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Third of consumers plan to give pre-loved gifts this Christmas

Melanie May | 22 November 2023 | News

Chrstmas presents under a tree. By Markus Spiske on Pexels

Pre-loved gifting is on the up, according to an Oxfam-commissioned study, with 33% planning to give second-hand gifts this Christmas, compared with 25% in a comparable study from 2021. This is a percentage increase of a third in two years.

Most of those (94%) are looking to save money during the cost-of-living crisis, but increasingly too, the survey found that people like the idea of buying something with a story behind it (21% – up from 13% in 2021). And those who love the ‘hunting’ aspect of searching for the perfect gift has also risen, from 19% to 28%.


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Lorna Fallon, Director of Retail for Oxfam, said:

“Attitudes towards buying second hand are really shifting. The clear majority of us now feel it is acceptable to give pre-loved gifts at Christmas. Whether it is the cost-of-living crisis or environmental concerns that are driving people to buy pre-loved, it is encouraging to know that a third of all shoppers are planning to buy second hand this year. Pre-loved gifts give items a longer life and they can go on to bring joy to others.”

The study of 3,000 shoppers who celebrate the festive season also found exactly a quarter of those polled are planning to make second-hand gifting a tradition with their loved ones each Christmas, and 53% of respondents say it’s a good lesson to pass on.

Young people are the most likely to give second-hand at 73% of the 18 to 24-year-olds surveyed, versus 28% of those aged 55 to 64.

TV presenter and Oxfam ambassador, Miquita Oliver, said:

“Second-hand does not mean second-best. In the last few years, we have seen a rise in popularity of vintage fashion with more and more young people proud to wear second hand clothes. We need that mindset to extend across gift-giving. Charity shops are a great place to find unique, thoughtful presents.”

More findings

The research also revealed people have more or less the same concerns about climate change now as they had in 2021.

Fallon added:

“Second hand shopping offers a unique and high-quality range of gifts. You also contribute to reducing waste and conserving resources. By swapping just one or two presents for a pre-loved gift, it will help to stretch the Christmas budget whilst helping to support people and communities around the world, including those hit hard by the climate crisis.”