Illustration by Adriana Bellet

Is It OK to Regift?

Even the most well-intentioned gifts can be a bad fit. Is it cool to pass them on to someone else?

Your bestie gets you in every way—except for when it comes to fashion. That neon-yellow oversized sweatshirt he gave you for the holidays might look great on somebody, but not you. Worse, he cut off the tags, so you can’t return it to the store. You’re tempted to rewrap it and pass it along to your little brother. It’s his style, and you need to get him a present anyway. Should you do it? Some people say it’s harmless to regift something you won’t use. Others say it’s just not cool. What do you think? Read what two teens have to say, then cast your vote in our poll.


It's definitely OK to regift. For example, I don't love chocolate, but sometimes I get chocolates as presents. When I pass those presents along, my chocolate-loving friends get to enjoy a treat, and I don’t feel guilty about wasting food. If you really feel bad about regifting, you could tell the person who gave you the gift. You could say something like, “Thank you so much. It’s not my favorite, but I gave it to my friend and she loved it.” The person who gave you the gift might appreciate your honesty. Plus, they might get you something you actually like in the future. Or you could just say, “Thank you so much” and leave it at that. Either way, there's no need to feel bad for regifting something that could make someone else happy.

—Ryan Lee, California


While regifting seems like a great idea, there are too many ways it can turn into a relationship-ruining fiasco. If you tell a friend or acquaintance, “I love it!” and then give the gift to someone else, there’s always the possibility that both people will find out. This is a real danger if the people even slightly know each other. Even if they don’t, there’s the chance that the recipient of the regift will post it on social media and the giver of the gift will see. If that happens, the person who gave you the gift will think you lied about liking it. The recipient of the regift will think you don’t really care about them. It’s just not worth risking two relationships. Better to try to appreciate the gift in the spirit it was given, and hope it’s not too big to fit in your closet. 

—Isabel Mestey, Florida

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