Contrary to popular belief, giving gently used items as gifts doesn’t have to be tacky. Sometimes, it can result in a deeply personal gift that comes with big impact and a small price tag. Plus, whenever you purchase a used item or give a gently used gift you’re doing something good for the environment. Sometimes all that’s required is a little creative thinking.
Here are some ideas:
An old toy you used to enjoy as a child
The first edition of a favorite book
Antique postcards from a favorite place or hometown for a shadowbox
“Lots” of DVDs or books of your child’s favorite character purchased on eBay
Last year, one eBay gift I gave was a collection of Family Circus books for my daughter. She loves reading them at her grandparents’ house, but since they’re out of print they can’t be found in stores. However, used copies are still available on eBay. I purchased a “lot” of about 10 books for around $15. That’s a lot less than buying ten new books, plus she’ll love them!
When you shop for gifts on eBay, be sure to start early on in the season. You’ll need to enough to allow time for the auction to run its course and the item to be shipped. You can also use eBay to look for gift cards, holiday apparel from your favorite stores for holiday parties.
When you give “recycled” gifts, the key is to not pass them off as new. In fact, I love to call attention to the fact that items are not new by using recycled gift tags (as well as recycled gift wrap too).
I have also given some of my childhood things to the kids in the past. I sometimes find glassware at thrift stores to match someone's current set or interest (i.e. Apollo glasses for my husband whose an avid fan of the N ASA program. I once found Madame Alexander dolls for $2 each that a collector had kept in glass cases and donated for resale.
My Dad is a big Dale Earnhart fan. At a yard sale this spring I found a large commemorative stien for $3, this can not be found in stores. I have cleaned it up and will fill with his favorite Starlight mints. Also found A Dale Earnhart book for $1 to go along with it.
I dug around in the garage and found the bag full of children's books. All Horse stories I obtained for free. These will go to my niece as she is as much a horse lover as I am.
Kim, this is an awesome idea! I actually thought about this from a different angle last night before bed. I have a 10 x 10 space in my basement filled with "garage sale" items for next Spring. I should take the ones that are in really great shape and sell them on craigslist or eBay. That will generate more cash for me! Yay!
I work in a consignment shop, so, I get great deals on gently used items all the time, I got my Mom a used Coach purse for a steal!! I also buy things off e-bay as gifts as well(video games & dvds mostly)