collage of 4 images showing different items found in an Oxfam shop including a mug, tea light holder, vase and board game
collage of 4 images showing different items found in an Oxfam shop including a mug, tea light holder, vase and board game

Oxfam’s Guide to Second Hand Gifts | 10 Ideas

Discover Oxfam’s guide to second hand gifts. Treat your loved ones to unique gifts whilst helping to protect the planet!

Why You Should Buy Second Hand Gifts

Second hand gifts doesn’t mean second best. If you have a budget to stick to, shopping second hand is the most ethical option. But there’s so much value to second hand gifts beyond their price. You could find a rare or unique item with history and story to tell.

Thoughtful gifts shouldn’t be about how much you spend, but an opportunity to show the person how well you know them and care about them. Be a part of Oxfam’s mission to de-stigmatise second hand by shopping second hand gifts for birthdays or Christmas!

10 Second Hand Gift Ideas

Vintage Jewellery

Hand holing silver rings and necklaces

If you’re looking for a sentimental gift, jewellery is a lovely option. When you’re hunting for second hand jewellery, you can find unique, statement pieces and even gorgeous vintage jewellery.

Preloved Accessories 

flaylay of men's accessories including a bag, sunglasses, belt chain and vintage camera

Gift hunting for a second hand fashion lover? Don’t worry about what size they are by finding the perfect accessory. Handbags, sunglasses or scarfs for her or belts, wallets or men’s sunglasses for him.

Vintage Vinyls

vinyl record

Any vinyl collector is always happy to add to their collection. Find something sentimental you know they’ll love or help them discover a new brand. Browse genres like jazz, hip hop, classical and rock vinyl.


Wall of second hand artwork for sale in Oxfam charity shop

There’s something for everyone’s taste when it comes to second hand artwork. Even finding second hand frames and putting in your own photographs makes a lovely sentimental, budget friendly gift.


boardgame being held to show camera inside an Oxfam shop

Boardgames are always a top gift for birthday’s or Christmas. Shopping second hand for boardgames means you’ll find classics for cheap, or retro games that are hard to find.


a hand holding a blue second hand mug found in an Oxfam shop

Ceramics make great second hand gifts as they are a lovely addition to anyone’s home. Ceramics could be vintage plates, vases, mugs or decorative figurines.

Retro Vase

blue and white vase found in an Oxfam charity shop

We don’t think you can ever have too many vases! If you’re hunting for a unique vase, looking for second hand glassware is your best bet if you’re sticking to a budget. Fill the vase with flowers from a local florist to make a heartfelt gift idea.

Nostalgic Memorabilia


Pile of superhero comics

Give a nostalgic gift that reminds them of their childhood, or a piece of memorabilia to add to their collection. The Oxfam Online Shop is a go-to for collectors because you can find coins, comics, autographs and so much more!

Signed editions of books

Author Liv Little's signature on the first page of their book rosewater

Show someone how well you know them by getting them a signed edition of their favorite book. You could be a new release they haven’t read yet from their favorite author or signed edition of their childhood books.

Coffee Table Books

glass coffee table with books and vases displayed on it

Books can be essential to making a house a home. Find gorgeous decorative books for someone’s coffee table or shelves. It could be fashion books, antiquarian books or art & photography books.

Sustainable Gift Wrapping for Second Hand Gifts

Collection of wrapped gifts on table

The way a gift is wrapped can make a huge impact. Great wrapping could make any gift look expensive or thoughtful. Spending time on those finishing touches will show the person you really care. But how can you wrap gifts without adding unnecessary plastic?

You could try wrapping gifts with second hand fabric. Check out our Instagram post here for ideas. You can shop Oxfam’s ethically sourced, recycled wrapping paper and tags. Instead of plastic bows, try some foliage from your garden to add a pretty but natural touch.