Is It Ever OK to Re-Gift?

Dec. 14, 2006— -- Maybe you don't have a big budget this holiday season. Is it ever OK to go the ultracheap route and regift?

Regifting is giving an unwanted present that you received to someone else, and passing it off as something you bought.

It's been practiced for ages, reflected in all those jokes about the single holiday fruitcake that gets passed around from household to household.

Whatever the gift, lots of people do regift, secretly. One man told ABC News that he has regifted all sorts of items:

"I have regifted hats. I have regifted glassware. I've regifted gloves. I've regifted ugly ties," he said.

But what's the etiquette when it comes to the practice?

Advice columnist Wendy Belzberg told ABC's Lynn Sherr that regifting is perfectly acceptable:

"Not only is it morally acceptable," she said, "it's a moral imperative. Everybody's talking about recycling -- nobody's doing anything about it. This is really an opportunity to save the planet."

Try telling that to the person who bought you the original present in the first place. And what about the idea that a gift is chosen for one person, and that person alone?

Belzberg counters: "What about the concept that a gift should just keep on giving? This is the gift that keeps on giving."

Of course, not everyone is so charitable. So what rules should the regifter should live by?

Be sure to remove the original card.

Be sure there are no monograms or engravings on the item.

And most important, keep a log so you don't wind up returning that leopard print negligee or that chartreuse tie to the same person who gave it to you.