November 15, 2016

Do You Re-gift?


About a year and a half ago, I had sent some gifts to a friend of mine and within a few months I noticed one of the items I had gifted appeared on another friend’s Instagram account. I mean, you can’t jump to conclusions but I’m almost 99% sure the photo of the item posted that was something I had gifted and the person I gifted it to had re-gifted it to another friend of ours. I felt a little hurt. Eep! Am I wrong? Am I too sensitive? It wasn’t exactly a personal gift but I had spent time and money to gift the items and to see them regifted to someone else hurt my feelings a bit.

So, I’m utterly sensitive about re-gifting. Do you re-gift? I don’t, I won’t, it’s a bit of a touchy issue for me for some reason!

Are you guilty of re-gifting?

I’m kind of one of those people that feels if you re-gift just make sure you’re not found out because it could hurt the person you originally gifted it to and it can be embarrassing.

I personally won’t re-gift anything someone gives me. Why? Because, I mean, even if I dislike the item, the person that gave it to me was thinking about me, spent time selecting the item and money, and they thought that it would be something I’d love. Re gifting seems rude! I wouldn’t say I hated it to their face and re-gifting it and having them possibly find out would mean they knew I disliked it enough to give it away. So yeah, no way would I re-gift. I’d bury it in the back of my closet somewhere if I disliked it but never tell them I didn’t like it nor give it to someone else!

What about you?

Do you have any issues with re-gifting?

Have you re-gifted and been discovered doing it?

Do share your thoughts and stories on the topic!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


  • Sara E.

    I was pretty new to a social club that I joined (been in a few months) but we had a gift exchange for Mothers Day and to drop them by the persons house or when you see them at the next meeting. Anyway I dropped mine by and introduced myself and took a lot of effort to the gift I got them. Mine was dropped on my porch, I was home but never saw them and it was obviously regifted, the gift I received. Even had slight personalized details in the gift to let me know it has been regifted. I’m sensitive to that as well

    • Isabella Muse

      sad panda! That’s awful. Someone once re-gifted me wine and it was so awkward for me because they label was customized with the business name on it. It was like To: So and So Happy Holidays From: So and So and I just felt so awkward about it and embarrassed but funny they were completely nonchalant about it! Didn’t even cringe handing it to me. Jeez. I can imagine getting a gift that was personalized for someone else wince!

  • Mary

    About the potential regifting situation you mentioned ~ Maybe the person you gave the gift to liked it so much that they purchased the same item for their friend! 🙂
    I enjoy your blog so much! Thanks for all you do.

    • Isabella Muse

      I sure wish that was the case but I suspect it isn’t as the item wasn’t readily available in the US at the time. But who knows, I sure hope that’s the case 🙂 xoxoxox! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stephanie

    I personally don’t like to re-gift because if someone re-gifted something I gave them, I would feel bad!

  • Claire

    i never re-gift my received gifts because i like to keep everything that someone gave me because they were thinking of me. i will be very upset if someone re-gift something that i already gifted !

  • Susan

    Years ago I gifted a small makeup bag filled with small sizes of bath products to a co-worker. Later that year, I was at her house for a “party” (tupperware or something like that), and her sister pulled that same makeup bag from her purse. I can’t remember now where I had bought it, but it was from a really unusual place, so I knew she hadn’t just bought another one like it.
    But, the cherry on top was the year the same co–worker regifted to me……the gift I had given her about 2 years prior!!! It was a Christmas figurine of a snowman….really vintagey looking and cool (I thought). Good thing I liked it since I got it back!!

    • Isabella Muse

      oh no! It just feels crappy when this happens 🙁 but hey, on the upside you got something back you wanted anyway haha!

  • Angie

    I personally do not like to re- gift. If I didn’t like something, I try to exchange it if possible or I just donate it to Goodwill (if it’s clothing). The one bad habit I do have is I will buy a gift for someone and for some reason or another I decide not to go to the party, I save the gift for another occasion and end up giving it to someone else.

  • Sarah

    I’m sorry your feelings were hurt, mine would be too. It would make feel like crapola. I don’t regift for the same reasons you don’t. If someone takes the time to buy me something, even a little something, I’m just happy someone thought enough about me to do that. For me, it really is the thought that counts.

  • Victoria

    Unfortunately, re-gifting happens very often. Every year we have white elephant gift exchange, and someone said that one of the gifts “participates” in the gift exchange 3 years in a row. But this is still OK considering the fact that my mom got the same gift she already gifted to one of the people. That person probably forgot that she got it from my mom. This was definitely unpleasant. Don’t feel bad about re-gifting. Things happen

  • Saiba

    I think if you’re the type that re-gifts make sure that person who gave you the gift originally does not see it! I don’t necessarily mind if someone was to re-gift my gift to someone else but I don’t wanna see the evidence lol

    But on the other hand if I don’t really know that person that well and gave them a gift they didn’t like I’d want them to tell me and get what they actually want instead, at least that way they’re getting enjoyment and usefulness out of my first bad choice. On the other hand, If it’s someone I know really well and spent a lot of time, effort, and money on that gift then yeah I’d be offended and hurt. It depends really.

    • Isabella Muse

      likewise! I won’t personally re-gift but if someone decides to do it at least don’t let me find out!

  • Kate

    Haven’t regifted much but I think I would prefer that something I spent my money on was regifted to someone who will use and like it, instead of sitting and never been used.
    I don’t think you should feel guilty about it.

    I agree thought if you are doing it, be extremely careful how you do it

  • barbara

    I think regifting is a great idea . Obviously we don’t always like, or things just don’t work for us that we are gifted. So instead of it sitting and going to waste I think it is smart of someone to give it to someone that they know can use it or would like it. No hurt feelings. better than sitting in a closet not being used. :))))

    • Susan

      I’m in this camp as well. While I would not re-gift something personalized or something used (ick!), I think re-gifting a brand new item is fine.

      Something that has really changed my mindset about physical objects in the last year or so is the Konmari method of tidying and decluttering. It makes no sense to keep a gift that you don’t like and will never use, solely because it was a gift. The author says a gift has two purposes, to be given and to be received. That’s it. Then it becomes something else. You don’t have to like it and you shouldn’t try to force yourself to like it. If it doesn’t “spark joy” for you, let it go so it can make someone else happy.

      You would not BELIEVE how much clutter I’ve gotten rid of since I read the book (don’t mean to sound like an ad for it) and how much better and lighter I feel. Just my tuppence’ worth.

    • lizziefs

      I agree. I would rather the gift is used and loved instead of thrown aside or even worse thrown away. What I don’t like is being the person who was given a re-gift without full disclosure. I mean its one thing to say to someone “I got this and appreciate how thoughtful it was but I would never use it. I thought you might enjoy it.” and another to try to pass off a gift with no thought at all but full on obligatory reasons and take credit for having made the effort to actually go out and get it.

      • Maggie

        I completely agree with all these points: that the gift should be loved or used rather than thrown out or ignored. Re-gift but don’t lie about taking the time and effort to pick out a personalized gift and be careful about donating or re-gifting anything if you think the gift giver would be hurt. Totally lame to re-gift back to the gift-giver. I didn’t always feel this way; I changed my stance on re-gifting after embracing Konmari and the idea of a gift having two purposes: to be given and received. I am now OK with people re-gifting my gifts to them so long as the recipient knows I was thinking of them. Now I try to just gift food or things on wishlists.

  • Ruth

    The only time that I’ve had it happen is when it was something that I made. one year i made candles (burnt myself quite a bit too!) and gifted one to an acquaintance and a few months later they gifted it back to me.

  • Iris

    I wouldn’t outright. The person spent time picking it out for me and buying it. The furthest I’d go is to share with or give the item to my parents who live in the same house as I do.

  • Bonnie

    A few thoughts, Muse…I DO re-gift BUT, I do it in my own way. I rarely, if ever, re-gift something that someone gave to me–but I do give things I bought for myself and never used or thought better of as gifts! 🙂 I’ve also given a very gently read book here and there (that no one would know was ‘used’ by me) to a friend whom I know would appreciate it more than I did! (And also b/c books are threatening to take over my house!) And I have, from time to time, re-gifited an actual gift but, being very, very careful to regift to a person that the original gifter would never encounter. I too have been victim of seeing a gift of mine regifted–I gave a relative a very nice candle once only to see it at another relative’s house shortly thereafter. (This was a very unique candle and not something the re-gifter would have bought or found on her own, so I know for a fact it was the same one.) It was a bit shocking but more amusing than anything as the new recipient was bragging about how, could I believe that so-and-so gave me such a nice gift, etc. when I knew that it didn’t cost her a dime! But you know, that candle was kind of a ‘regift’ from me–in the way that I mentioned above. I bought it for myself and just never burned it–but it was so nice I didn’t want it to go to waste. So–it was gifted, and then ended up being re-gifted…so all’s well that ends well. 🙂

    Girl Scouts collects makeup and toiletries every April for girls in need, so around that time I start gathering any unopened samples or purchases I made that I just ended up not using and donate it to them!

    • Isabella Muse

      That’s actually really nice Bonnie 🙂 regifting books=AMAZING as far as I’m concerned 🙂 I’m always terribly sensitive about re-gifting if someone finds out about it. It’s ok if the person never knows but I think it could be potential hurtful to a person who finds out so yeah, carefully re-gifting is the way to go 😀 I do the same with a girl’s organization here in the NY, they collect makeup and other items during prom season! It’s always a great pleasure gifting them items and knowing how special it’ll make some young girl feel!

      • Chris

        Isabella, could you write a short blog listing various organizations that accept unopened makeup for girls/women in need? I am sure I am not the only one that would appreciate this list.

        In terms of regifting, I do regift but generally donate items if they are not to my liking. Regifting should be done with people who never encounter each other ever (different social circles such as work people vs. non work friends).

        • Isabella Muse

          Hi Chris! Do you live in New York? I use one particular organization in new york for donation but I really don’t know of any outside of New York. Doing a blog post about a organizations that accept donations would be a lot of research as I’m not really sure who does this outside of my own local area. I always recommend calling local places in your neighborhood or even googling places in your neighborhood that cater to women/girls and that are looking for gently used cloths, coats, and of course, new, unopened makeup. the one I use is located in Manhattan and collects for younger girls particularly during prom season for makeup and beauty items that are new/unused. This is the one I donate most often too. You might want to check local churches, Big Brother, Salvation Army, your area who might be looking for donations. It’s hard to do a post as I’d have to cover the entire US and recommend a variety of places to donate to in different states, etc…as most people are looking to donate locally and not ship items out to a organization plus most organizations don’t even accept shipments and aren’t willing to pick up if it is a long distance trip. I have no idea where you live but if you live in NY I’d be happy to recommend areas in my state that would be a great place to donate. Hope this helps!

          • Chris

            Thanks, Isabella! I’m on LI so I may start with Goodwill, where I donate clothing first. Not sure if Salvation Army accepts make up donations. Has anyone had any luck with a organization called Dress for Success? I see they accept clothing appropriate for work, but unsure if they accept make up. I may have to call them to confirm yes or no.

          • Isabella Muse

            OH! you’re local! You should try WGirls! I’ve donated to them in the past and you can drop off at local libraries which is always a plus!! Hope this helps!

      • Chris

        Isabella, sorry submitted comment twice. Please delete the earlier timed obese! Oops!

  • Varya

    I’ve gotten “corporate” gift from clients and colleagues that I’ve passed on to close friend and family. Never as a gift,more like “hey, do you want this?” If not,off to the Rescue Mission.
    As I’ve gotten older,re-gifting per se,does not bother me as much as it once did. Partly because I share the Konmari philosophy and partly because I think some people struggle with gifting. They maybe lack ideas,dollars, confidence,time or any combination of these.

  • Amanda Loughridge

    I do re-gift. When you have a small child and receive duplicates of things, it is just less hassle to pass them along to someone else who could use the gift rather than schlep to whichever store you think the item came from and attempt to return it. Our daughter already had the lovely little lullaby giraffe that we received for her baptism. So now, our neighbor’s baby has one as well! She also received two of the same toy for her birthday. I have a nephew that is the same age and am going to give one of them to him for Christmas. Obviously, these are not personalized items and are in the original packaging. Re-gifting something that looks used or has personal touches is just tacky and lazy.

  • Tanya

    Having been the recipient of quite a few re-gifted items, I honestly don’t mind at all. I feel it’s better to keep passing something along until someone who appreciates it receives it. I’ve also re-gifted items with a fairly good success rate. Unless my friends are just good liars, lol. And if someone re-gifted something I gave them, I wouldn’t be too hurt. What would make me madder is when they ask for a SPECIFIC item, you get it for them and 5 years later you see it unused/unopened at the yard sale they asked you to help them with.

    • Bonnie

      Oh my gosh, Tanya–at a yard sale that they asked you to help out with?! TACKY!

  • Nora Stuart

    I absolutely do regift and I make SURE to tell people I gift things to that if something I give them isn’t for them, don’t let it clutter up their lives! I have moved multiple times in the last ten years and every time I’ve had to deal with the stress of packing up stuff and finding new places for stuff in my new digs. Now, after having lived in an apartment, my stuff is all crammed into one bedroom. I don’t ever want anyone I care about to feel the stress that I did!

    That said, here are my feelings about regifting: It’s not okay if it’s a lazy way to save money. I give things away to people I think will genuinely enjoy them, all the while appreciating the thought of the person who gave it to me, and I’m open about it. If something from someone I love isn’t getting the attention it deserves in my home, I think it’s best for it to be truly used well. Sometimes gifts aren’t right for people, or aren’t given at the right time! It doesn’t take away from the good intentions of the gifter or the appreciation of the receiver as long as everything is done with an warm heart and good intentions!

  • Kay

    I regift, but only certain things. I have a “Christmas cupboard” where I put any birthday/Christmas gifts from work colleagues that I don’t want to keep, but I only really do this with bath or shower gift boxes that I know are readily available near where I live. My friends and work colleagues are totally separate, and I don’t tend to regift the full box, I take all the items out and use them as stocking filler type items if I think a certain friend would like them! I never regift just to get rid of something, I keep hold of the sets for a while then take them to the charity shop if I can’t think of anyone who might like them some day.

    Also, every single Christmas my mum gives me a Nivea lip balm tin with 3-5 balms in. I love lip balm but I now have so many I could never possibly use all the new ones she gives me every year! So the full tins sometimes get regifted too XD

  • Big Girl

    Unpopular opinion, I am not guilty of regifting because I am not ashamed. I try not to attribute emotion to inanimate obejects, as it’s a path to being a hoarder. I try my best to get something someone enjoys but if they don’t I’m happy I saved you money and tell people to regift. I would be happy soemeone else is enjoying the gift and its not being wasted.

    • Isabella Muse

      not an unpopular opinion at all, if you read the comments a lot of people aren’t shy about regifting. Not sure if not wanting to regift something makes me a hoarder or not, I’m just trying to be considerate about the giver’s feelings.

  • Lisa

    I dunno, it just seems very ungenerous to give a gift but attach conditions to it, like the person has to use it in the way I want, not they way they want. If I give it to them, it’s theirs to do with as they wish.
    Besides, when I give a gift, I want it to make the other person happy. If they’re not going to use it, or love it, I’d rather they regift – then they get some value out of the gift by saving themselves time and money. Otherwise, it’s just a waste for both of us. And for myself, it just seems crazy, if I have scented candles or bath products or something that I’m not using, to throw them away or stick them in a closet, and then go spend more money to buy the same type of items to give as gifts. Waste of product, waste of money, bad for the environment, bad for my bank account.