To paraphrase the popular Christmas tune, it’s the most expensive time of the year. From stocking fillers and surprises left under the tree by little elves, to gifts that let our friends, employees, and clients know that we care, the festive period can be a major financial drain. The high cost of living and a recovering economy don’t help matters either.

“When you have to make that December pay cheque last for what feels like an eternity, gift shopping in expensive retails stores that carry huge mark-ups will leave your bank balance high and dry in no time,” says Estelle Nagel at Gumtree.

For this and many other reasons, second-hand gifting is a growing trend around the world. In a GlobalData survey, 47.2% of respondents said they planned to buy second-hand gifts for last year’s holiday season, and 60% believed that giving second-hand gifts is more socially acceptable than just a few years ago.

“Many people believe that thrifted, used, like-new, vintage and gently used goods are not only a great way to save money on gifts, but can also be a far more meaningful, unique and sustainable. Because buying second-hand ensures that we are being less wasteful, both financially and environmentally, which makes this a great reason on its own to shop second-hand,” adds Nagel.

Really? Other people’s stuff?

You may not be convinced just yet, wondering how on earth you could show your face at the family braai after gifting your loved ones ‘old stuff’. Rest assured, second-hand doesn’t mean you’re buying someone’s old, worn and torn possessions.

With luxury resale having taken off considerably in recent years, fashion-forward individuals with limited budgets can now get their hands on the most sought-after luxury goods, such as a Hermes handbag or the iconic Louboutin red soles, at a fraction of the price. Every family has at least one fashionista who would faint at the sight of an authentic Louis Vuitton purse waiting for them under the tree – pre-owned or not!

Vintage shopping is another great way to find timeless gems perfect for gifting. Vintage shoppers stake out local thrift stores, Hospice shops and thrifters selling their wares online, for the best clothing and jewellery of yester-year. For the discerning friends, family and colleagues with unique style, vintage gifts are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Fashion goods aren’t the only items worth buying second-hand for gifts – electronics like smart phones, laptops, TVs, gaming consoles and accessories are perfectly acceptable pre-owned purchases. People sell perfectly working tech gadgets, many of which are latest generation or models from the last year or two, for reasons like emigrating or simply wanting to own the very latest model. Either way, scoring these deals can save you a great deal of money on gifting for the tech lovers in your life.

“Toys and books are another massive treasure trove for second-hand buyers looking to grant their little ones’ holiday gift wishes without breaking the bank,” says Nagel. “Why spend hundreds of rands on a toy off the shelf, when you can pay half the price or less on one that’s been gently used?”

Your best bet for finding pre-loved goods your loved ones will adore is at local thrift and second-hand stores, on social media and online classified sites like Gumtree. Check back frequently if you don’t immediately find what you’re after.

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