Secondhand Gift Guide

At Mini-Cycle, we firmly believe it's time to normalize secondhand gifts! Often we'll hear from customers that they buy secondhand for themselves and even their kids, but wouldn't consider it for a gift for others. This year, we encourage you to reconsider. Secondhand gifts allow shoppers to spend wisely and help the Planet during this season of giving. 

The Holidays are a time when it's easy to overspend and consume more than we really need. One survey stated that up to 45% of shoppers will spend beyond their comfort zone during the Holidays, even if it means going into debt. These are patterns that begin in childhood and we're teaching them to our children as we shop and give. Buying secondhand is typically less than half the price of a new item, and it's common to find new or like-new clothing and home goods both online and at local thrift stores.

Our own Pre-Loved section at Mini-Cycle often has clothing and shoes that have never been worn with the tags still on, but as they're considered "used" we charge less than half of the retail value. As children grow out of clothing so quickly, buying and giving secondhand clothing is sensible and savvy. 

But what about other gifts? Some of the most classics gifts are easily available secondhand. Here are a few of our favourite thrifted gifts to give.

  • Books  - especially children's books and classics, which are typically at every secondhand store and rarely over $3.
  • Coffee and tea mugs - one of the simplest gifts for teachers, babysitters, relatives, and friends and always easy to find in interesting designs and styles.
  • Vintage kitchenware - a retro kettle or Victorian tea pot makes a lovely gift! Whether you're going for Mad Men vibes or Downton Abbey, the beauty of buying secondhand is that you find things from every era for your kitchen.
  • Baskets - what home couldn't use a few more?! We love baskets in kid's rooms for toys, in the entryway for shoes, and in the living room for blankets or stray books.
  • Decor - mirrors, picture frames, and textiles are always to be found at the thrift store and a fun way to add character to any home.
  • Heirloom toys - Not all toys are ideal to buy used, but heirloom quality wooden toys are always a safe bet. Wooden blocks and trains and other simple games are built to last generations and you're sure to find some secondhand.

The Holiday season, we hope you'll consider a few secondhand gifts either from our Pre-Loved section, online, or at your local thrift store. Remember it's not how much you spend or the prestige that comes from a price tag that makes a gift special - it's the thought you put into it and the love you share as you give. 

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