How to save big by shopping resale for the holidays


Shopping the big sale days aren’t the only ways to save money during the holidays. You can shop resale and keep a lot of cash and no one needs your purchases are “gently used.”

Why gently used items can make great gifts

This is my world! I have the privilege of leading a franchise system that provides a marketplace for shoppers and sellers where families can help themselves and each other in a community atmosphere. Millions of parents “recycle by reselling” their children’s items and in turn buy gently used items, as well, saving up to 90% off retail. But the savings go well beyond children’s items.

This industry has exploded. In fact, it is an $20 billion industry. A recent survey from Thredup found that people across all socio-economic classes are shopping secondhand. Why? Well, I think it’s because it just makes sense. Why spend more than you need to on so many items?

That goes for holiday shopping as well. From clothing to toys to gifts to décor, you can save a bundle by shopping resale.

The first step is to do some research. After checking the main discounters like Walmart or Target, head to other sites like Price Grabber and Become to compare prices. Then you need a shopping strategy. Some of our top tips include:

  • When shopping a consignment event or store, make a list beforehand.
  • Some of the best deals you can find shopping resale are on holiday clothing because typically items have only been worn once or twice
  • Look for “gently used” toys with a theme and package them together in a nice bag ‘ kids will never know
  • Find out when the thrift store or resale shop or event is having a sale and save even more
  • Shop online on eBay or Craigslist — but if using a service where you meet the seller, follow safety guidelines

Here are some of the top gifts I recommend buying resale:

Dolls, doll clothes and accessories: Clean them and package them with clothing and accessories and create a “Barbie Gift Bag” or an “American Girl Gift Pack.”

Electronics: There are homes across the country with unused Wii systems, PlayStations, games and accessories. Make sure they all work and package in a nice box or gift bag.

Computers: Major retailers like Apple and Best Buy offer refurbished products at a discount. Newegg has a wide selection of refurbished personal computers.

Costume jewelry: You can find great deals at estate sales and vintage stores. If items are in good condition and in style, find a nice jewelry box or pouch and you’re good to go.


Books: New or used, books make great gifts.  An avid reader may love a used book with its own story behind it. Look for a local used book store or check out Thriftbooks online.

Instruments: These are some of the top “re-gifted” items that you can find “like new.” Check your local music store or go online to eBay or Craigslist.

When shopping resale, always remember to make sure items you are purchasing have all of the parts and are in good, working condition and if you are unsure about the safety of an item, you can easily check it out recalls at WeMakeItSafer.

Shopping resale for the holidays can help you have a “Cash-only Christmas” and start the New Year with little or no holiday debt!

Shannon Wilburn is the CEO & Co-founder of Just Between Friends Franchise Systems, Inc. (JBF), North America’s leading children’s & maternity consignment event. JBF has more than 150 franchises in 29 states and Canada. Click here to learn more.

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