October 31, 2022
min read

5 reasons to shop secondhand this season

Want to maximize your budget AND find the perfect gift? Here’s why preowned is the way to go for holiday gift-giving.

Team Mercari

It’s that time again – time to buy a bunch of nice-but-not-so-personal gift cards, or wait in long Black Friday lines for a discount on that must-have item that may not even be in stock. Insert glee.

Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be this way! Instead, you can find perfect, thoughtful gifts, get a great deal, and do it all from your cozy couch, bunny slippers and all… because it’s secondhand season. It’s time to think preloved when it comes to presents.

“Secondhand? For gifting?” Yep, I hear you. I wasn’t sure it was socially acceptable, myself. But I changed my tune, years ago when I needed a special gift idea for my son, at Christmas. He’s a roller coaster fanatic, and I found the perfect present that I’d never have found at retail: a piece of a retired wooden roller coaster he was really passionate about. To this day, he says it’s one of the best gifts he’s ever gotten – that secondhand present sits prominently displayed on his dresser. And isn’t that what thoughtful gift-giving is all about? Total Charlie Brown Christmas Special television show moment.

The prized coaster remnant

Still not sure about preloved gift-giving? Maybe one of these 5 reasons to shop secondhand this season will convince you…

1. You can score really cool, one-of-a-kind presents that you won’t find at a big box store. Looking for a gift for a gamer who loves nostalgia? You won’t find an OG Nintendo NES system console at retail anymore, but you can find it on Mercari – along with a bunch of games and controllers. Got a family member collecting vintage Fiestaware plates? You could spend days looking through antique shops, or just head to Mercari and do a quick search. Secondhand gifts are great, because they show that you thought specifically about someone. Getting cash is great, but unwrapping a haul of vintage Hot Wheels cars and a cool Ultimate Garage playset is next level for any kid who loves that iconic orange track.

And, you’ll be in good company when you wrap up something preloved. According to Mercari’s latest shopper data, conducted by the research firm Alter Agents, nearly one-third of this season’s holiday gift spend is expected to be for pre-owned items.*  

2. You can save a lot of money. With inflation hitting hard, keeping more money in our pockets is more important than ever. At Mercari, you can save up to 70% off retail prices when people list their new and preloved items for sale. So before you fill up the tank and head to that big box store with wishlists in hand, check Mercari for those items and see if you can save. Bonus: you can make an offer on any item at Mercari – good luck trying that at the mall!

Looking for new? Search "new in box" on Mercari

3. You can find those high-demand items that often sell out at retail. Can’t find it in stores? Set up a saved search on Mercari so you can be notified when someone lists it for sale. You might even snag it at a lower price… but even if you end up spending a bit more to get it home, sometimes it’s worth it for that “NO WAY” moment, watching someone unwrap that elusive PS5 console or a limited edition Le Creuset dutch oven, no longer sold in stores.

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4. You’re helping preloved items get a second life. Yes, there are plenty of brand-new-in-box gifts to be found on Mercari, but if you like the idea of making use of something that would otherwise gather dust, preloved is the way to go. And, for the price of one brand new Barbie doll playset, you could stick a bow on a secondhand one, and still have room in the budget for a few preloved dolls to go with it.

5. You’re supporting individuals. When you shop secondhand marketplaces like Mercari, you’re putting money right back into the pockets of individual sellers, and that helps bolster their holiday gift budgets, too. It’s a feel-good way to shop – you save, you help an individual earn, and your giftee gets something great.

Still on the fence? According to Mercari's latest shopper data, 60 percent of consumers have previously gifted a pre-owned item… and of them, nearly all felt the recipient loved or liked it. And that makes perfect sense, because secondhand gifts can be some of the most thoughtful, personal presents. Just ask my son.

Ready to rethink resale for holiday gifting? Head over to the Mercari marketplace and wrap up some awesome gifts this season. 
*Source: Alter Agents survey, October 2022. Consumer statistics are based on an October 2022 survey of 1,512 U.S. respondents over 18 that have used recommerce within the past 12 months and that have been click-balanced to U.S. census age and gender breakouts.