Second hand is not second best – Buying second hand gifts for Christmas

With Christmas speeding towards us we asked Cathey, mum to two Girls aged Four and Six about buying second hand Gifts for Christmas.

Cathey is a freelance writer and blogger who is passionate about money saving, crafting and cooking, and can often be found in the kitchen teaching her Girls(aged 4 and 6) to make pizza dough, or making home-made gifts for family and friends.

When I think of all the toys my kids have that never get played with, and the statistic that the average kid owns 238 toys but only plays with 12 daily[source], doing up a favourite doll makes so much sense.

Last year, Australians spent $45 billion dollars in the period leading up to Christmas. That’s an average of $2,500 per person over the age of 14 [source].

Do those stats blow your mind, because my mind is still reeling? How much of that is debt? While it’s great to be generous towards others, digging yourself into debt to do so is crazy.

One of the biggest ways that I have saved money over the eight or so years of being a mum has been by buying second hand.  For us reloving preloved toys, clothes and household items has become a way of life and not something that is to be ashamed of.

However, there is sometimes a stigma of second hand being second best. So get ready for Buying second hand gifts for Christmas.

Second hand toys

Does it matter to the child?

  • When children are young they really do not have any concept of new toys or new to them toys.
  • Many children are just so excited to get the gift they wanted that it will not even enter their head that it is pre owned.
  • With many teenagers wanting laptops and electronic items it is often second-hand or nothing due to the original costs.
  • Upcyling, reusing and recycling is really in vogue at the moment.
  • Tips for buying second-hand

    • If you are buying anything that needs batteries or electric make sure it works before paying for it.  When I am at a car boot sale I always make sure I have a selection of batteries with me in my bag.
    • If you’re buying battery operated toys check there is no battery leakage around the compartment. Open it up and check there is no rust there too.
    • I take a tip out of my parents’ book and have always unboxed any toys we give the boys, so they can’t tell what’s new and what’s just new to them.
    • Use a sterilising fluid mix to clean baby toys or LEGO and LEGO Duplo and then pop in a storage box before wrapping them up.
    • If you see a fantastic toy at a great price but your child is not ready for it yet – buy it and put it away for later, especially if it is in great condition.


1. Pre-loved games:

Buying second hand gifts for Christmas, Austree Classifieds

Whether it’s a game for the Xbox, a game of scrabble in good nick, or a jigsaw puzzle, a good way to save on games is to buy them second-hand. A lot of Xbox/ PlayStation games are only ever played once. When the player has reached the end, the novelty of the game is over – their boredom is your gain.

Things to look out for: make sure the game doesn’t need a code or key to unlock. PC games are more likely to be locked to one user only (what a waste!). Some PlayStation and Xbox games have extras that can only be unlocked with a password.

Before buying, check the disc for scratches.

If you’re buying pre-loved board games, check that all the pieces are in the box. You may need to download instructions for play.

Find one on Austree Classifieds

2. ’New’ Second-hand items:

Kids Christmas Gifts, Buying second hand gifts for Christmas

Here we come to the re-gifted item. The unwanted present from last year that hasn’t even been opened. You could really say these items are not even second-hand at all.

Look on Austree and Facebook groups straight after Christmas for a whole host of re-gifted items. Just be sure not to make the same mistake – buy something your recipient will like so your gift doesn’t get re-gifted!

3. Bikes:

Second hand bike, Buying second hand gifts for Christmas

ALL our bikes, when I was a kid, were second-hand. My grandfather built them from bits and pieces and when he died, my father built them. A bit of tender loving care and a new coat of paint and bikes can look and ride as good as new.

Find one on Austree Classifieds

4. Furniture:

Buying second hand gifts for Christmas

If you know someone who has moved house recently or enjoys a project then why not pick out a piece of furniture for them to ‘up-cycle’. My friend Jane recently let me know she wanted to buy me something from a charity shop for Christmas which she thinks will be perfect for my office. I’m seriously excited to find out what it is because that girl has really good charity shop taste!

Find one on Austree Classifieds

5. Electronics: 

Second-hand-computer, Buying second hand gifts for Christmas

This year buy your loved ones a Second Hand Laptop or Smartphone, which will help them in learning, for a Children’s who are ready for next year High School this would be a great gift which will help them in studying and completing there assignments on time. For elders it would be good thing to learn which will open the doors to keep it up with latest News, Social media like Facebook to find some old friends.

Find one on Austree Classifieds

6. Clothes:

Second hand clothes, Buying second hand gifts for Christmas

If you know someone who is in to clothing why not see if you can track down something beautiful for them? It doesn’t have to be a magnificently expensive dress or suit. There’s something so special about receiving a piece of jewellery as gift, be it cheap or expensive. Vintage and second hand jewellery can be picked up at a fraction of a cost compared to the items you can find on the high street.

Find one on Austree Classifieds

So tell us in comments how much did you save this year after Buying second hand gifts for Christmas and also tell us will you continue Buying second hand gifts for Christmas or any other occasions and what those occasions would be!

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