Tips for Thrift Store Gift Shopping for the Holidays

Nov 15, 2022

The current supply chain shortage and ongoing economic impacts from the pandemic have many people concerned about where they might find gifts for their friends and family this Christmas. This year, consider shopping local by finding unique, thoughtful gifts at affordable prices at one of The Salvation Army’s Family Stores located across the Upstate. 

Proceeds from The Family Stores benefit the important work The Salvation Army conducts in Greenville, including providing emergency shelter for men, women and children, rent and mortgage assistance to help people stay in their homes, meals and food boxes for people experiencing food insecurity, social services and employment assistance resources, and much more. 

By shopping at The Family Stores for gifts this Christmas, you can find great items while supporting families in need in Greenville at the same time. If you’ve never shopped for gifts at a thrift store, we’ve got some tips to help make this holiday the best yet. 

Think new, or close to it

Thrift stores are treasure troves of gently used clothing, toys, books and household items. When purchasing a gift to give to someone else, try to find items that look brand new, or as new as possible. Some clothing might even still have the tags on it. Designer handbags and shoes are great gifts for the fashionista in your life. Avoid any items with rips, stains or missing pieces.

Small gifts with big opportunities

Consider finding items at a thrift store you can build your gift around. For example, if you have a young child on your gift list, look for a cute purse or satchel you can fill with gift cards, toys, coloring books and crayons. 

For the avid reader, you can find books galore in the Family Stores. 

A candle-lover would enjoy receiving a new candle featuring a vintage, one-of-a-kind candle holder. Look for a creative vessel and then find the perfect candle to place in it to make a great gift.

For the budding chef, look for kitchen items to complement their cooking, such as cookie cut-outs, baking pans and more. 

It’s okay to be funny

Thrift stores can be the best place to find fun - and funny! - gifts you can’t find anywhere else. For the person on your list with a great sense of humor, a quirky piece of artwork, a tacky Christmas sweater or a silly hat might be just the gift for them. 

Be creative

Use your thrift store finds as a way to be creative with your gifts. You can repaint an artwork frame with chalk paint to give it an entirely new look. Decorate picture frames with stickers or other decorations and put new photographs in them to share with family. Spraypaint a basket a new color, and fill it with gifts of the season. The sky’s limit when it comes to how you can repurpose the gifts you find in a thrift store.

This year, help support your community by shopping for Christmas gifts at one of the four Family Stores locations. You can also make room in your home for all of the new gifts you’re going to receive by donating your gently used clothes, toys and homegoods, too. Visit our website to learn more about acceptable donations at

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