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Friday, 2 December 2016

Why I'm Buying Second-Hand Gifts This Year

{ B l o g m a s :: day two }

I have been met with nothing but positivity following my announcement to buy 90% second-hand this year, but I thought I would pen this post anyway to give a little explanation as to the exact reasons why.

It's more ethical & environmentally friendly.
I'm quite the little hippie these days, although I suppose in a way I always have been. I've always been very conscious of the impact some lifestyle choices make on the earth and I've always made an effort to live my life in the most eco-friendly way I could. I'm not saying I'm a perfect little eco-warrior because I am not, I make lots of mistakes and am guilty of being suckered in my consumerism and advertising. But I do buy 80% (maybe more) of my clothing second-hand, as well as things like DVDs, books and games. I go charity shopping fairly often - it's a hobby of mine - and I'm always picking up little bits and pieces for my family whenever I'm out, but it didn't occur to me to try Christmas shopping until this year. 

Stores are always pushing Christmas through advertising and product placement and honestly I find it a little overwhelming. I feel like Christmas has become something a little more pressured and money-driven over the last few years and it's something I'm not comfortable with, although I'll get onto that in a minute. Buying second-hand gifts means that I'm rehoming items that are in perfectly good condition instead of buying things new and shovelling money into the festive advertising trap. There are so many items still full of life that are being pushed aside by new new new all of the time and it's, honestly, stupid.

It's cheaper.
I'm not going to lie and say this wasn't a factor in my decision, because it was. Buying items second-hand is cheaper than buying new 99% of the time and it's meant that I can buy everyone wonderful gifts without panicking that I'll run out of money. It's not that I don't love my family enough to buy them something expensive. Sometimes it's just not an option to spend a lot of money and honestly, Christmas shouldn't even be about how much gifts cost. I buy my family things that I know they will love and that will make them happy and that's the most important thing. I feel like each year the financial pressure of Christmas gets stronger and stronger and I know it's not just my family that feels the strain.

Buying second-hand gifts does not mean that they're rubbish or thoughtless. I have a rule that I won't buy anything unless I'd be willing to pay full retail price for it in a 'regular' store which helps filter out some of the more risky / cheaper items. I also think to myself "would they pick that up if they were here with me?" which helps, too. If anything, buying second-hand requires a lot more effort and innovation as you don't know what you're looking for until you find it. Places like eBay are great as you can just search for exact items but if you're charity shopping or looking on Facebook For Sale sites it's a bit more difficult and you really do have to rummage through all of the crap to find the hidden gems.

Why not?
My final thought when making the decision was "well, why not?". I'm seeing it as a challenge, a little test for myself to see if it is actually possible to have a second-hand Christmas that isn't rubbish. I'm 80% done with my shopping already and I'm very happy with the results so far! I've noticed that since starting shopping I've bought very few 'filler' presents and that almost everything is a great present on it's own, although of course they'll be stuffed into stockings and gift bags together! The presents I haven't bought second-hand are either from Superdrug or Lush, although I have bought one thing for Luke from Wilko but as it was an electronic, I'd rather buy that new.

Some Tips ::
 Start early. If you have a very clear idea on a certain gift then start looking for it as soon as you can because sometimes things can take a while to source for the right price. Attend plenty of car-boot sales in the Summer & set up an eBay alert for key words.
Don't overlook places like Facebook, Depop and eBay. For a more in-depth list of places to buy second-hand items check out this post.
Think practically and realistically about items you find, especially if they're cheap. Will they really like it or are you being suckered in by the low price?
 What you can't buy, make. Baking and gifting big batches of brownies or cookies go down just as well (if not better) than a giant bar of chocolate.
What you can't thrift, buy from a small business. All of the candles & wax melts I've bought as gifts this year came from Flamingo Candles or Bloom Candles. Etsy and Instagram are great places to look!
  Have fun with it! Don't see it as restrictive. Think of it as a fun challenge!

Would you ever consider buying second-hand presents?

5 comments:

  1. This is a brilliant idea and I would have done it this year if I wasn't so last minute with everything, I'm literally kicking myself! Also I think I would find it harder to do this for little bits and pieces because the charity shops around my end are so terrible because I don't live in a big city. I will definitely consider it next year though, when I have more time to rummage, a very thoughtful post.

    Marbl☾☽Moon

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  2. Such a great idea, I really need to spend more time looking in charity shops. I hate the consumerism surrounding Christmas it should be about spending time with friends and family not spending unnecessary money on things you don't need! xx

    www.bethanlikes.com

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  3. This is such a great idea. I feel the strain at Christmas to spend lots of money on new stuff for my family, but I'd never considered charity Christmas presents. It actually sounds like a really great idea, and so what if something is second hand? It's the thought that counts, I always say. Although, it does feel recently that it's more what you spend that counts - which is so wrong, and not at all what Christmas is about. I might just give this a go - next year, as I've left it a little late this year! x www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

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  4. Love this idea, I have also been trawling the charity shops before the high street to pick up some gifts for instance I managed to pick up a brand new (second hand) best selling thriller book for 50p for my Nan for christmas and a few other bits and bobs for me it's about saving money but also donating towards great causes :) more people should try it!

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  5. It's not something I would have thought of to be honest but I really love the idea. It's a really thoughtful way to shop because you're putting a lot more effort into finding a gift that the person will really like (and ofc the charity gets money!) I will definitely try it next year for birthdays/holidays!

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