5 Gift Ideas for Last-Minute Shoppers

Here we are – four days before Christmas, and you still need to shop. Don’t worry…not only are we having an auction today at our Glendale auction house where you can bid live or online, I can guarantee you that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to bid via eBay and other live and online auctions between now and Christmas Eve.

Earlier this month Good Housekeeping came out with “26 Unique Gifts to Pleasantly Surprise Your Family and Friends,” and while there were some fun ideas, none of them mentioned buying gifts at auction. So, I thought I’d put my own list together of meaningful gifts you can buy at auction. Not only can you save money bidding at auction, you can also find terrific gifts that will hold their value for years to come. Here are my top five suggestions:

  1. Jewelry: Avoid the malls and save significantly when you purchase jewelry at auction. Not only will you pay a fraction of the retail price, you’ll find a variety of gold, silver, and rare gemstones on the secondary market. Vintage costume jewelry is also in demand.
  1. Vintage Pop Culture: The Good Housekeeping article mentioned a few new Disney products, but vintage Disney and other film memorabilia, posters and artwork are on fire in the secondary market. Check eBay and Invaluable.com to see what’s available between now and Christmas.
  1. Mid-Century Modern Furniture/Designs: The minimalist movement continues to drive demand for 1950s Herman Miller Eames chairs, anything Danish modern teak, and brands like Heywood-Wakefield, Finn Juhl, and Edward Wormley. People will also pay top dollar for Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass window and door panels as well as other architectural designs from Wright and other renowned architects.
  1. Money: No, not a gift card or a check. Surprise your loved one with a Morgan silver dollar or a United States Mint Christmas coin or set. Things to take into consideration include rarity, how many coins were in the mintage, whether the coin is silver or gold, distinct symbols and even errors made on the coin, like a misstrike, where the design is stamped off-center.
  1. Vintage Toys: Demand is high for old, collectible toys in good condition, especially those that are more than 40 years old. Examples include Hot Wheels toy cars, Lionel trains, PEZ dispensers, Masters of the Universe action figures from the 1980s and old friction toys. And with the new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker movie out this holiday season, you can’t go wrong with vintage Star Wars figures and memorabilia.

As with all auctions, examine the items in person if you can, or request a condition report before you start bidding. Be sure to research auction history records and check prices for similar items before you place a bid. You might be a last-minute shopper, but you can still surprise family or friends with some Christmas magic, thanks to the secondary market!


Erik Hoyer owns EJ’s Auction & Appraisal in Glendale. Contact him at erik@ejsauction.com, www.ejsauction.com or 623-878-2003.


1936 Pre War Colt Government Model 1911 SOLD $10,000

1933 Rare Mickey Mouse Big Little Book #717 SOLD $6,000

Shell Porcelain Enameled Advertising Aviation Sign SOLD $850

Marvel Comics The Incredible Hulk #181 SOLD $3,500

Antique Dooling Tether Car W/ Brown Jr Engine SOLD $6,500

Toko Shinoda (1913-2022) Ink On Paper SOLD $11,000

Philip Richard Morris (1836-1902) Oil On Canvas SOLD $25,0000

1957 Ford Thunderbird Coupe Convertible SOLD $25,000

1909- S V. D. B. Wheat Penny SOLD $650

Levi’s 501 & 517 Denim Jeans SOLD $1,500