C'mon now.  Have you ever regifted a gift?  I have.  I'm not ashamed to admit it.  Why not?  If it is really something you know someone can use and will want, I say go for it!

According to a survey on Re-Gifting by American Express:

  • 33% of Americans will recycle a holiday gift this year.
  • 37% of those people earning more than $50,000 a year confess to recycling
  • 22% of those earning less than $50,000 admit to recycling a gift.

Cosmopolitan knows that re-gifting (aka giving a present you've received to someone else) is slightly risky, but you can pull it off if done it right. After all, why should you be expected to keep perfectly good presents that don't work for you but might for someone else?

  • Regift Rule 1 -- Never regift a present you've already used even once, it's just tacky.
  • Regift Rule 2 -- Inspect before you wrap. Look for things like fingerprints on a bottle of wine, old sell-by dates on food, or missing warranty cards from appliances or electronics.
  • Regift Rule 3 -- Rewrap the present in a decorative gift bag or a plain white box with tissue paper. If your regift has a few items, opt for a cellophane-wrapped basket, tied with colorful ribbon.
  • Regift Rule 4 - Do not go back to the store you know it's from and try to get a bag. Should your giftee go to return it, they'll be in a for an unpleasant surprise when she finds out that product hasn't been in stock for the past two years.

The Emily Post Institute offers the final word on re-gifting: It should be done only rarely, and under specific criteria:

  • You are certain the gift is something the recipient would enjoy.
  • The gift is brand new and comes with its original box and instructions.
  • The gift isn't handmade, or one that the original giver took great care to select.