Secondhand gifting seems to be a controversial issue opening up the question: Would you be happy to receive a ‘pre-owned’ Christmas gift or would you be offended? 

 With environmental concerns on the rise, more people than ever are prepared to buy second hand goods for themselves. But are they happy to receive or give others pre-owned presents? Or do all good gifts have to be ‘brand new’?

 To put this potentially divisive issue to bed once and for all, we decided to carry out a social media poll. We summarised all our findings in this guide and will continue to update this over the coming days and weeks, so stay tuned

 May it help you safely navigate an otherwise stressful and treacherous Christmas shopping experience…and perhaps save a little (or a lot of) money and the planet in the process.


Why people might consider buying a secondhand gift nowadays:

Saving cash

One main factor why people would benefit from buying second hand is that they are probably saving themselves a lot of cash in the process. It is estimated that on average each UK household spends £473 on Christmas gifting (RetailMeNot). This could be cut down significantly if people were to buy pre-owned items rather than brand new. Things like toys are a prime example of an item that doesn’t necessarily need to be new. Remember kids get bored quickly, so buying them second hand toys could save you pennies, before they move onto the next craze! A lot of the time second hand items have hardly been used, and are still significantly cheaper. When looking at items on Friday-Ad and comparing them with retailers, we came across a   brand new Xbox One S selling on Argos for £199. The same Xbox that has not been opened OR used (brand new) is selling on Friday-Ad for £150. That’s £50 you’ve saved for the SAME brand new console!



Helping the environment…

Secondhand gifting is looking more appealing, particularly amongst the younger crowd. With the rise of online marketplaces like Friday-Ad, there is more access than ever to vintage and secondhand items. This trend has also been helped by the urgent environmental warnings that are being put out there. 

If we urge more people to reuse items that have been pre-owned, it means less waste ending up in landfill each year, and less resources needed or pollution created in the making of new products. You may not believe this, but last Christmas an estimated $400 million was spent on 10 million unwanted gifts. Many of which would have been discarded and likely ended up in landfill. Insane? We think so! 

Second hand gifts can be more meaningful…


One factor you might want to consider in which ‘second hand’ can be the better choice is the fact that items found in thrift stores, flea markets or online marketplaces can be much more unique and something you wouldn’t find in your local department store! In other words ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’… You may discover an item that is really personal to a certain someone that has a real story and meaning behind it. For example it could be a signed book of someone’s favourite author. Or an old t-shirt of a band that is no longer playing or perhaps a vintage dress that you definitely wouldn’t find in a high street store! Not only will such items delight the person receiving them, but that little extra effort and thought which went into finding such treasures, will be appreciated most of all.

Longer lasting

Another aspect you may not think about is that often items are in second hand stores or being ‘re-sold’ because they are long lasting items, that are too valuable to be thrown away. If you hunt hard enough you will very often find some hidden gems that will surprise you. Designer clothing, handbags, famous artwork, antiques and exclusive apparel are just some of many common examples of things you can discover. 

The same applies to toys by the way. How often have you bought some plastic, noisy ‘tat’ that broke within a few times of being played with?! Buying second hand toys you know they’re hard wearing and will last – and if they’ve been enjoyed once before, they’re likely to be a hit again.

Why people might be against it? And what do people really think?

Although second hand buying is becoming increasingly popular, there still seems to be a bit of a stigma attached to ‘second hand gifting’. It can provoke some questions such as: “Is the gift less special if it’s pre-owned?” Or, “is it not generous enough if it’s not new?” So, to find out what people really think about receiving second hand gifts we decided to ask our community on Facebook and Instagram. Interestingly the results varied between the two platforms, but the overwhelming majority of people are indeed happy to receive a second hand gift 👍 😊 

The majority of people seem happy to receive pre-owned gift…

 67% of Instagrammer said they’d be happy to receive a second hand gift, way over half the respondents (!), perhaps surprising for a platform deemed to be the domain of decadent trend-setters and social influencers.

 In comparison a whopping two thirds of respondents on Facebook (77%) gave receiving second hand gifts the thumbs up. 

 Does this mean Insta users are harder to please? Perhaps, but either way it shows that even the most style conscious customers would be happy about a pre-owned present. 

 People feel happy gifting second hand items to immediate family

 Some respondents said it was OK to buy pre-owned gifts for your own immediate family, but didn’t feel comfortable doing so for wider family or friends Although they were happy to buy “new” items second hand with tags still on…

 “It’s fine to buy yourself second hand stuff and gift your own children. I do all the time. But I wouldn’t buy a second hand gift for someone else personally”

 “My two and eight year old get second hand things from us at the moment as they don’t use it for long! But I buy new for family and friends! Even if it’s new with tags on on Facebook! It still is new!”

 Which items make good second hand gifts?

 We’ve established that most people are happy to receive second hand gifts, even the most discerning consumers among us. Great news! That means you don’t have to spend a fortune or set all your greener ambitions aside to please family and friends at Christmas. 

 So why not try to see if you can “re-love” a little this Christmas, and perhaps inspire others to do the same? If you would be happy to receive a pre-owned gift, let your family and friends know – and perhaps ask them the same.

 Next time we’ll look at which type of presents people would be most happy to receive second hand – so you can be confident your pre-owned gift will be a hit, and indeed re-loved 🎁❤️

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