‘Thrifting’ is growing in popularity this holiday season

Thrifting, or shopping for secondhand items, appears to be having a moment. One store owner said that’s why the term ‘Thriftmas’ is gaining some traction this holiday season.

“I’ve seen an increase in secondhand gift-giving,” Carmen Lopez, CEO and founder of consignment retailer Current Boutique, told WTOP.

“The holidays used to be a slower time, with customers only shopping for themselves. But I’ve seen an increase in secondhand gift-giving,” said Lopez, who said she’s been selling secondhand clothing and accessories for over 15 years.

According to the National Association of Resale Professionals, thrift store shopping will account for 13% of gift giving this year, making it the most successful secondhand shopping season to date. 

“I see more customers thrifting for gift-giving now, than when I first started in the business,” Lopez said. Her Current Boutique has locations in Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, plus Northwest D.C.

Lopez said she thinks people have been secondhand gifting during the holidays — or what she called ‘Thriftmas’ — because of the affordability and uniqueness.

“When buying designer items new, you could be spending hundreds of dollars,” Lopez said. “Most shoppers can’t afford to get everyone on their list something designer and beautiful, but when you take more than half off the price when shopping secondhand, you have more financial wiggle room to indulge in a little luxury fashion.”

If you’re considering secondhand gifts, Lopez suggested inspecting the condition and style of any potential item before buying. She said going the extra mile with wrapping and presentation will make gift “extra special.”

“I recommend purchasing secondhand items that are nearly new, very good, or in excellent condition,” Lopez said. “There is a misconception that secondhand items are heavily worn or outdated; however, that is not the case. You can find many ‘like new’ items shopping secondhand.”

Some of the items Lopez suggests for gifting at her stores include designer purses (from brands such as Kate Spade and Chanel), designer coats (Max Mara, Elie Tahari) and fine jewelry (Tiffany, David Yurman and precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum).

Cheyenne Corin

Cheyenne Corin joined the WTOP News team in February 2023. Prior to this role she was a Montgomery County, Maryland, bureau reporter at WDVM/DC News Now.

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