Published on May 31, 2017 — Leave a comment

Yes, You Really Can: 7 Tips to Buying Gifts Secondhand

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Do you love secondhand for yourself and your kids, but hesitate to shop thrift for gifts, even for your best friend? We get it. But buying “used” is far more acceptable and attractive than it used to be. A recent survey cited by Money magazine says 61% of people would be fine receiving a pre-owned gift because of the significant savings it would represent to the giver.

You don’t need to spend a fortune to give a personal and thoughtful gift when you shop secondhand. It’s the perfect option when your best friend has J.Crew taste but your budget is more Old Navy. If you splurge on the leather wallet she really wants (at a price you can afford) it won’t end up in the back of her closet and you’ll feel good about giving it.

Below, some tips on scoring like-new gems everyone will fall in love with.

Know your subject. The most important thing to consider is, of course, the recipient. If an item is from their favorite brand, it won’t matter if it’s brand new or pre-loved. They’ll appreciate the thought and the fact that you know their style so well. Make a quick list of their likes and dislikes, and include brands, colors, fabrics, and prints. Then dive straight into a category and use thredUP’s helpful filters to narrow down your ideas and find a perfect match.

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To shop by brand, click “Clothing” and once on that page, hover over brand. Add any brands your gift-receiver might like, and then browse away!

Start with Accessories. Handbags and small leather goods make the perfect pre-owned gifts because you don’t have to worry about sizing and fit. Other fun picks are mega-affordable scarves, hats, sunglasses, and gloves. One size fits all! Find all the latest styles and trends they’ll love at up to 90% off retail price.

Try New with Tags. You want brand new stuff (with secondhand prices!), you got it. Secondhand doesn’t always mean previously worn or used. 15% of all the items on thredUP are brand new with the tags still on. And at up to 70% off. Find everyone’s favorite brands—from mall must-haves like Gap, Ann Taylor LOFT, and Anthropologie to high-end designers like Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors, and Tory Burch. Just click the New with Tags box under the Price filter to find all our brand new gems.

Look for Kids’ Gifts. Shopping for a little one? Browse our kids and baby clothing for adorable, one-of-a-kind finds you won’t see anywhere else. Since kids grown out of clothes so quickly, many of our items are barely worn, if at all. Find one-pieces, dresses, denim, and more from Gap, Crewcuts, Hanna Andersson, Gymboree, and more.

Use Price Filters. Have a budget you need to stick to? You can set a price range or choose from one of our set price buckets: $10-$25, $25-$50, $50-$100, and more. We have thousands of items that are under $10, so there’s plenty of affordable options for when you need a small token of appreciation.

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This time, instead of hovering over “Brand” hover over “Price” and toggle by the different options!

Create a one-of-a-kind gift box. Surprise a friend with a carefully curated box that’s personalized just for them. It’s so easy (and fun!) to mix and match items from brands they love. Maybe it’s Coach card holder and Marc by Marc Jacobs scarf. Or their favorite 7 for all Mankind jeans, a cute tee, and sunglasses (all under $50!). Be sure to check the sale section for cool extras and even deeper discounts.

Enter the Polka-Dot Party. All items (including gifts!) purchased from thredUP arrive in a rad polka-dot box carefully wrapped in you guessed it, polka-dot tissue paper. Every item is triple-checked and affixed with a unique thredUP hangtag before it’s shipped out, so you can rest assured that your gifts will arrive in impeccable condition.


Imagine if you got this gift in the mail! Photo cred: @adairalexandra

Chances are your friends won’t know the gifts are “used,” but tell them anyway. You might make a thrifty convert. And we love that. Remember, best friend gifts that are secondhand are always thoughtful, never cheap.

Got any other great ideas? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!