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Mya Williams: 4 Rules to Follow if You Must Re-Gift



Last Christmas, I received a very nice and extremely useful gift from my friend; so useful that by the time she visited in the New Year, it was already in use in my living room and I was almost halfway through the oils. It was a terracotta oil burner with a selection of sweet smelling oils to accompany. I loved it! I love incense, scented candles, burning oils, anything that makes the room smell nice. I also received another gift from another friend – a Tea Tree bath and body lotion set; also a lovely gift but I sincerely had no use for it. The thing is when it comes to my body, I am very basic – A simple moisturising bar of soap or shower gel and Vaseline moisturising lotion does the trick. It is only my face that receives top treatment from a specific brand. So on unwrapping this beautiful gift, I just knew I wouldn’t have use for it and right on the spot I thought of someone else who I knew would love and appreciate it and most importantly, use it.

I know, I know, it was a gift and a very nice one but surely we must all have that one gift or the couple of gifts that we never used and just relegated to the back of our closets. Very early on, I identified the opportunity to turn these gifts around for someone else’s pleasure. Think about it, that hundredth bottle of perfume you received, that you don’t particularly like the smell of or the umpteenth Ankara your Aunty bought you, when you haven’t even sewn the ones in your closet or the book you received that you’d already read? All of these could make nice gifts for someone else. A world of opportunities and possibilities exists when it comes to re-gifting, however, there are some basic ground rules one must follow:

The gift should match the personality
This is obviously a general rule for gifting but yes people sometimes miss-judge what others might like. This is not a crime, anyhow you look at it, a gift is a nice gesture and it is the thought that counts. I make this point only because the gift is getting a second chance at a new home; try to make it count this time.

Do not re-gift personalised items
This should be a no-brainer but I will state it anyway. Personalised items such as those with inscripted messages, or those with evidence of its previous whereabouts e.g. wedding souvenirs with the sticker still on should not be re-gifted.

Do not re-gift within the same social circle
You MUST NOT re-gift within the same social circle or family or group of friends! The obvious reason is that it may get back to the original giver and this will hurt their feelings.

Ensure the gift is in excellent condition
Damaged packaging, scratches, dents etc. are all no no’s when re-gifting. The gift must be in its original pristine condition. Remember, because you are re-gifting doesn’t mean you should treat the process with any less care and thought than you would if it was an original gift.

I know different people have different opinions about re-gifting but I love the idea. So far the above points are taken into consideration, it is the perfect avenue to give a second lease of life to the items we receive as gifts, that aren’t necessarily quite suited to us.
I believe it is far better to re-gift than to leave the item sitting in your closet for years, after which you would probably still just give it out anyway without putting much thought into it or much worse, sell it.

So what do you think? Re-gift or not.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Syda Productions

Mya Williams is a fiercely passionate and fun loving rebel/nonconformist. She loves to write in her free time. She emphatically believes that certain societal customs and norms must be challenged if one is to have a truly fulfilled and happy life.


  1. Oladayo Asabi

    October 12, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Thus far, this has been a great read.

  2. Jo!

    October 12, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Of course regift!

  3. zarah oh

    October 12, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Rule no 3 is really important. Thanks a lot.

  4. bn lover

    October 12, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Are you allowed to tell the person u r giving that it was a gift,but since u don’t have need for it,that is why u ve decided that she should have it?

    • Tru

      October 12, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      Haba, of course not. it’ll only hurt the giver. You receive, say thanks, and then pass on to someone else who will make use of it (certainly not within the same social circle as Mya advised!) and keep mum 🙂

    • Ada

      October 12, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      Can you tell the person you are giving NOT the person who gave you.

    • The real D

      October 12, 2015 at 5:54 pm

      @ Ada, why would you want to tell the new receiver that he/she is getting your leftovers? Is that information supposed to make them feel great? Or is this for your own selfish gain (I.e I am better than you syndrome). No one likes getting left overs and informing the receiver of the re-gift takes the thoughtfulness of your giving down a notch. Nothing wrong in saying I have something for you and I hope you like it. Or I saw this and thought of you. No need for oh someone gave me this and I don’t need, so here. For me, the former comes across better.

  5. Taiwo

    October 12, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    i re- gifted (is there a word like that?) enough wedding presents. I mean, what use did I have for 5 Electric kettles?? 3 Microwaves??? Enough Dish Sets, Cutlery Sets, Kitchen Knife Sets, Toasters, Lace etc.

    • Chinma Eke

      October 12, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      You forgot the glass cups!

  6. Abaga

    October 12, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    I totally agree with you. It saves money, delivers the home from being a junk yard and might save a marriage or two. I know about three husbands who have complained about their wives keeping too much stuff at home. The last time one of the families moved out of state, the husband didn’t find it funny. He told me to learn from his wife’s mistakes. They had to throw some things away and carry other things he did not consider important.( their new place is so clean and clear) .Another man was unhappy with his wife for having him pay so much in cargo fees from the US to Nigeria. When the stuff arrived, the man was upset because he knew that she will never use three quarters of the stuff. Re-gifting is the smart thing to do.

  7. Menoword

    October 12, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    I also wait quite a while before I regift and sometimes while waiting I find a use that I didn’t think of before

  8. Mabel

    October 12, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I hate when I know something is a regift. A friend gave me a hand vacuum one Christmas after telling me that she had received one but had one already..mtschww.

    • Tot

      October 12, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      Such an ungrateful attitude.
      It’s the act / motive that matters not so much the item itself. On the other hand, if you didn’t need the vacuum, then you could as well have rejected it. Se fini

    • Mabel

      October 12, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      Tot, such a fitting name.

    • Dunai

      October 13, 2015 at 7:10 am

      Nothing bad in dat,if it Sumtin I need/useful re-gift I don’t mind,depend on the familiarity.I don’t waste time I do it all d time. Whenever I receive a gift I don’t nid there is always somebody somewhere that nids it..

  9. hauwa

    October 12, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Re-Gifting is the way to ladies! But do be careful and mum about it. And never in d same social circle.!!! My favourite uncle then, used to travel alot. . I was staying at his house along with some other female cousins too post NYSC. He always brings us lovely gifts … watches, perfumes. My gifts were particularly cooler cos he felt I had more taste. On one trip, he got us clothes. Mine was a designer’s jeans and a top. Too small in size tho, so I promptly gave them out to d oda lady I shared room with. Well, when uncle dearest asked how d fits were, loudmouth cousin told him I gave her mine cos they were small. Uncle was hurt n vowed never to buy me a thing again! Trust me, he never did again. This was 9 yrs ago. *tears*

    • Martins

      October 12, 2015 at 10:38 pm

      Wao. Pele o, considering the fact that yours was even cooler always. I pray your uncle changes his mind again. In my own opinion, there is nothing wrong with re gifting as long as it is clean, in good condition and has never be used. An aunty sent me lovely baby clothes, it was very well packaged. After I received it another aunty told me that it was re-gifted. Guess what? I appreciated it all the same. Some people are too high maintenance, does that mean that if for one reason or another your friend who always showered you with designer stuff gets financially challenged she must rob the bank in order to give you something? It’s the heart, honour and respect that matters.

    • metroman7

      October 17, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Pls don’t be too hard on yourself , it’s not like the clothe matched your size. You only shared the blessings with someone.

  10. abi

    October 12, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    i once gave out a val gift that was given to me to a friends girlfriend because he dint anything for his girl and i know show would be mad if she doesn’t get a gift from him,i even delivered it myself.

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