What to Say When Someone Gives You an Expensive Gift

WhatToGetMy Instructional Article

A lot of people just don’t know how to accept an expensive gift. They feel lost between their own thoughts and feelings and social norms. It’s a difficult situation. Are you expected to do or say something? Do you have to receive it and give something in return? Are you being rude if you don’t accept it? These are all good questions that are not that easy to answer at all. The gift-giving and receiving etiquette is as long as your arm, and picking up all the points from it is a difficult task. That’s why you have us to help you out!

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Of course, we came well prepared this time too. We scoured the internet looking for an answer to the question of what to say when someone gives you an expensive gift. Not only that we closely examined the gift-giving and receiving etiquette, but we also took into account the experiences and opinions of gift givers and receivers. In the end, we composed this article containing everything you need to face and deal with receiving expensive gifts. So, sit back, relax, and let us take care of this problem for you!

First, let us highlight a few important things regarding expensive gifts:

  • It’s okay to take expensive gifts. If you feel good about it, you’re in good terms with a person, and things are clear between you two, there’s no reason you should refuse it.
  • It’s okay to say no to expensive gifts too. You don’t have to take something you don’t want to have or take any obligation to yourself.
  • Always be honest with the gift giver. Don’t lie about having gifts in return you don’t have or being comfortable with the things you’re not. A little honesty goes a long way in human relationships.

Meanings of Expensive Gifts

What does it mean when someone gives you an expensive gift? Most of the time, people only want to surprise you and show you how much they care about you. They don’t even think about the price of the gift, especially if they have the means to give whatever they want. Wealthy people don’t think too much about the gift price. They just give whatever they find suitable for the occasion.

It can happen, though, that someone buys an expensive gift to wow you. Some people tend to gather up money throughout the entire year to buy one special (and pricey) gift. In this case, it’s smart to consider whether you want to receive it at all. You’ll be able to determine whether someone wants to accomplish something by giving you a pricey gift or not. If that’s the case, consider what you’ll accept – only a gift or a certain responsibility with it.

Receiving an Expensive Gift

Saying Thank You

So, the burning question here is how to thank someone for an expensive gift. Our ultimate advice is to keep it simple. You’re not expected or obligated to say anything in particular. Express your gratitude. A simple “Thank you” will do the trick. If you really like the gift and want to say something more, go for it, but don’t stress about the situation.

We all get caught off guard with gifts. It happens to all of us, so don’t feel like you’re the only one being unable to figure out the proper come back. The situation is well familiar to all of us. Someone (a close person or not, it doesn’t matter) brings you a gift and you’re just sitting there, clueless about the entire situation. It’s awkward, we give you that, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. Like we said, a simple expression of gratitude will be enough.

You should keep in mind that you might be the one causing the awkwardness. How is that possible? It’s simple. You’re the one feeling guilty for not bringing the gift to give in return, or that the one you got is too expensive, etc. Still, the chances are, nobody expects anything in return. Your friend, partner, colleague or any other person in your life just wanted to give you something special. It’s okay, you can take it and show how much that means to you.

Remember, it’s all about staying warm and thoughtful toward the gift giver. You don’t have to do anything more. Whether you like the gift or not, don’t forget to say thank you. A certain person put in some effort and time (and money, of course) to find you a proper gift. It’s an act worth your kindness!

P.S. The chances are, a gift-giver is just as nervous about how to give someone a gift without being awkward as you’re about receiving it. He/she is probably googling what to say when someone says thank you for a gift while you’re reading this! We’re all a little bit afraid of gift-exchange etiquette, so try to relax knowing you’re not alone in this.

Giving in Return

Now, once you express gratitude for the gift and take it, the question arises: “Do I have to give gifts in return?” No, you’re not obliged to give anything in return. Whether you’re surprised with an act or somebody already gave you hints about a gift, you don’t have to give back. Of course, you can do it if you want to, but you shouldn’t feel pressured. Just don’t try to get out of the situation by lying. A lot of people start to panic in the awkward gift-exchange situation and turn to lies. They usually say that they forgot the gift at home or something like that. Don’t do this. You won’t accomplish anything. You’ll still feel embarrassed and guilty about not having the gift and you’ll add extra negative feelings on that because you lied. Be honest, tell a person you didn’t know about the gift-exchange, and express gratitude for the gift. That’s all you need to do!


Another tacky question regards the price range of gifts. If someone gave you expensive gifts, do you have to give in return the one in the same price range? The gift-giving and receiving etiquette says you don’t have to. Stick with the gifts you think are suitable for the person and your budget. It’s just not smart to get into debt just because you feel you should give a gift in return in the same price range.  

Returning an Expensive Gift

When You Don’t Like It

Of course, you can return an expensive gift. There’s nothing wrong with that, regardless of why you want to return it. Maybe you don’t like it at all? That’s fine. You don’t have to like the expensive gift. The price is not relevant here. You have the right to like or dislike a gift regardless of how much it costs.

In this situation, you have two options. You can express your gratitude and keep the gift or you can say thank you and return it. Both things are socially acceptable. It’s just crucial to appreciate someone’s efforts to surprise you with a gift. Then, you can keep it or return it, it’s up to you. Just be kind about it, and try to avoid harsh statements such as “Oh, I don’t like it at all! Why have you given me this?” It’s rude and won’t take you anywhere. Opt for alternatives such as: “It’s great, you’re so thoughtful, but I just don’t need it right now. Can we return it for something else or take your money back?”

When You Think It’s Too Much

A lot of people complain about receiving expensive gifts because they think that’s too much and makes them feel in debt with someone. That’s a natural reaction, especially if you’re on a tight budget and don’t feel comfortable with exchanging gifts in a particular price range.

If you think that an expensive gift is too much for you, feel free to express your feelings to the giver and return it. Some persuasion might be necessary, but that’s okay too. You don’t have to accept anything you perceive as a burden that will make you feel bad in the future. Be kind and thankful to the giver but also be honest. Tell a person why you don’t want to accept a gift and why you think it’s too much. It will be okay, just be open and ready to discuss the topic.

When You Want to Stop the Gift Exchange

Lastly, you don’t have to receive the gift at all and you can stop with the gift-exchange ritual altogether. If that’s what you want to do, don’t hold back. Be honest and talk with a person with whom you’re exchanging gifts. Make clear that you don’t want to exchange expensive gifts or any gifts at all. Tell someone how important it is for you to spend time and enjoy activities together. That should do the trick!

If you need some extra guidance on the topic, you’ll find all the necessary information here: How to tell someone no more gifts.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do you say when someone gives you a gift?

A: Try to keep it simple. Remember, nobody expects you to say anything special. Show your gratitude however you find it appropriate. Sometimes the best way to react to a gift is to simply say thank you. If you like the gift, say something like “It’s perfect, I wanted to have it for so long!” When you don’t like the gift, avoid talking about it ,and opt for phrases such as “That’s so thoughtful/kind of you”.

Q: What does it mean when someone gives you a gift?

A: Usually, it just means someone cares about you and wants to show you that. Gifts are a sign of love, affection, and thoughtfulness. Givers want to bring joy in receivers’ hearts. They also feel good about giving to other people because generous acts make people feel better about themselves.

Q: How do I graciously accept a gift?

A: We already gave you the basic guidelines above. You’re being gracious by simply expressing your gratitude to a gift giver. You don’t need to do anything special. Don’t make a fuss out of it, and keep things simple. That’s the best way to be gracious when receiving gifts.

Q: How do you react to a bad gift?

A: The key is to avoid talking about the gift! Don’t mention whether you like it or not. Stick with expressions of gratitude and thank a person for his/her efforts.


We hope now you know what to say when someone gives you an expensive gift and you’re prepared to face any situation regarding gift-giving and receiving. We tried to give you all the necessary information about how to accept an expensive gift, and hopefully, we succeeded. In case you still have some doubts and questions, you can always go through our many articles about gift-giving and receiving etiquette or send us your thoughts and questions. We would be happy to help whenever and however we can!

Remember, the key to proper etiquette for receiving gifts is being honest and kind to the giver. All you need to do is to express your gratitude. That’s it. Nobody expects anything special from you, so try to relax. Don’t let those feelings of guilt and embarrassment take over because the chances are, you’re creating them yourself!





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