The Regift Keeps Regiving

Everyone loves a festive package with a shiny bow.


Everyone loves a festive package with a shiny bow. But sometimes what's inside isn't what you expected—or even something you want. After you feign enthusiasm, then what? Well, if you're like many Americans, you regift, passing the less-than-stellar present on to someone who might enjoy it more or hate it less. A recent eBay and Harris Interactive survey found that 47 percent of adults regift or resell unwanted holiday gifts, and 69 percent believe that it's acceptable to do so, a bit like recycling. "Make sure it is something that the recipient would like," advises etiquette expert Peggy Post. "You definitely want to be careful that you don't hurt anyone's feelings."

Take care to remove the original card, check for personalized messages, and regift the item to a different social circle than the one it came from. But after covering your tracks, don't worry too much about offending the original gift giver. Some 46 percent of adults would feel indifferent about their gift being passed on, eBay found, while 26 percent would feel amused—or so they say.