THOUSANDS of people are considering purchasing secondhand gifts for Christmas as the icy grip of the recession tightens purse strings.
DoneDeal.ie, a website selling secondhand goods of all sorts, from pets to jewellery to toys, is reporting a 221% increase in visitor numbers in compared with the same period last year. A spokesperson for the company said the massive increase pointed to people looking for alternative gifts in the current economic climate.
Visitors to the site increased from under 175,000 in November last year to more than 561,000 this year.
A survey carried out by the firm revealed that people are now, more than ever, open-minded about buying secondhand gifts rather than buying new ones from the shops.
"When visitors to the site were asked how they felt about buying or receiving secondhand gifts, they said they felt it was the thought that counted," said a spokesperson.
"Other comments said Christmas presents should not be about the most expensive, the most sought after or the newest. It should be about the thought and sacrifice the giver makes, and secondhand buying is the way to go as it is a buyers market with thousands of bargains to be found."
The website’s biggest increase has been in the number of people advertising animals.
"There has been a huge increase in the number of people advertising horses, and dogs in particular," said the spokesperson.
"The number of horses has increased by more than 900% and dogs 250%."
DoneDeal.ie, running for the past three years by husband and wife team Fred and Geraldine Karlsson from Wexford town, works by charging people through their phone bill.
"A lot of people still don’t have credit cards, so this method is much more accessible." It costs €3 to place an ad which can be done calling a special number, and the amount is then taken from your phone bill.
The website is also reporting an increase in the number of people advertising houses on the site.
"People are looking at ways to sell and this is just another option," said the spokesperson.