Do you want to give a great gift to your loved ones and help the environment at the same time? Secondhand gifts have become increasingly popular and are an excellent go-to option for gifting. This article provides many secondhand gift ideas, as well as some suggestions for a variety of themes.
From home decor to fashion and accessories, entertainment, and collectibles, we’ve covered it all in this gift guide. We also included suggestions on where you can find them.
Secondhand gifts can be a great choice for those looking for an eco-friendly option. Buying second-hand items can help reduce waste in landfills and extend the life of products, lowering our carbon footprint.
Choosing secondhand items saves resources and supports recycling - all aligned with ethical living.
Secondhand gifts offer the chance to give something meaningful and unique to our loved ones. Such gifts offer a creative and unique touch. They also show that you went out of your way to find something different instead of the default retail options.
Secondhand gifts are not only sustainable and unique, but they can also be cost-effective. Choosing secondhand from a local thrift store or online thrift shop allows us to get excellent quality items at a fraction of their original price.
One example could be finding beautiful vintage jewelry that looks just as good as a brand-new piece of jewelry from the store but with an even more interesting history—or hunting out classic dishware that will give a dinner table a stunning look without breaking the bank.
Read more: 10 Reasons to Buy Second Hand Rather Than New.
You could find funky mugs, classic dishware, beautiful vases, ceramics, decorative frames, storage baskets, unique lamps, and elegant trays at a thrift store or online second-hand store.
Secondhand gifts are becoming more and more popular as they are a way to give unique items that also help to reduce waste. Funky mugs are a great example. You can find unique pieces that make excellent, sustainable gifts. They're affordable and reusable.
They often feature interesting graphics, colors, shapes, sizes, or patterns sure to add character and personality to someone’s morning routine or collection. Thrift stores throughout the country always have something new. They offer a range of designs, from classic vintage ceramics with floral motifs to quirky modern shapes.
Secondhand dishware such as plates, bowls, and cups offer a unique way to give sustainable yet thoughtful gifts that bring joy. These timeless pieces have an undeniable charm and character, which can't be replicated with factory-made items.
Choosing pre-loved dishes helps reduce waste while helping someone find a beautiful centerpiece or all the pieces for their set. You can find dishware for special occasions or everyday meals.
Not only does classic dishware add a personality to any dining experience, but it also offers durability and long-lasting quality that you won't get with modern sets. With the proper care, these secondhand classics can become a cherished family heirloom. And they will remember you whenever they use the dishes.
With secondhand gift ideas, you can find unique and one-of-a-kind forms of home decor from estate sales, secondhand shops, and Facebook Marketplace. Nothing beats an exquisite vintage vase if you're looking for a beautiful gift to give your loved ones this holiday season.
These unique pieces come in many shapes, sizes, and materials like pewter, porcelain, or even more unusual gems like glass mosaics. And with pre-loved vases, you never know what might be hiding within the depths. They could be imparted with plenty of decorative flourishes or lovingly kept simple yet still striking enough to draw crowds.
Purchasing secondhand also allows you to add some history into the homes of your friends or family members by finding something passed down through generations.
Ceramics are some of my favorite secondhand gift ideas, as they make thoughtful and unique presents while being friendly to the environment. Ceramics from secondhand shops come with character and charm. They provide an often much-needed break in today's world of mass production.
Whether it's unique coffee mugs, classic dishware, or beautiful vases, there is an abundance of interesting pieces that one can pick up at a thrift store or online marketplace. You could find old-school ceramics such as tea sets from grandma's closet or antique wooden toys from local buy markets. These all make unique gifts for your loved ones.
Decorative frames are the perfect secondhand gift for the home - they give a unique look while also helping you save money. Frames come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, so finding the right fit is usually not an issue when shopping secondhand.
Looking for a specific frame to match your decor? Try looking in a thrift store or antique shop for a few ideas. You may even be lucky enough to find something handmade or vintage. Secondhand decorative frames can become part of someone’s home without breaking their budget or putting a strain on the planet - win-win.
Additionally, the personal touch with such unique finds makes it feel like you've made an extra effort for that special someone.
Secondhand storage baskets can make perfect gifts for eco-conscious friends or family members. Their sustainable quality makes them an excellent choice in gift-giving, and they come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and materials.
Secondhand baskets have many uses, like adding storage and giving plants a home. They are versatile accessories. They even have aesthetic value with their colorful patterns or intricate designs that will harmonize with existing decor.
Going to a thrift store for unique yet practical vintage items - like attractive storage baskets at a fraction of the price - is also kinder to your wallet.
Secondhand lamps offer a fun way to shop for unique light fixtures that not only add a touch of character to any space but also reduce waste and promote a circular economy.
You have many choices for secondhand lighting at thrift stores, antique shops, eBay, garage sales, and Facebook Marketplace.
If you’re looking for something special with extra charm, then a pre-loved lamp is a great idea. They make perfect gifts, too – whether it’s for yourself or your favorite person; please keep in mind that shipping bulky items can result in additional costs.
Elegant trays are a great secondhand gift, as they often come in unique materials and shapes that we can’t find easily elsewhere. Whether it comes from wood, metal, or ceramic, these vintage items are sure to add plenty of charm and character to any home.
Not only do they make beautiful centerpieces for side tables, but they also serve exceptionally well as multi-purpose organization tools around the house. They can hold keys, mail, plants, and other small items. This makes them an excellent idea for practical and stylish gifts.
Secondhand furniture, homeware, and decor provide a unique opportunity to turn your house into a home. Rather than buying brand-new items with little or no character, you can opt for pre-loved gifts that boast charm, quality, and style.
From decorative rugs to decorative storage baskets, there are plenty of secondhand pieces available that would make the perfect gift. For example, antique dishware is ideal for those who like adding classic touches around their home - plus, they often come at great prices.
Beautiful vases in all shapes and sizes can offer an elegant complement to any setting, while ceramics such as artfully arranged plates provide exciting color combinations.
Storage baskets are not only handy, but they also come in a range of colors and styles, so you're sure to find something special among these treasures, too.
With the incredible selection of pre-loved fashion, designer scarves, statement belts, and more, you can find a unique gift for any fashion lover. Dive deeper into this secondhand treasure trove.
Vintage jewelry is a fantastic secondhand gift option for the fashion lover in your life. From statement necklaces to unique earrings and bracelets—vintage pieces are one of a kind; no two items are ever the same.
When shopping secondhand, not only do you get the satisfaction of giving a truly unique item, but vintage jewelry often allows for more ethical sourcing than mass-produced goods. Plus, it reduces waste in landfills since these pieces have already been produced. You'll also benefit from lower prices when buying vintage compared to brand-new items.
Whether you select something that was handmade decades ago or just recently crafted by skilled artisans—secondhand gifts like vintage jewelry can make great gifts. The person will remember your unique gift for a long time.
Secondhand wallets are a great sustainable and eco-friendly gift option. They reduce waste, support the recirculation of materials, and you can find some truly unique pieces. When shopping for secondhand wallets, look for quality fabrics that will outlast trends and give the impression that they have been around for decades.
Pre-loved leather wallets often have more character than mass-produced items, making them distinct gifts with heirloom potential. With many styles to choose from, like vintage bifold or sleek crossbody wallet – there's something for every fashion lover.
Plus, by opting for pre-owned options, you're reducing your footprint on global resources while providing a fantastic gift to a special person - it's a win-win.
Related read: Eco-friendly Wallets.
Secondhand designer scarves provide a sustainable and eco-friendly way to add luxury to any look. These pre-loved accessories can reduce the waste produced by the fashion industry while supporting the circular economy.
Not only are secondhand designer scarves often of better quality than their off-the-rack counterparts, they come with unique features that make them stand out from the crowd. From paisley prints to bohemian fringe trims, these items offer an array of styles without breaking the bank - or your conscience.
Plus, you know, wherever you go, these exclusive garments will be original. Gifting secondhand items could be the most fashionable choice.
Statement belts are one of the most unique and sustainable secondhand gift ideas, especially when shopping for someone who loves style and fashion. Purchasing pre-loved statement belts can reduce your environmental footprint while gifting an eye-catching wardrobe staple.
Many vintage statement belts come in vibrant colors or vivid designs, making them perfect for any outfit. Statement belts offer an opportunity to spruce up any look without breaking the bank; often, they are cost-effective compared to buying them brand new.
With these stylish pieces, loved ones will feel extra special - showcasing their unique personal style.
Though we can often find second-hand gifts in thrift stores or flea markets, these bags provide the added benefit of rarity.
From limited edition designer pieces to one-of-a-kind vintage creations, opting for a pre-loved bag is a stylish and practical gift-giving approach.
Not only will fashion enthusiasts appreciate the craftsmanship, detail, and intricate features that come with adored designers – but they’ll also get hold of coveted pieces. This type of gift-giving can win you points like no other.
Pre-loved fashion is a great way to show your commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly living. Shopping secondhand for clothes, accessories, and other wardrobe items helps reduce waste by giving pre-owned pieces a new life.
Not only do shoppers get unique clothing that stands out from the crowd, but they also support the circular economy when buying pre-loved fashion. From vintage gems you won't find in stores anymore to designer secondhand treasures, there's usually something special on offer.
Related Read: Circular Fashion.
Loved ones can get hours of entertainment out of previously-loved books, classic vinyl dishes, retro board games, and unique kids' toys.
Second-hand books make an excellent gift choice for the book lover in your life. Purchasing pre-loved books supports less waste production, helps to reduce book clutter in readers' homes, and can even support local libraries or sellers of used books.
They are also cost-effective compared to buying brand-new hardbacks or paperbacks. Plus, they often come with a unique storytelling of their journey from one reader's hand to another’s.
Your book lover friend could be lucky to find personal notes written by previous owners. Used books open up endless opportunities to discover stories you may have never seen elsewhere.
Related read: Can you recycle old books?
Vinyl records and record players are an ideal secondhand gift choice for music lovers. Listening to music on vinyl provides a unique sound quality that we cannot replicate with digital music streaming services.
The nostalgia from listening to a traditional record player, complete with the crackling sounds before the notes begin, helps form meaningful connections with memories and experiences.
Not only does buying used records provide a superior audio experience, but it is also more environmentally friendly than purchasing new records.
Secondhand old-school games are a great way to get your pals involved in nostalgic fun. They offer a unique experience and memories that will last for years while reducing electronic waste generated by buying video game consoles and overpriced video games.
You can find old-school classics like checkers, chess pieces, Jenga blocks, or Monopoly at a thrift store or online store like eBay and Facebook Marketplace. With no need for battery power, they make a perfect treat, particularly on those inevitable rainy days when everyone feels stuck inside.
They often bring families together, allowing everyone from little kids to grandparents to engage with each other during special gatherings or holidays.
Secondhand toys are an excellent way to help kids play with new, fun items. Secondhand toys offer a wide variety of options. They include puzzles, wooden blocks, action figures, books, and stuffed animals. All provide the potential to foster children's creativity and imagination while helping reduce landfill waste.
With secondhand toys being cheaper than their new counterparts, they can provide more bang for your buck.
Secondhand sports equipment makes a great sustainable gift for the sports player in your life. You can find bicycles, golf clubs, soccer balls, and other outdoor gear at secondhand thrift stores. This is an easy way to shop sustainably while winning at gift-giving.
Collectibles make unique and special secondhand gifts that can bring a great deal of joy. Whether it's antique pottery, vintage records, classic board games, or handmade wooden toys, these items are full of character and charm.
Collectibles offer the opportunity to give a one-of-a-kind item that the person will treasure for years to come. With their immediate connection to the past as well as their beauty and usefulness, collectibles hold deep significance.
Secondhand art supplies are a great way to be sustainable and eco-friendly while indulging in art, reducing waste, and supporting the circular economy. Shopping for pre-owned materials can save money while helping keep items out of landfills.
Secondhand art supplies commonly include paintbrushes, canvases, sketchbooks, charcoal blocks, colored pencils or crayons, acrylic paints, and clay or pottery tools. You may even come across old printing presses.
Utilizing secondhand materials is an economical way to experiment with different media without breaking the bank – or exhausting natural resources.
Moreover, you'll have the satisfaction of finding hidden gems at a local thrift store or flea market.
Secondhand stores for pre-loved items include thrift stores, online secondhand shops, antique shops, and garage sales. Here are a few ideas on where to find the best secondhand gifts.
Thrift stores are a great place to find unique second-hand gift ideas. Shopping at thrift stores not only supports recycling, reducing waste, and preserving natural resources – it can also be wallet-friendly.
Pre-loved items in your local thrift store allow customers to buy unique, one-of-a-kind gifts. You can find various pre-loved gifts at discounted prices, including jewelry, mugs, decor, and entertainment items. Thrift shops allow shoppers to browse goods in person while supporting ethical habits such as buying secondhand whenever possible.
Related read: Benefits of Thrift Shopping For Second-Hand Clothes.
Online secondhand stores have become a great place for sustainable shoppers to find unique secondhand gift options at an affordable cost. These secondhand stores make it easier than ever to browse different options from the comfort of your home. This way, you can find pre-loved gifts without having to leave the house.
Shopping online is also convenient because you can compare prices across multiple eCommerce stores, like eBay, or thrift shops with a few taps.
Additionally, there's typically far more variety when shopping online than going to physical stores. This means you get access to secondhand pieces from all over the country.
This makes it much easier to find secondhand items as gifts for a friend or family member. Online secondhand stores offer plenty of quality assurance protocols like buyer ratings and product reviews. These help ensure that whatever you decide on is worth its price in value.
Antique shops are a great source of secondhand gifts. When you shop secondhand at an antique store, you can find unique items like vintage jewelry, wallets, handbags, vases, trays, lamps, and more.
Shopping in antique stores offers the added benefit of buying something with more character than mass-produced 'new' products. You can be sure that your purchase doesn't add to the use of resources in manufacturing.
Also, when we support an antique store, we reward its owners for preserving beloved artifacts and giving them a new lease on life. Giving someone an item from an antique store could mean that they start collecting more from the same shop or other places. This makes the gift even more special and sentimental than it was before.
Garage sales make for the perfect scavenger hunt for those looking to source unique secondhand gifts. You can find great, pre-loved gifts from furniture and dishware to fashion and accessories.
If you don't like shopping online, try going to local garage sales instead. It's cheaper and more enjoyable. You can find secondhand items that are worth searching for.
The best second-hand gifts offer an excellent opportunity to save money while being thoughtful and unique. They can help reduce waste, support sustainability, create meaningful conversations, and provide fun opportunities for discovery.
Plus, you never know what hidden gems you might find when shopping for secondhand items. From funky mugs to timeless wallets to valuable collectibles – there are so many ways to give memories in the form of a secondhand gift.
Shopping in thrift stores or online secondhand stores offers an eco-friendly approach that’s kind to your wallet and the environment. Whether you’re buying for special occasions or the holiday season, opting for pre-loved items is always worth considering.
Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.
Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.
Fact Checked By:
Isabela Sedano, BEng.