Are “used gifts” offensive?

Would you give  “used gifts” ? Would you be offended at receiving  “used gifts”?

Question of the day…..

Would you give a gift to someone that you have purchased at a thrift store or yard sale?

Would you be offended if someone gave you a gift that was thrifted?

Would you feel cheap?

Would you feel like your friend or loved one didn’t care enough to buy you something new?

All of these items are thrifted items that I picked up at yard sales last weekend.

They were prettied up and prepared for my booth……

What is the difference between someone buying them at my booth and giving them to someone and you or I buying them at a yard sale and giving them to someone?

My question.

Where do you stand on thrifted gifts.

Are you brave enough to say?

Talk to me people!



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  1. Unfortunately no one else in my family or circle of friends really shares my thrifty decorating style. So while I always buy from thrift stores and yardsales for myself, I don’t for others – even though I should. In the Tightwad Gazette, Amy Dacyczyn says “If you fear people will think you are “cheap” or “thoughtless,” ask yourself if you would be happy with the quality of the gift you are giving. If you buy yourself expensive goods from Bloomingdales, people will jusifiably feel that it’s inconsistent for you to buy them bargains from the dollar store. In contrast, if you always seek out bargains for yourself, others will be far more likely to accept them as presents from you.” Really good advice. By the way, I love all your yard sale finds, and think anyone would love to receive them for a gift.

  2. I give thrifted items all the time if they are in great condition. Right now we’re on a very tight budget and thrifting is one way we get by. I can get a way better quality item at the thrift store than I could afford new. The key is to look for items in close to new condition. Also, a thrift store is great for putting together gift baskets or bowls or boxes. 🙂

  3. I would be very careful about giving used items as presents. That being said, friends and family that like vintage and antique items should be very pleased with a thoughtful and unique present. Quality and materials of vintage ware, as well as craftsmanship, is frequently higher than what is being sold new today, at least when you factor in price. I am also very excited with repurposed items. There is so much talent and creativity in this country today that I can see giving presents you’ve made yourself blending old with new; if they are attractive, that is! If your gift is thoughtful and comes from love rather than a hurried purchase made with a sense of obligation, your recipient will be happy with it.

  4. I am always so excited when I come across a great find that I am screaming from the rooftop! I would not think twice about thrifting. I would love to receive something thrifted, especially if it is old and rusty. =)

  5. I’ll take the nested set of baskets with dish inserts 🙂 …and I won’t even ask you where you got them from!

    I appreciate the skill set of those that can take thrifty items and turn them into gifty items. I’m the gal that donates the items crafty people turn into gifty items!

  6. Lara Bysiek says:

    Love them-sometimes you can find the perfec t gift anywhere!

  7. People who truly know me would not hesitate to give me a used item they bought or had in their house already. If it’s dented, chipped or has painting potential, I would love to be gifted it. I once posted on an old birdhouse I was given, which is one of my favorite possesions. Glad to see you broach the subject.

  8. What a good subject… I often buy thrift store items… but like one of the other commenters, not everyone in my family does. I actually had a friend say to me once (in dripping tones) that she “never went to thrift stores” … I would not mind getting just about anything you got at the thrift store and prettyed up!

  9. Goodwill and Salvation Army especially have new items for thrift prices. My guess is they didn’t fit (size, style, color) of the first recipient so it was donated. Absolutely nothing wrong there. If the receiver is someone like us who appreciates some old items in acceptable condition, nothing wrong there; I would feel it shows the person knows me and appreciates my interests. Wouldn’t you, Rebecca, if someone gave you an item to repaint because it’s something they knew you would enjoy doing? I guess it all depends on the item and the recipient.

    • The new items I see at thrift are priced up sometimes higher than store prices. Our thrifts are no longer thrifts except on pure junk items!

  10. I would not be AT ALL offended if someone gave me something from a garage sale or thrift shop, IF they had obviously considered my taste in selecting it..

    I DO find it offensive when people “re-gift” items they have been given that are certainly not selected with me in mind.

    Some of my most prized possessions have come from garage sales, thrift stores, etc. I have a couple of favorite things that I bought 20 or 30 years ago at a garage sale for a quarter!

    If I find something that I know someone I know would love, I buy it and give it to them. No one has ever ACTED as if they had a problem with that, but if anyone ever did, I would know their values were not consistent with mine, and our relationship might cool.

  11. I would accept getting used items IF they look like new and you don’t tell me it has been used. I’ve never given away anything I have had at home, but I have been doing gift shopping at Goodwill.

  12. I would love receiving thrift finds if it were something that I could use. In fact I told my kids
    that I would like to have a breadmaker for Christmas…..but only if from the thrift store.
    I would give thrift items if I knew the person to whom I was giving it would appreciate it.
    I am going to two parties that require a gift for a white elephant game and that just calls for a thrift store find.

  13. I am kind of with Gloria on this. But gifting cookie recipe mix, Dollar store items, things you just don’t want or like anymore won’t cut it especially if your wearing new designer items, driving a new car every 2 yrs, jetting around on fancy vacations, etc. It simply marks you as cheap and selfishly self centered. I would be offended if someone gave me that burlappy thing, Ugly! Love the soup tureen but is it all crazed??? Also I no longer entertain as I became a snowbird driving fm the frozen north to Las Vegas each winter where I just rent a room and enjoy the sun, sights, restaurants and new friends I made there and have no room for such things. Kind of equal to living on a boat as an only home. If you cannot afford the gifts I suggest you agree ahead on a gift exchange $ amount and/or draw names (children w children, adult w adult). I often give family movie gift cards cause nearly everyone wants to see some movie over the holidays. It keeps my cost to about $12 per person w a popcorn bucket included.

  14. I would not be offended at all. I think it’s ok to give thrifted things even to nonthrifters, if you can make them look new. I often find really beautiful ‘new’ pieces of glassware or stoneware that can be wrapped & given as new.

  15. I wouldn’t be offended one bit! A gift is a gift and I love it when someone takes something thrifted and adds their own embellishment to it! Such a great idea! Happy Thanksgiving “neighbor!”

  16. I think it would depend on the gift and the person receiving. I would give my immediate family something if I knew they would like it and maybe even my MIL. But the rest of the crew would not appreciate simply because it is thrifted…so I’d get them something else they would like better.

  17. I would far rather have a thrifted gift than something new!! I love old, vintage, chippy, rusted, and when somebody finds something for me at a thrift store or yard sale, I am thrilled to pieces. And I do the same for people I know who love such things. I do not believe a gift is valuable because it cost a lot of money, but because it was chosen with care. I wouldn’t give a thrifted gift to somebody I thought would be offended, but on the other hand, people like that are not in my circle of friends! I choose my friends the same way I choose my purchases—not because they are shiny, flashy, unflawed, but because they real, honest, down-to-earth, and a joy to me. When I find such a person, or a preciously owned item, I love it, warts and all.

  18. Great question with Christmas near. I always choose something old over new. Seeing the pretty things in my home I have gathered from thrift stores, my family would be happy to receive something I bought because I fell in love with it and then gave it to them. The only person who would not like this is my daughter! Although as she is getting older I see changes there.

    Thank you for hosting the party. I know it must be a lot of work!

  19. Jaybird says:

    Lord I hope not!!! We hunt all year around for the “perfect” gift for my family members (sweet hubby’s family prefers money/gift cards :^(
    We have all sorts of junkers /collectors in my gang, and they definately do not CARE where I buy their gifts.
    In fact….dear daughter is looking at her 40th birthday in a few weeks and I just happened to find a wonderful gift at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago….she is going to be delighted!!
    Thank you so much for your great blog, and all of the info I learn from you!!

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