An often overlooked place to find birthday gifts are at auctions. Most people think they need to go to a retail store to find a present but thinking outside the box can open up a whole new range of possibilities.

Second hand gifts are not only better for the environment but can provide some really unique opportunities when looking for a gift.

There are different types of auction houses, selling varying types of goods. These include:

  • furniture
  • jewellery
  • collectables
  • sporting memorabilia
  • antiques
  • electronics
  • and lots more

So have a think about what niche of gift the recipient might like, and then go along to an auction. Here's some of our favourite auction houses:

auction-items-photoAbbeys Auctions - 482A Station Street, Box Hill VIC 3128 PH: (03) 9898 2118

These guys have been around since 1969 and always have a range of great stuff. This includes furniture, antiques, jewellery, books, dvds and more. Abbeys holds weekly auctions on a Friday and also has "special" sales which could feature collectables, cameras, toys and music equipment. They even have occasional car sales, so if you're wanting to find a great second hand vehicle as a gift for your son or daughter, look no further!

Philips Auctions - 47 Glenferrie Road, Malvern VIC 3144 PH: (03) 9509 6788

 Philips hold their catalogue sales approximately every 6 weeks. On the Sunday they feature decorative arts, including paintings, clocks, bronzes, furniture, carpets, glass, silverware and oriental items. On the Monday they feature jewellery, including antique watches, diamond rings, necklaces and bracelets. If you're looking for a unique piece of vintage jewellery, Philips is the place to go.

Moss Green - 926-930 High Street, Armadale VIC 3143 PH: (03) 9508 8888

If you're after a collectable gift, then you need to take a look at Moss Green. Sporting memorabilia, stamps and coins, asian art, historical books, jewellery and international antiques are just some of the things on display. They also have lovely tea rooms so you can treat yourself to a refreshing drink or meal while you're there.

Thing to note: Even if you find something perfect, make sure you know your price limit going in. Plus it pays to have a backup plan if you aren't the highest bidder. Especially if the birthday is just days away!