How to Give Used Gifts Without Being Tacky

How to Give Used Gifts Without Being Tacky

How to Give Used Gifts Without Being Tacky

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.  To ensure your success, all that’s required is a little creative thinking.

Dos and Don’ts in Giving Used Gifts:

  • Don’t re-gift things you really wouldn’t choose to give someone in order to just to get them it your hands.   Doing so will make you look cheap, not thoughtful.
  • Don’t try to pass off used things as new.  Be upfront about the fact that gifts are used.  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).
  • Do be thoughtful when giving recycled gifts.  Matching the person to the present is even more important when giving used gifts.

Recycled :

  • An old toy you used to enjoy as a child
  • The first edition of a favorite book
  • Storytime book pack and video
  • 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
  • Use recycled jars to bottle your favorite sauces
  • Swap old video games for other gently used video games at used video stores
  • Glassware and commemorative items found at thrift stores to match a person’s hobbies
  • A lighted beer sign for someone’s bar

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 much 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.


Related Discussion:


  1. Diane says

    The last two Chanukahs I purchased a lot of American Girl books on ebay to divide between my two daughters. They certainly did not care that the books had been previously read, especially since they were all in excellent condition. Now that my girls have outgrown them, we’ve passed them on to friends. One of those friends has planned to wrap up the books and give them to her own daughter at Christmas.

  2. says

    I have a box in my closet where I collect gifts all year long for birthdays and christmas. When I find something low cost that I think someone would like, or I get a gift I don’t want or need, I put it in the box, and it saves me a lot of time and money come December.

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