'Don't See the Problem': Mother in Law's Regifting Sparks Debate

When it comes to shopping, more and more of us are opting for secondhand and pre-loved items. From saving money to helping prevent unnecessary waste, there are a lot of positives in thrifting. But one woman has sparked debate online after expressing her disappointment over receiving secondhand gifts.

In a post shared on Thursday on popular discussion site Mumsnet, the user, GirlMum93, asked: "Am I being unreasonable to be upset at secondhand gifts?"

The user explained: "[I] feel awful but just want a couple of opinions on this. It was my birthday last week and my mother-in-law sent some gifts home to me (didn't hand deliver, got my husband to drop them off to me). [I] don't have a massively great relationship with my mother-in-law, perhaps that's the reason she doesn't feel she wants to spend at least a pound on me."

She explained that the gifts she received were "pretty obviously" re-gifted. Among the gifts, she said she had received a miniature perfume that had obviously been taken out of the box. "Tape looked to have been removed so the box looked ripped under where the tape should have been," she said. She also received a handbag without a tag that she said had "pretty obviously been given away as one she no longer wanted."

She continued to explain that last Christmas her mother-in-law had gifted her a portable hand mirror without a box or tag, a small pocket diffuser with a ripped box and a hand cream that looked to be used.

The poster wrote: "Why is it so difficult to expect just so little? Me and my husband spent at least £60+ on her for her birthday. My husband gets £100 in cash as well as other presents bought for him—tagged.

"I do feel really ungrateful and feel awful but it's really upset me and I don't know why. Sometimes I'd rather not get anything."

A survey conducted by Next Gen Personal Finance asked Americans how they felt about re-gifting. An overwhelming 83 percent of respondents said they would be ok with receiving a re-gifted gift, but only 34 percent admitted to giving a re-gifted gift.

With over 400 comments, Mumsnet users sympathized with the poster. One user wrote: "This woman does not like or respect you. You cannot change her only how you deal with it." Another said: "She's sending you a message by doing this—she doesn't like you. My mother-in-law used to do the same to me."

But some users disagreed with the woman's reaction. One commenter said: "I wouldn't care less. I'm a grown-up and can buy my own stuff. Also, she's your mother-in-law not your mom. I wouldn't expect her to be as generous or thoughtful towards me as her own children, especially if you don't have a great relationship."

Another user said: "I think that you should be grateful for anything. Mentioning torn packaging and what you consider the price of things is not nice at all."

In a later update, the poster thanked the users that had supported her and said: "Thank you so much for your comments, can't say how much this has helped me. Perhaps it's not just me being 'ungrateful' then."

Woman disappointed with gift
A file photo of a woman who is disappointed with the contents of a gift. The internet has been left divided after a woman complained about secondhand gifts from her mother-in-law. tommaso79/Getty Images