How to Give Second-Hand Gifts without Looking Tacky

Want to give second-hand gifts, but afraid you'll look tacky doing it? Put these strategies to work, and you'll save a ton without looking like a bum:

Snatch Up Collectibles

stack of Transferware Dishes
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Make a list of the things that your friends and family collect – dish patterns, knick knacks, etc. – and look for those items when you're out at thrift stores, flea markets and yard sales.

Go Vintage

Vintage Jewelry
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Antiques are prized for their age, not despised for it; so seek out those old-world treasures and give them as gifts.

A few ideas: vintage jewelry, colorful linens, old copies of classic books

Search Out One-of-a-Kind Finds

Autographed Baseball
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Some things just can't be bought in a retail store. Be on the look out for handmade goodies and any rarities or oddities. You may just uncover something truly special to give.

A few ideas: autographed items, mementos from events/places the recipient has been to, items so hideous that they're just begging to be gag gifts

Look for New Items

Christmas Candle
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Buying second-hand doesn't have to mean buying used items. Keep an eye out for items in their original packaging – candles, clothes, craft kits, etc. – and no one will care (much less notice) that it was purchased second-hand.