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Secondhand goods growing in popularity as holiday gifts

Posted at 12:00 PM, Dec 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-13 14:06:26-05

Used gifts are no longer taboo. In fact, new studies show consumers want to give, and receive, used stuff.

As thrifting and reselling becomes more popular than ever, sustainable gifting is also hot for the holidays, whether you buy in-person or online with an app like Poshmark.

“I would hope somebody would give me a secondhand Christmas present,” said Millie McLean, who works at the Funky Trunk, a consignment shop in Helena. “It’s better for the budget, it’s better for the environment. Overall I think it’s just the better way to go.”

A new report from Accenture shows 48% of people are willing to put secondhand clothes under the Christmas tree. Fifty-six percent of people would appreciate receiving a used or old present.

The online resale website ThredUp estimates the secondhand market will be worth $51 billion by 2023. Much of that growth is led by young consumers. A recent survey of people who have purchased secondhand revealed 8 in 10 Gen Z shoppers plan to give thrifted gifts this season.

They’re leaning towards resale over retail, citing factors like the uniqueness, environment, value, and the treasure hunt.

“This is a new national thing, and new growth, but that has existed from the moment we opened our doors,” said Lisa Abelin, the owner of Funky Trunk, who opened up the shop a few years ago.

She said just because an item is preowned doesn’t mean it’s junk.

“We have a large selection of Free People, a large section of Anthropologie,” she said. They also carry unique vintage items and brands like Lululemon. Many articles of clothing still have the tags attached.

“It’s never been worn, and so to give something like that, why not?” said Jennifer Gray, who also works at the shop.

All three women said what you buy for a gift depends on who you’re buying for, but they prefer jewelry like earrings, flannel shirts, and jeans.

And don’t be afraid to brag about where you found your good deal, said Abelin.

“If she’s gonna love it, she’s not gonna care at all about where it came from,” she said.