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Thrifty Gifting: How to Turn Secondhand Treasures Into Unforgettable Gifts

Why buy new when you can find a unique gift right at the thrift store? Here's how to shop for the perfect secondhand present.

Written by
Riley Baker
If you do a quick Google search wondering if it's okay to thrift someone's gift, you'll probably get some mixed results. The notion of wrapping up a pre-owned item as a gift was traditionally met with raised eyebrows and deemed a breach of etiquette. However, in recent times, the narrative surrounding secondhand gifting has undergone a notable transformation.
A past survey from Mercari found
61% of consumers
are comfortable receiving a used gift. Considering
200 million people
shopped for gifts between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday this year (an all-time high, with last year peaking at 196.7 million shoppers), there's no better time to start prioritizing secondhand goods.
"Everywhere you turn, it's this throwaway culture we're living in where people are buying without thinking,"
Bre Eggert
, the founder of
Average But Inspired
, said in a recent episode of
Good Together
. "If we could change the way people are thinking—even if one of the gifts you buy is secondhand—it could make such an impact."
Aside from saving you money, shopping for secondhand gifts also keeps perfectly good items out of landfills, prevents the need for the manufacturing of new goods, and allows you to find gifts that are much more unique than what you'd see on traditional store shelves.
Want to start thrifting your own gifts? Here's how to get started.

How to Thrift the Perfect Secondhand Gift

If you have no idea how to get started when it comes to thrifting gifts, Eggert is here to help. The below gift ideas are made up of items you can find in most thrift stores, but there's also plenty of room for personalization depending on who you're giving them to. You can also pair your thrifted items with new items.
Start with a gift box or basket (which, of course, you can find in nearly any thrift store!) and put together these top-notch gifts for the people in your life.

1. Candle Set

— unique candle holders
— taper candles

2. Snack Set

— crystal bowl or glassware
— store-bought nuts and candy

3. Tea Set

— teacups and saucers
— tea towel
— store-bought tea, lemon, and honey

4. Baker Set

— pie plate
— measuring cups
— store-bought baking mix

5. Cozy Set

— sweater
— book
— mug
— puzzle
— store-bought coffee

6. Plant Set

— planter
— store-bought plant