Used Christmas Gift Ideas: When Secondhand Wins

Posted by Adrienne on October 29, 2013

Our holiday gift guide series continues this week with an alternative to buying new gifts. You can consider used gifts to stretch your dollars even further during the holidays.

Have you ever given or received a gift that was “used”? Some people would never dream of doing so. I have been giving my kids used as well as new gifts as longs as they’ve been around. I think there are some great advantages to used gifts. Used gifts also open up creative gift possibilities for the person who has everything. Here are some ideas.


Photo Credit: ringmaster

Best Used Christmas Gift Ideas

The Big and Otherwise Expensive or Unaffordable Gift.
Some gifts are beyond my budget (or beyond what I’m willing to spend on gifts). Having the option to buy a gift used opens up many more possibilities. One example was a large wooden swingset. I thought it would be a great gift but was unsure if my kids would use it enough to be worth the several thousand dollars that new ones were going for.

Our solution was Craigslist. After searching through listings we found one that was in great condition and was just what we were looking for. The sellers were thrilled that their beloved set would get more use now that their kids were too old. We were also able to hire someone to move it and reassemble it through Craigslist. My kids were very excited to get something they wouldn’t have otherwise received. You can use the same strategy for many of the Most Expensive Gift Ideas.

The Bulk Gift.
Some things aren’t necessarily beyond our budget but we can afford a lot more when we buy used. For kids there are definitely times where “more” really is more. We love Legos around our house. While a brand new set is a lot of fun I found that they were only really building that set once. Then it would be taken apart and used as blocks for their own creations. What they really needed was a lot of blocks to build with.

Here was a case where I was really looking for a gift of bulk. I turned to ebay and found many sellers of Legos by the pound. You can get a LOT of Legos by the pound for the price of a mid-sized Lego set. When the kids unwrapped the giant box of Legos they could have cared less that they weren’t new. Legos are one of my top 10 Holiday Gift Ideas for School Age Kids.

Vintage, Antique, or Retro Gifts.
Sometimes the cool thing about used toys is that they are old. There are some different names for old: vintage, antique and retro to name a few. Sometimes we find a special toy we played with in our childhood. There are some specialty stores that cater to vintage toys but some of our best finds have been at yard sales. One of the favorite toys in our house these days are the old wrestlers we have from the 1980’s.

Do You Tell the Recipient the Gift is Used?

In case you’re wondering – I never hide the fact that gifts are used from my kids. First of all I don’t want to lie and secondly I think it broadens their appreciation for used items (my oldest tells me we’re recycling). To get started, here are 7 Things You Should Be Buying Used. Also prices for used items go up considerably as you get close to the holidays. Shop early for the best prices!

What are some of your favorite used gifts? When do you give secondhand gifts?

More Holiday Gift Ideas

Check out today's hottest holiday Lightning Deals. Hurry, they change fast and sell out quickly!

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Comments to Used Christmas Gift Ideas: When Secondhand Wins

  1. Here’s an idea for the BEST GIFT EVER…. I ask my kids to give me this rather than another tie or book or whatever that I don’t need or want. Instead, I ask them to make a gift of cash/time/or even sack of stuff to a charitable work. Get me a brochure (or make one up) for the organization or activity and then tell me about what you did or gave.

    Since I started this, I always love the gifts I receive. Nothing to return and no feeling of “Well, damn, what do I do with this?”

    Additionally my kids (and anyone else) can feel they not only fulfilled their gift giving requirement to me, but they also helped someone in need.

    CD Haun

  2. My children are aware of regifting and they understand it helps them too, as they are making their way into the world (how can that be? I am only 22 and 3/4 lol).


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