if its ok, but I admit to doing it.
    Alcohol is on top of the list, followed by house goods for the most part...

  16. Re-gifting is fine, but no it´s right gift things with others names...

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  17. I only want to see someone's name on a gift if it's 100 years old and I'm picking it up at an antique store. Then it has character.

    Regifting is OK when there's no name or identifiable features on it. You also can't give it to a friend within the same circle of friends or else the original giver might recognize the gift.

    I don't mind getting regifted presents. If anyone has received a fancy diamond necklace that you don't want, please send it my way! :)

  18. I personally have never done it, but I don't know how I would feel if I got the gift. I think if it was something that I really would like and the person giving it to me thought so, then I would be okay.

  19. I don't actually do it because I usually get practical girfts or at least I always find a use for them but you could if no one's name is on it.


  20. LOL regifting is fine, I even do it myself occasionally. The trick, besides making sure no identifying information is on the regift (too funny!), is to regift to someone in a different circle.

    For example, my sister gives me something I can't use. I wouldn't give it to my other sister, or any of our "people in common". I would give it to a girlfriend who doesn't know my family, or my secretary.

    But only if I genuinely think it is something they would like better than me. I won't regift random junk!

    The key to regifting is that nobody is the wiser!

  21. I was reading something the other day about re-gifting ... the best thing especially in the case of this bottle of champagne would be to give it back to the same person who gave it to you. They suggested that you give the person the gift back as they must have liked it to have given it to you in the first place!!! LOL!!!

    I TOTALLY believe in re-gifting (decluttering) as I have a 'one in - one out' philosophy. Last year I got a set of dishes from one of my sisters. I packed the whole set out on the dining room table and looked at them critically and decided which I would use and those that didn't make the cut were gifted to someone else together with the number of dishes I had to remove out of the cupboard for these to replace. I believe in blessing others with my excess. Some of the dishes went into my gift cupboard and have been given as gifts with cheese and biscuits/snacks/etc.