Is it Okay to Pick up Gifts at Yard Sales, Thrift Stores, Etc.?

I love yard sales, thrift shops, clearance sales, flea markets. I always find gems when I visit, and save so much over the price of new-bought items. I am a frugalista, how about you?

When buying from thrift shops and flea markets, you are reusing other people’s stuff. This means that it is not going into a landfill, and someone local is earning money. Both are worthy reasons to buy items from these places.

But, should you buy gifts for other people at these places?

There are some that would say this is cheap. Maybe even tacky. They don’t want to receive something that was acquired this way, not even during a clearance sale.

I disagree. Especially when money is very tight. And no one has ever held it against me that their gift at least partly came from a yard sale.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not telling anyone to go out and buy just any gifts at these venues. Make sure the stuff is of good value, well-kept up. No one wants a ‘new’ comforter with holes or a huge stain. That would be wrong.

What I’m saying is that you check an item out real well and, if it is a quality item, get it. The stuff I get looks new, for the most part. Unless I’m specifically looking for items that are slightly worn because I’m doing theme gifts.

When my daughters were young we made a lot of food gifts for people, so certain things were bought at these venues each year including:

  • Baskets of various sizes.
  • Tins of various sizes.
  • Tissue paper, ribbons, bows.
  • Coffee mugs.
  • Assorted gift tags, and cards with envelopes.

One year, when Skye and Zowie were not very old, I bought most of their Christmas gifts at the local church thrift store. I was able to get them the most adorable clothes, and they loved each item. They did not care where the clothes came from, or how much was spent on them. The clothing looked almost new.

I bought so many books for them over the years from yard sales and flea markets; they hardly cost a thing. Games and puzzles, as well as stuffed animals and dolls.

So I am going to say yes, it is okay to buy gifts at these venues if you need to. Or even if you don’t actually need to.

And clearance sales? Yup. Great buys right in the store. Far better than regular sale prices.

What do you think? Have you ever bought a gift for someone from one of these places? Tell us about it in the comments, or email me at I always reply!

Happy Shopping!



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