The hack that could cut your Christmas gift bill by a third

Mia Steiber 5 December 2016 NEWS

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What if we told you there was a way to save an average of $250 on that $700 Christmas bill?

It's staggering to find out that Australians spend $10 billion on Christmas gifts alone - on average that's $700 spent per person. Christmas is an undeniably expensive time of the year, and there aren't many of us who can easily afford to spend $700 on Christmas presents on top of everything else.

According to Gumtree spokesperson Kirsty Dunn for Gumtree, it's possible to slash $250 off your $700 Christmas bill if you're willing to consider buying your gifts pre-owned.

"From our research we’re estimating that if you buy second-hand you could shave $250 off your Christmas present bill this year," she said.

Many will balk at this suggestion. Second-hand gifts are often socially stigmatised. A contentious issue, pre-loved presents can come off as cheap and make you look stingy if not done right. For shoppers who would rather not open that can of worms, it's worth know that many of the pre-owned items on Gumtree aren't actually used.

"It’s not just second-hand items on Gumtree, there’s a mix of new and pre-loved items," she said. "20% of the items are listed as brand new. And in our clothing category in particular it’s actually 40% of the items listed are listed as brand new - that’s brand new, with tags, never been worn."

So even if shoppers aren't interested in second-hand items, there are still plenty of brand new items listed that you can buy for much less than the recommended retail price in store.

That said, it still is totally acceptable to consider buying second-hand items as Christmas presents in some instances. In fact three-quarters of Australians actually said they would buy a Christmas present second-hand, according to a Gumtrre survey.

"76% of people said they would consider a second hand item. People would be happy to consider second-hand items if they knew that item was the perfect gift for that person," she said.

It's about the type of gift you're buying and whether it's thoughtful. While it may not be acceptable to buy used beauty products or kitchenwares as presents, there are still plenty of gifts that are acceptable to buy pre-loved.

"Kids' toys are an example, especially when you think about the spirit of Christmas - it’s about putting a smile on that person’s face and buying something you know they want," she said. "To a child, if they want that LEGO set - as long as it’s got all the pieces and it's intact - a seven year old doesn’t mind if it’s second hand. They don’t really know what any of that means and if you can save money in the meantime it’s kind of win-win."

Second-hand gifts are actually a great present idea if you know someone who loves vintage or antique items, or pieces that come with a story.

"Then there’s one-off unique items that you just can’t buy brand new," she said. "Let's say your grandma loves gramophones or LPs or whatever it may be, you can’t buy these brand new anymore."

There are certainly massive savings to be had on your Christmas shopping this year by using services like Gumtree. Especially if you have specific ideas of what to buy. Those exact items might be listed on Gumtree for a lot less than in store prices, so it doesn't hurt to check.

"When you start your Christmas shopping it’s always worth having a look and seeing what’s in your local area," she said.


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