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6 reasons I love buying second-hand gifts

What flashes into your mind when you read the title of this post? Wool blankets with tattered edges? Dusty antiques? Three-legged toy puppies?

My gift recipients could (hopefully!) vouch for me that my second-hand gifts don’t fit those descriptions. And I don’t always buy pre-loved presents, but here are the reasons why I sometimes do.

second hand gifts

1. I can buy items I can’t afford new

If I have a $20 limit for buying a gift, I have much greater buying power by shopping second hand – you aren’t still picturing the tattered wool blanket, are you?

My 6-year-old nephew was desperate for a guitar as his toddler version had played its last tune. I couldn’t find a new one in my budget, but I found this one for $20 on Kijiji, regularly $40 after tax.


It was still in the box, and in mint condition.

2. I find gifts not currently in the stores

This might be one my favorite reasons for buying second-hand gifts. Thrift stores and sites like Kijiji often offer toys that are no longer found in stores. I just picked up this NHL Hockey Board Game for a hockey-loving nephew.

nhl game

It is over $30 on eBay and I paid only {drumroll please} $2.99 at Value Village. The box and contents are in mint condition, including the minuscule hockey puck. Plus, I don’t need to worry my nephew will receive a duplicate.

And the possibilities are endless.

For the right person, tracking down a favorite childhood book might mean more than a retail purchase. Perhaps include a gift card to a bookstore in this library-themed gift card holder.

3. I find brand new gifts in second-hand stores

I have found many factory-sealed items in thrift stores. These are perfect for stockpiling birthday gifts, donating to toy drives or giving as presents.

4. I can spend less

In a tight financial season, it does not make sense to spend the same amount on gifts as you usually would. Creative shopping allows me to buy gifts I know the recipient will like, without spending money I do not have.

5. I like what my kids are learning

My boys have grown up with a mom who LOVES to garage sale. When they were younger, most of their toys were second hand. They had magnetic tins of coins labeled with their names, and they had the fun of doing their own spending.

magnetic tins

They soon realized they could stretch their money by shopping creatively. In a retail store they could afford….a pack of gum (maybe) with their kid currency. But at garage sales, they might be able to buy a Lego car, a bag of marbles or a board game.

Being used to receiving previously-loved items, my eldest pondered a factory-sealed game and asked, “Mom, why do they bother to put all this plastic on this game?”

6. It’s an easy way to be green

If I buy a second-hand gift, I am doing my part to let toys have a long life with children who love them (cue the Toy Story music).

toy story collage

There are many ways to shop creatively and stretch our dollars. Finding fabulous second-hand gifts happens to be one of my very favourites. And the thrill of finding a perfect gift for an amazing price keeps me hunting for more.

Do you ever give second-hand gifts? Share your best find in the comment section.


  1. Olivia

    I have done so for a charity drive, such as requested items on a Christmas tree tag for a specific recepient.
    I once bought a second hand long red winter coat, non form fitting requested by a person who needed it. Found the right size ,colour and price.
    If it’s something someone is looking for and it’s in perfect condition….why not ?!!

  2. Karen Gauvreau

    Absolutely! You can’t go wrong when you buy new for less!

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