How to Save Money By Regifting


Last month, I was invited to several high school and college graduation parties and wanted to give the grads nice gifts. But with inflation at an all-time high, I didn’t have a ton of extra money on hand for presents. To stretch my gift budget, I regifted a few items I had never used, including some hardcover books.

Some people think regifting is tacky and should never be done. But if you have unloved presents that are sitting in your closet collecting dust, it’s better to pass them on to someone who will enjoy them than throw them away. Here are some tips to help you regift items and save money without seeming cheap. 

Only Regift New Items in Mint Condition 

Before you regift a present, make sure it’s something you’d be happy to receive. I only regift items that have never been used and are in mint condition. This isn’t the time to clean out your closet and get rid of clothes or shoes you no longer wear! In my opinion, gently used items aren’t good candidates for regifting and should be donated to a thrift store instead. 

So what kind of items are appropriate to regift? Here’s a list to give you some ideas: 

  • Unworn clothing (make sure the tags are still on it)
  • Unused books 
  • Unopened, full-size beauty products (don’t try to regift free makeup samples from Sephora)
  • Gift cards 
  • Unopened toys and board games 
  • Gourmet foods like a box of truffles that are unopened and don’t expire for a year or more 
  • Unopened electronics or kitchen appliances that aren’t outdated

We’ve all bought stylish clothes for ourselves that didn’t fit, or received a nice gift that was a duplicate of something we already owned. Those types of items are perfect for regifting. 

With that being said, if you have a friend who is into sustainability and buys everything at thrift stores, they may not mind getting a gently used item as a gift. Just be transparent and don’t try to pass off the item as brand new if it’s not. 

Make Sure the Recipient Will Enjoy the Gift

Another guideline I try to follow when regifting is to only give people things I think they’d genuinely appreciate. For example, I wouldn’t give a male friend a bubble bath gift set. Saving money isn’t worth it if I’m disappointing my friends and family by giving them gifts I know they won’t enjoy. 

Don’t Give Away Handmade Gifts or Family Heirlooms 

There are some gifts that are so heartfelt you should never give them away, such as a handmade sweater from grandma. Even if it’s itchy and doesn’t fit, she put hours of love into making it just for you! It would be rude to disregard her effort by regifting it. Plus, you’ll want that sweater as a reminder of her love when she’s no longer around. 

The same goes for family heirlooms. Those are far too precious and irreplaceable to regift. If you really don’t want grandpa’s pocket watch or great grandma’s brooch, someone else in your family surely will, so ask around. 

Personalize the Gift 

Regifting can still be done from the heart, especially if you personalize the present for the recipient in some way. If you’re regifting a set of towels that didn’t match your bathroom, you could get them monogrammed with the recipient’s initials to customize them. 

You could also purchase an accessory that goes with the gift. For example, if you’re passing on a vase you didn’t need to a friend, you could fill it with their favorite flowers. I gave the graduates whose parties I attended small gift cards and bookmarks in addition to the hardcover books. 

Personalizing a gift could also be as simple as writing a heartfelt card or using wrapping paper that’s your friend’s favorite color. I always try to put some extra thought and effort into presents I regift so they still feel meaningful. 

Make Sure You Remember Who Gave You the Gift 

Make sure you remember who gave you the item you want to regift. Otherwise you may accidentally regift it to the person who gave it to you, which would be very awkward! A faux pas like that could even damage your relationship. So make sure there’s no chance the gift-giver will find out you didn’t love their present and are passing it on to someone else. 

Do you think regifting items to save money and prevent waste is a good idea? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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