Brits plan to spend on second-hand gifts this Xmas

Almost four in 10 adults are motivated to shop second-hand this Xmas, claims Oxfam

A study of 2,000 adults who celebrate Christmas revealed 62 per cent consider the current climate crisis as an important factor when buying pre-owned items.

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) are changing their purchasing habits this Christmas to avoid waste with 23 per cent wanting to buy gifts to prevent them going to landfill.

Consumers plan to spend as much as £76 on pre-loved gifts with a third buying second-hand to support charitable causes.

Almost four in 10 adults are motivated to shop second-hand by the thought of bagging a bargain ahead of Christmas, while 31 per cent think they’ll find more unique gifts for loved ones.

When asked about their attitudes towards receiving a second-hand Christmas gift, 42 per cent are more open to it now than in previous years.

And 19 per cent said that they would feel ‘grateful’ receiving a used gift as a Christmas present.

Lorna Fallon, Retail Director for Oxfam, which commissioned the research, said:

“It’s encouraging to see that Brits are more accepting of buying second-hand than ever before to protect the environment, with the climate emergency in mind.

“World leaders met recently at COP26 to discuss how countries can tackle the crisis, but individuals can also effect change by making choices that are better for the world we live in.”

The study found second-hand gifting is far more acceptable now – with 31 per cent feeling they’re doing the right thing for the environment and 17 per cent ‘feeling good’ for much longer than when buying something new as a Christmas gift.

Looking at their Christmas wish list, 36 per cent would be happy getting pre-owned books as a present for someone as well as DVDs (21 per cent), toys (20 per cent) and jewellery (19 per cent).

Other second-hand gifts on the wish-list include ceramics and ornaments, home furniture and glassware.

The survey revealed that signed copies, rare and collectibles, first editions and fiction are the most popular type of book people would consider buying as a second-hand Christmas gift.

However, not everyone is keen on buying a second-hand Christmas gift this year with under one in 10 adults admitting they would feel ‘disappointed’ if they received a pre-owned present.

When asked why they wouldn’t shop for a second-hand Christmas gift, 23 per cent said they are concerned the person receiving the gift would turn their nose up.

When searching for used Christmas gifts, 71 per cent will visit a charity shop to find the present they want. And 43 per cent would consider buying a pre-owned Secret Santa gift from the same place.

But six in 10 would still opt to find second-hand presents on an online marketplace with 35 per cent visiting a charity shop online rather than in-store, according to the research via OnePoll.

Meanwhile, two in five (35 per cent) adults are likely to buy Christmas presents that are second-hand for their children this year.

When asked why, 58 per cent said the kids wouldn’t mind whether a gift was new or old and 54 per cent second-hand clothing is better as children grow out of everything so quickly anyway.

While three in 10 adults are keen to get their kids something pre-owned as a Christmas gift to get them thinking more about the environment.

And over half (53 per cent) generally feel ‘happier’ buying second-hand Christmas presents than buying brand new.

Lorna Fallon concluded:

“It’s great to see so many people embracing conscious consumerism this Christmas.

“The Oxfam Online Shop and high street shops are offering Christmas shopping if you’re after a good quality, unique gift that doesn’t cost the earth.”


1.           Books

2.           DVDs

3.           Toys & games

4.           Jewellery

5.           Ceramics & ornaments

6.           CDs

7.           Vinyl

8.           Video games

9.           Arts and crafts

10.         Bags / purses

11.         Home furniture (i.e. chairs, shelves, tables etc.)

12.         Glassware (, drinking glasses, vases etc.)

13.         Mobile phones

14.         Watches

15.         Game consoles

16.         Women’s clothing

17.         Kitchenware & crockery

18.         Tableware (cutlery, plates, glasses etc.)

19.         Hats, gloves & scarves

20.         Tablets

21.         Men’s clothing

22.         Cameras

23.         Sewing, knitting & haberdashery supplies

24.         Stationery

25.         Record players


Brits have revealed the most common Christmas mishaps, including forgetting to put the oven on, bringing up politics at the dinner table - and losing someone’s present



Chris Price