7 Places to Find Secondhand Gifts Your Friends and Family Will Adore

A couple shop at Goodwill
Paige Charlick and Adam Feldman shop at Goodwill 34th Street Superstore in St. Petersburg, Fla. “I prefer secondhand shopping over big box stores,” Charlick said. “It’s less that goes into the landfill, less that’s thrown away. You can definitely give a new life to things.” Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Gifting your friends and family with something they’ll love this holiday season doesn’t require buying something brand new.

You can save a considerable amount of money by buying used gifts for Christmas instead. Thrift stores and private sellers price merchandise at a fraction of their original cost — not to mention the treasures you might be able to regift without spending a penny.

Before you cringe at the idea, consider this: A recent survey by the selling app Mercari found 60% of people felt comfortable receiving a previously owned gift. 

Likewise, Accenture’s annual holiday shopping survey found more than half of respondents said they’d willingly accept secondhand apparel as gifts this holiday season.

Of course, you’ve got to consider the gift recipient — and the gift. Your vintage-loving sister would appreciate a good thrift store find, and your 2-year-old nephew won’t realize (or care) if his “new” toy truck used to belong to another kid. 

But if your husband has been yearning for a specific tech gadget that just hit the market or your mom wants a 2020 calendar, maybe they aren’t the best candidates to give used gifts for Christmas.

When gifting anything used, examine the item’s condition the best you can. Arrange to meet individual sellers in safe, public places. If you’re purchasing online, vet the website to ensure it’s trustworthy and secure. Check out the reviews or ratings of sellers you buy from.

Opportunities to find pre-owned presents are widespread. Here are seven places to shop for inexpensive gifts this holiday season.

7 Outlets to Find Used Gifts for Christmas

Destiny Washington (left) shops with her friend, Frankie Alvarez, at Goodwill 34th Street Superstore. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Some places you’ll discover great secondhand gifts (that won’t bust your budget) include:

1. Brick-and-Mortar Thrift Stores and Consignment Shops

Thrift store chains like Goodwill and the Salvation Army have a varied assortment of goods. Proceeds from sales go to community programs that support the nonprofits’ missions. 

You may find for-profit consignment shops in your area have a particular focus, like children’s clothing or men’s fashion.

2. Online Resale Retailers and Private Sellers

A woman holds a cell phone that is displaying the Poshmark app
Poshmark is an e-commerce website and mobile app where people can buy and sell used clothes, shoes and accessories. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Sites like Poshmark, Tradesy and ThredUp are great outlets to find clothing and accessories at a discount. 

Other e-commerce websites, like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay and Mercari, have less of an online store interface. On these sites, private sellers post a variety of previously used products for sale, including toys, tech, furniture and home decor.

3. Yard Sales, Estate Sales or Flea Markets

Yard sales, estate sales and flea markets can include a great array of options You may even find a table of trinkets the seller is giving away for free. 

4. Public Libraries

Occasionally libraries will hold fundraisers where they’ll offer a selection of books for sale. You can find titles for only a couple bucks a pop. It’s a good opportunity to get something for the book lover in your life.

5. Pawn Shops

Disregard the negative reputation that pawn shops (often unfairly) have. This venue is popular for finding jewelry at low prices. You can also find a great assortment of other merchandise — from DVDs to bikes to musical instruments.

6. Buy Nothing Groups

The Buy Nothing community (which connects neighbors via Facebook) provides an opportunity to find a gift that won’t cost you anything. Members of Buy Nothing groups post items they own that they choose to give away for free. 

Search Facebook to see if your community has an active group, and join to see what your neighbors are giving away.

7. Your Own Home

Regifting gets a bad rap, but it’s honestly no different than giving something from a secondhand retailer. The plus? You incur zero cost. 

Consider items you’ve barely or never used, like that waffle maker that’s still in the box from when you got married. Just don’t give someone a present they originally gave to you!

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.