Etiquette Expert Weighs In On The Rules Of Re-Gifting


giftIt was once thought of as tacky or tasteless, but now re-gifting is a way of life. But there are some ways to pull it off without getting caught, CBS 2′s Emily Smith reports.

It’s that time of year when people are rushing out to get the perfect Chanukah presents, but all to often what lies beneath the wrapping paper isn’t always what you want or need.

In a new research poll conducted for, 41 percent of U.S. adults say they have re-gifted while 35 percent say they’ve been on the receiving end of the re-gifted gift.

We talked with etiquette expert Thomas Farley who has some tricks of the trade to re-gifting.

“You want to make sure the price tag is removed, the gift tag more importantly,” he said.”That will be hugely embarrassing.”

Proper re-gifting also means the item has never been used and make sure the gift matches what you truly think the receiver likes.

“What you don’t want is to be thinking ‘Thomas went through his closet two hours ago and grabbed whatever he could find,'” said Farley.

If done right, the receiver will never know you re-gifted, nor should they.

“Even if it’s the same bottle that somebody gave you, you can easily point out ‘wow I know you like this bottle. You gave it to me a few years ago and I am now a fan, so here’s a bottle for you.’ A little white lie never hurts,” said Farley.

So next time you get a gift you don’t necessarily like or need, think of it as a fun challenge. Store it in a bin and make note of who gave it to you to avoid recycling it back to the giver.

According to the world-renowned Emily Post Institute, the most obvious re-gifted item is fruit cake.

Post suggests re-gifting only if it’s something you would want to buy for someone but just happen to already have.

{CBS New York/ Newscenter}


  1. Even WHITE LIES for innocent reasons are not in accordance with EMES L’YAACKOV

    You can give a gift without explaining
    it if explaining involes a white lie

  2. why did you need to add Chanukah? Its not like the legitimate version of the article said Xmas – I’m sure the original author of the piece would love to get a URL to your version of her work — with the edits that she didn’t intend…

  3. #2: What’s the problem? It fit into the theme of re-gifting. The author is reusing an article that was already written and repackaging it with a Chanukah theme instead of an Xmas theme, lehavdil!

  4. Its so sad that people think that Xmas is the clean (what ever that means) version of the word. A true understanding of the etymology of the term would show you that Xmas is as bad if not worse – X has religious connotations, at this point the word is just a regular word absorbed into the language —

  5. someone please explain this to me if i walk in to a store and buy something its ok to leave on the gift receipt but if someone gave it to me its not? how does the receiver know i didnt buy it myself. how on earth can someone tell if i bought it or got it ?