Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Let's Go Thrifting Guide to Thrift-Gifting

A lovely vintage jewelry box. 

As a diehard thrifter who enjoys secondhand shopping both solo and with friends, I have no qualms with finding one-of-a-kind thrifted wonders as gifts for others. I snagged this gorgeous jewelry box for my sister just last week. Her birthday was quickly approaching and I didn't want to just hand her a gift card for the mall.  I wanted to find something I knew she would love. Seeing that my sister has an arsenal of costume jewelry and a love for cameo pendants, I knew she'd flip over this find. The fact that this didn't have a price tag and the Impact bric-a-brac department priced it on the spot for me was also quite serendipitous. 


Funnily enough, a week before I found this treasure, I ordered Ashley this vintage wooden bead necklace from Etsy. Little did I know I would find a nice little vintage box to store it in!  Needless to say, she loves both gifts. And of course, since she's a total fashionista I still got her a gift card to New York And Co. 

While this jewelry box sure was a lucky thrifted-gift find for my little sis, I bet some of you may be wondering if there  is an etiquette to thrift-gifting. And while I'm not sure there's an exhaustive set of guidelines on the subject, I tend to abide by the the following:

  • A gift from one thrifter to another is almost always welcome, provided the item is in clean, sanitized, operable condition. 
  • A gift for a non-thrifter should be used with discretion to the individual. If you are convinced the item is rare, a fine addition to the recipient's collection or  has a special personal significance, then thrift away!
  • Given time and patience, thrift-gifting in theme is usually a welcomed gesture. Last Christmas, a close friend of mine had just moved into a new apartment. From October until December 23rd I was on the hunt for kitschy fun finds for her kitchen, since she's one hell of a baker and her boyfriend is a chef. From 70's style salt 'n' pepper shakers to placemats, to oven mitts. I found a bunch of never and barely-used one-of-a-kind kitchenware.
  • If you have a friend or family member that is eco-conscious and lives to thrift but can't find them anything they love, have you considered a gift certificate to their favorite secondhand store? I gave a thrift gift card to a friend for $25. She bought herself a funky 1970s couch, with some money to spare! 
  • Thrift-gifting demands a sharp eye and a solid knowledge of what the recipient's interests are. Does she collect unicorns? Is she a b-horror fanatic? Does he have an unhealthy obsession with Pogs? Keep this in mind when thrifting.
  • Unless your friends or family have complete contempt for secondhand wares, ere on the side of throwing your usual caution to the wind. If the price is right and the item is just too perfect to pass up, I say buy it. He or she could be so impressed by your amazing find, you might just find yourself the hero of the holiday. Heck, maybe you'll make a thrift shopper out of 'em yet! 

Thrift-Gifting: Frugal fun with a personal touch.

  • As a general rule (that could be broken at any time) I tend to avoid thrift-gifting clothing...Unless there's a vintage wonder never to be seen again or a designer piece that I know without a shadow of doubt will be nothing short of adored by the recipient. Typically, fit tends to be the main issue. But if you thrift-gift some amazing ensembles for someone else..don't forget to get 'em professionally dry cleaned. 
  • Bric-a-brac is a veritable treasure trove for secondhand gift thrifters! Take a look around. You never know what will turn up. 

Thrift-Gifting: Would give someone a present from a previous owner's past? 


Let's Go Thrifting recommends...

I wouldn't mind getting one of these either...


Crystal in Texas said...

I am totally on with thrift gift giving! Luckily my family and friends know that the only places I like to shop are thrift stores and so it is likely that anything from me is going to be pre-owned. As for clothing, I like buying used because it has usually imploded all it's going to for quite a while. As far as giving used clothing as a gift? Well, some people I will and others...nah...they don't get anything! 8-)

Jackie Jardine said...

Hi there, Crystal in Texas. Well I'm glad I'm not the only one who is down with the thrift-gifting!

<3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting!

Eli said...

I've actually never given someone something as a gift gift from a thrift store, more of a here I got you something.

Jackie Jardine said...

I'd give it a whirl if presented with the opportunity, Eli. If I spot something that's nothing short of made for that one specific person in my life...I have to get it for them. But I've also received some lovely secondhand wares board games, decor, costume jewelry, vintage photographs. You name it!