Christmas is one of the biggest times for retail in Austrlaia, with billions of dollars expected to be spent on gifts. But while there are lots of sales on, is there a place for used goods on your Christmas shopping list? Some research suggests many of us would be happy with a high quality or unique second hand item rather than a lower quality brand new item.
I've been thinking about this topic over the last week as family members have asked me what I might like for Christmas. At the moment, the items I'm most likely to spend my own money on are used vinyl records from the 70s and 80s - particularly classic Australian rock. For example, last week I picked up a great copy of Cold Chisel's Circus Animals album from a secondhand dealer on Ebay. So, I'd be more than happy with some secondhand records.
Some research by Gumtree has found almost two-thirds of use would prefer a high quality or unique second hand item over 14% who would favour a lower quality new product.
There are lots of great options on the used market that make great gifts. For example, bikes are worth a look - particularly for kids who often outgrow a bike before its past its prime. Of course, it's important to ensure the bike is in good condition and that the frame is solid.
Jewellery is also worth a look as you can sometimes pick up some real bargains if you know what you're looking for.
Toys are another great category to shop for on the used market. They say dolls (Barbie and Cabbage Patch dolls), bicycles and computer game consoles are the most popular used toys.
Gumtree says the average Australian spends about $670 on Christmas presents. Being able to trim that bill can make a huge difference.
Would you buy someone a second hand gift? Are there limits to what you'd buy on the used market? For example, while I'd be fine with some things being pre-loved, I'm not sure how I'd feel about second hand clothes, unless it was something really special like a funky jacket. But then again, that feeds into Gumtree's supposition that we're looking for things that are unique.