Can You Legally Take Back A Gift

Can You Legally Take Back A Gift? Resolved

Last Updated on April 22, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

Have you ever received a present that you didn’t desire and pondered on the lawfulness of sending it back? The resolution to this query hangs on the circumstances. Therefore, is it legally permissible to return a gift?

Sometimes, the giver may have implied or expressly permitted you to return the gift. In other cases, returning the gift may be more difficult. 

This blog post will discuss the laws surrounding returned gifts and help you decide what to do if you are in a sticky situation.

Is It Legal To Take Back A Gift?

giving gift

The good news is that, in most cases, it is perfectly legal to take back a gift. Retailers generally allow you to exchange a gift for something else or store credit. 

Gift-giving is a thoughtful gesture that can bring joy to both the giver and the receiver. However, there are times when a gift may not be quite what the recipient had in mind. In such cases, it is natural to wonder if there is any way to return the gift without offending the person who gave it to you. 

However, there may be some restrictions, such as a time limit for returns or a requirement that the item is in its original packaging. 

If you are unsure about the return policy of a particular retailer, it is always best to ask before making your purchase. 

Legally, What Is A Gift? 

To be considered a gift, the courts have said that three elements must be present: intention, delivery, and acceptance. The donor must intend to make a gift, the gift must be delivered to the recipient, and the recipient must accept the gift. 

The transaction is not considered a gift if any of these elements are missing. 

For example, if you give your friend a book to get back later, it’s not a gift. Or if you leave a birthday present for your niece, but she never picks it up, it’s also not a gift. Gifts can be given for any reason – there doesn’t have to be a special occasion – but they must be voluntary. 

So, if you’re ever wondering whether something is truly a gift or not, ask yourself if all three elements are present.

Is There A Law About Taking Back Gifts?

In the United States, no law specifies that a person must take back a gift they have given. 

However, there may be legal implications if the gift is returned to defraud the recipient. 

For example, if someone gave a gift with the expectation of receiving something in return, and the gift was later returned without that expectation being met, the courts could consider this a fraud. 

In general, though, people are free to give and receive gifts as they see fit, and there is no legal obligation to take back a gift that has been given.

Read: How To Send An Anonymous Gift On Amazon

How To Prove Something Is A Gift In Court?

If you are in court and need to prove that something is a gift, there are a few things you can do. 

First, you should ask the person who gave you the gift if they would be willing to testify. 

Second, you can look for any correspondence between you and the person who gave you the gift, such as emails, notes, or letters. 

Finally, you can ask others present when the gift was given if they would be willing to testify on your behalf. 

What To Do When Someone Asks For A Gift Back? 

2 woman giving gift

It can be awkward when someone asks for a gift back, especially if you consider choosing it. However, there are a few potential reasons why they may have made the request. Perhaps they already had the same item, or it wasn’t their style. 

Sometimes, people may feel obligated to keep a gift, even if they don’t like it, out of fear of offending the giver. If you find yourself in this situation, there are a few things you can do. 

First, try to determine why they want to return the gift. If it’s because they don’t like it, you could offer to exchange it for something else. But what can you do if you received a gift from someone you don’t like?

You could consider giving them cash instead if they have a financial need. 

Whatever you do, try to be understanding and avoid any feelings of hurt or offense. After all, it’s the thought that counts.

Check out these unique return gift ideas for adults here.

Can You Report Something Stolen If It Was A Gift?

If you receive a later stolen gift, can you report the theft to the police? The answer may depend on the value of the item and whether it can be proven that it was a gift. 

For example, if you receive a piece of jewelry as a gift and it is later stolen, you may be able to file a police report. However, if the item’s value is low or if it was given to you by someone who is not easily identifiable, it may be more difficult to prove that it was a gift. 

Read: Should You Buy Yourself A Birthday Present?


Can a parent take back a gift?

Yes, a parent can take back a gift. The key is to do so in a way that is respectful and does not damage the relationship between the giver and receiver. Sometimes, it may be best to speak with the recipient about why the gift is being returned.

Can you regift a gift?

There’s no harm in regifting a gift as long as you’re sure the recipient will like it. Regifting [1] can save you time and money during the holiday season. 

Just be sure to wrap the gift nicely and avoid any telltale signs that it’s been given before. And finally, always remember to thank the original giver for the gift!

Can you be sued for not returning a gift?

You might be able to be sued for not returning a gift, but it would depend on the circumstances. Generally, if you have received a gift, you are under no obligation to return it. 

However, if the gift was given with the expectation that it would be returned, you may be liable for damages if you do not return it.

In Conclusion

Taking back a gift depends on the circumstances and state law. The store’s return policy will likely apply if the gift was purchased from a store. If the gift was homemade or given to you by a close friend, it may not be possible to return it. 

Ultimately, it is important to consider whether returning the gift is worth damaging your relationship with the giver.


Kimberlee Johnson
Follow me

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *