I’m the type of Christmas giver who’s looking for the perfect, unique, one of a kind gift for everyone. Finding those kinds of gifts rarely happen at Mega Mart shopping stores. Mega Mart has 30 copies of whatever you want on the shelf. Often when I’m going for unique, I don’t mind making it myself. But, because I’m not a blacksmith, woodworker or electrical engineer, I go to the next best place: the thrift store.
If your thinking,”WAIT!! WHAT? You buy people “used” stuff?” Please give me a few minutes to change your mind. Hopefully by the end of this post, you’ll get it and even be on board with the idea! Stop thinking of them as “used” and start thinking of them as unique (Please note you won’t find pajamas or lingerie on the list)! And before you go judging, just think of all those gifts you have “re-gifted.” Re-gifting is re-gifting.
Blogger Warning: There are probably people in your life that would be totally insulted by this idea. Do not get their gift from the thrift store. But there are people in your life who are not going to know the difference or will be thrilled by the idea. Those are the people these ideas are for.
10 Reasons To Have A Thrift Store Christmas
1. Kids Toys-
- Why?– A few years back I watched the lady in front of me at a consignment sale spend about $100 and load up about four, 30 gallon storage bins with toys. She told the woman in line behind her that she was buying her kids Christmas. That is brilliant in my opinion. I mean think about it, when you were a kid did you care at all about the shiny packaging keeping your from immediately accessing your toy? No, you just want to start playing with it. Thrift stores and consignment stores are full of gently used toy treasures perfect for your child.
- How Much?– $0.50-$10.00
- Ideas: Little People, Tonka, Disney and many many gently used amazing toys can be found. Find your little doll lover, baby doll potties, cribs, strollers and pack n’ plays for $0.50- $5.00!
- Example: Last week I found a set of Thomas the Train metal trains in a carry case for $4.99. These trains are $7.99 each at Target. I’m wrapping this find up and my 2 year old will love it!
- Germs?-If your nervous about germs, just get out your favorite disinfecting towelettes or spray and go to work! Remember, toys aren’t manufactured in “clean” rooms. There’s no telling what is in the factory new toys are manufactured in.
- Why? People are always donating great movies to thrift stores. If you have a family member that’s into movies from the last 10 years, take a sweep through the DVD section
- How Much?– $0.79-$5.00
- Ideas: Classic movies, Kid’s movies, Disney movies, Animated movies.
- Example: I found “Monsters Inc.” at my thrift store for $1.99.
- Quality Control: I always check the back of the DVD. If there are no major scratches I get them. I have never had an issue with a DVD I bought from a thrift store. They play just like all the rest.
- Why? Sometimes you can find classic, unique and hard to find music that’s been donated.
- How Much?– $1.00-$5.00
- Ideas: Hard to find music, classic music or even eclectic music like old records (vinyls).
- My grandmother loved the sound of music so I found “The Sound of Music” record with cover and put it in a record frame from the craft store for her home. Music turned artwork.
- I have found autographed Dave Matthews Band CD’s. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. 🙂
- Quality Control: Just like DVD’s, just check them out for major scratches.
- Why?- I realize that everything is going digital so not everyone on your list is digging paper books. But it doesn’t mean that there aren’t great books out there for someone on your list.
- How Much?-You will pay 70-90% off retail prices on books. Most are barely used. $1-$6.
- Ideas: Cook Books, How-To Books, Historical, Classic Literature (Jane Austen) , Popular Literature (Harry Potter), Tweens, Teens, Kids and baby books.
- Toddler board books are sometimes in brand new condition.
- I always see classic books like “Narnia”, “Lord of the Rings” and “Ender’s Game.”
- I regularly find “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and popular tween books.
- Don’t forget your Jane Austin, “Little Women” and other great classic romantic novels for the young women in your life.
- For Men-Buying clothes for people isn’t always the best idea. However, if you have a spouse, brother, dad or boyfriend who wears an exact size like 32/32 in pants, you can get nice designer jeans and pants from thrift stores in great condition without paying an arm and a leg.
- Picky Teens- If you have a picky teen, consider going to a store like “Plato’s Closet” and getting their high dollar jeans and shirt preferences at under $30.
- Women- If you have a lady in your life that likes scarves or cute belts, thrift stores have great options for under $5.
- Some of the most unique pieces of jewelry I have ever seen, I have found at thrift stores.
- People don’t know what to do with jewelry so they simply donate it.
- Examples: A month ago I bought two gorgeous bracelets that I found out were made in the 1940’s. I paid $1.99 each for them.
- Thrift stores have some pretty cool art.
- If you hate the art, but the frame is really cool, switch out the art for a print by the person’s favorite artist.
- For those artists out there, you can also re-use canvases and save some big bucks.
8. Purses and Bags-
- Why?– Women go through purses and bags like crazy! Most bags at thrift stores are in great condition! I even find top brands like Fossil, Vera Bradley and other popular brands.
- How Much?– $1.50-$20.00
- Ideas: Vintage, Purses, Tote Bags, Back Packs, Laptop Bags and reusable grocery bags.
- Example: I bought a Vera Bradley diaper bag in great condition for $4.99. I have bought several lap top sleeves and bags as well for me and my husband. I have also gotten several vintage bags for those eclectic friends and relatives in my life.
- If you have a special picture you would like to wrap up for someone, head over to the thrift store to find the perfect frame.
- Most frames are in pretty good condition but always remember, you can go to Pinterest for inspiration on how to re-vive a used picture frame and make it look amazing!
10. Gift Baskets & Containers-
- If you want to make someone a gift basket, DO NOT PAY RETAIL.
- Gift baskets are constantly donated.
- You can get nice gift baskets for under $5 at thrift stores.
- I’ve seen lots of pin’s on Pinterest where people have purchased old cookie tins and spray painted them to revive them. They clean them out and fill those containers with Christmas cookies and goodies for friends and neighbors.
I hope this helps some people relax a little about buying Christmas gifts second hand. When you want to be thrifty and get someone a unique personal gift, there is no better place to go than antique stores, thrift stores & consignment stores. Let me know if you have found any amazing gifts second hand.
Kim’s is the party planning, cupcake loving, celebration catalyst behind the Thrifty Little Mom Blog. Kim was a pro event planner for over 7 years before she became a full-time blogger. Kim is the author of: Live, Save, Spend, Repeat: The Life You Want with the Money You Have. She’s been featured on Time.com, Money.com, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day and more! Kim aims to inspire you to create parties, celebrations and gatherings that everyone loves!