Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Dec 5 2018 22:48:13

What Is Your Policy on Gifting Used Goods?

By: Ina Steiner

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With holiday shopping in full swing, we had a thought about gifting. When is it okay to give used goods as gifts? Would it help sellers if the practice became more mainstream?

Giving a vintage item or antique as a gift is a great way to show someone you know their interests and help them reminisce or add to their collections. But what about giving used goods like clothes, novelty items, or household goods?

Have you ever been offended by receiving something that didn't come with tags? Or have you ever had a friend or relative show disdain upon receiving such an item from you? 

There are probably clear lines of what is and isn't acceptable, but what about the gray areas? Are there steps that budget-conscious, environmentally friendly shoppers can take to remove any stigma from gifting used goods?

For example, packaging. We noticed a seller who made their items more appealing by putting them in branded plastic bags - I think they'd make great stocking stuffers. While the items are vintage, the idea might work for other types of used goods. Could a branding genius come up with a message to include inside packages so recipients feel better about getting used goods? After all, there are lots of positives in reusing and recycling.

There's the whole regifting phenomenon made popular by the TV sitcom Seinfeld and aided by eBay in the 1990s (and now by lots of mobile classifieds apps), but those are generally "new" products, not "used."

Please take a quick survey via SurveyMonkey (super-quick), and we'll share the results.

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 5 23:24:34 2018

I generally know what most of my sisters like so I'll hang onto it until xmas rolls around - they seem to like the antiques and vintage collectibles better than new mass produced junk and I get to clear out more "stuff" - don't see anything wrong with it.

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 6 06:34:28 2018

I once gifted a used car to my teenage daughter on her birthday. She didn't blink an eye and loved it.

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by: Troy Stiffler This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 6 10:40:02 2018

I can gift trinkets and more personable items. But I'm not really into buying a used TV at a pawn shop as a gift.

FYI, Amazon has their "Renewed" condition coming in January. Basically, if you have enough sales, receipts, etc. - you're welcomed into "Amazon Renew". It appears to be their platform for open-box and refurbished products. So you're more-or-less allowed to operate the same say "Amazon Warehouse" operates now.

I suspect it's going to be a good system. And quite possibly hurt eBay.

My question is the willingness to buy open box and thrift goods. The price point needs to get very low for me to purchase refurbished consumer goods. In example, a cheaper vacuum cleaner is $100. I'm not going to buy an open box unit for $80. It'd have to be a better deal, like maybe $40. That's why I don't buy Amazon Warehouse products ... they're way too close to the regular Amazon price.

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 6 10:54:01 2018

@troystiffler

There is a big difference between NEW, OPENED BOX, REFURBISHED AND USED.

New item might cost 100.00, same item in opened box 90.00, refurbished 75.00 and used maybe 25.00.

An open box my be that way for a ton of reasons. Maybe outside of box was damaged somehow and vendor opend box to make sure item was ok. Maybe like some stuff manufactures use the cheapest plastic available to wrap their 10 pound item. Look at it and it becomes open. etc.

We sell a ton of open box items that we get from our distributor. Nothing wrong with them. Same guarantee on all of them. Open box items are NOT FREE

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Dec 6 12:41:07 2018

It's all about value, functionality and sentiment.  If someone gave me a photo that I had never seen of one of my parents taken decades ago it would be a treasure.

Think about what the gift will mean to the person that you are giving it to and let that be your guide.  

I made a Christmas card this year for a friend with Christmas photographs taken in the town that he grew up in.  I even found a newspaper clipping that wrote of a neighborhood Christmas party that his parents were giving including the handmade image on the invitation, and I included that on the card.  I would feel very warm and fuzzy receiving something similar.  

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 6 13:25:27 2018

Remembering way way back in the late 40's and 50's. My family had a roof and food nothing else. An ice cream cone was a once a month luxury. Father was laid off and mom made enough to buy food for 5 people. We survived and are probably a better person because of it. When christmas came their were no new toys or clothes. Mom scraped and saved and bought things from the salvation army or were giving used clothes from the local church. She wrapped them with care and we tore the packages open. We could have cared less if they were used or not. They were new to us. No patched holes or tears. We were happy. Reminds me of the song. Coat of many colors.

Now adays if it isn't top of the line best, it is treated with distain and tossed into the corner. Kids would laugh at their parents if they got something used.

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by: Vernfern This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 6 13:54:58 2018

Some of the most valued gifts are sometimes used items that the giver took the time to find and purchase. In some instances that used item will mean more to the recipient than a new one. Clearly this depends on the item of course. In my field, vintage electronics are treasured over new. I received a message from a friend just yesterday looking for an iPhone 6s, which typically will be used or refurbished. I can say for sure that new is not going to be an option even when they can be found.

A used item gifted it not always junk. It is not always due to the family being dirt poor, although I'd think a used really nice item would be appreciated over a lesser new item when times are very tight.

We have been a society of people who thumb our noses at anything less than the best and look down at those who do not have the latest or greatest (Think iPhone here). Sadly the day may come sooner than we would hope where we might be there again - maybe not as bad but bad enough.  

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 6 18:35:29 2018

"Think about what the gift will mean to the person that you are giving it to and let that be your guide."

Be it roadkill to retail, this should be the primary foundation of,any 'giftng policy'.

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Fri Dec 7 02:26:00 2018

I Give Money.
So Far, No Complaints  :o)

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by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 7 09:39:20 2018

When I was a child, I lived with my grandmother we were “dirt poor”.  On my ninth Christmas my grandmother gave one gift: a used book entitled Jack of the Circus.  I treasured and read that book until the pages were thin.

Fast forward 60 years.  At some point I had mentioned to a friend how I had loved that book but that over the years it had been lost.

I cried like a baby when I opened a USED gift from her last Christmas....a copy of Jack of the Circus.

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by: Windkissed This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun Dec 9 09:49:35 2018

I do not like the word USED.  I sell many pre owned items but I always make sure they are in excellent, as new or great condition.  I do not sell dirty, or crappy looking items or items with odors.  I am very particular about what I list.  Some people disgard items that are brand new also with tags.  As far as gifts,  I just bought an antique item for a gift.  Its depends on the person receiving the item.  Some people think it's an insult to receive a pre owned item, obviously, they have never gotten an item like that that was in great condition.  Isn't it the thought that count and not how much you spend?  I think putting a financial burden on someone to buy an expensive gift is an insult.  Appreciate the thought that goes with it first.

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by: ZZ This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 10 00:35:38 2018

To be proper American you must gift items with tags but the price blacked out with a Sharpie. Also when having guests over you must hide the cheap Colas you drink and serve Coca-Cola. That's what spending $4 Billion in advertising will get you (in 2017 alone).

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by: rover This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 10 05:12:43 2018

Like some posters here I grew up in a dirt poor household in the UK. After WWII there was very little money about in the late 1940s and early 50s. All the shops did ''layaways'' for their more expensive goods and we kids were taught to save for things or ''pay off'' them from our allowance. We did chores to earn that allowance. Very little of what we had was new. I remember being given a ''used'' bike for a birthday present. My mother had painted it black. I loved that bike and shared it among my friends. I come from a family who loved antiques and vintage and that's why I chose to deal in such items. They are the ultimate form of recycling.

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by: SellerGirl This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 10 06:54:10 2018

Antiques and vintage items are one thing, but don't give used clothing or shoes as gifts!  There are so many knockoffs of designer pieces it is just rude to give used items.  If your sister, girlfriend, spouse is so shallow she'd rather have someone's used shoes than a new sanitary pair of her own, she needs help.

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by: SellerGirl This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 10 06:56:29 2018

Windkissed said:
"Isn't it the thought that count and not how much you spend?"

Maybe if the gifter put more thought into it, they could think of a gift that is perfect AND affordable, too.

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This user has validated their user name. by: SalesBoy

Mon Dec 10 10:52:30 2018

One of my sons actually ASKS for refurbed and gently used gifts!  He's an eco tree-hugging kind of guy, bent on saving Mother Earth, and such.  So, I do my best to comply.  We only give new clothing, though, but he'll buy himself used clothing whenever possible at Good Will, etc.

My wife and I are also into that, used/refurbed I mean, to save big bucks.  So, we give some used/refurbed things to each other, like the gently used illuminated Logitech keyboard I'm giving her this Christmas, which saved me a cool $40 and it's like new.  Plus, it's already proven not to be a lemon.

We don't give used items unless asked to do so.  Some people would get bent out of shape by that, I suspect.



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