Buying gifts has never been more difficult because not only do we have so many options, but people already have a lot of what they need, especially if they're of a certain age and don't want for much. This category may include grandparents and a successful boss. But no matter who they are, there is always something you can give them that they will treasure. Have a read through this comprehensive gift giving tips guide to learn how to give the perfect gift everytime.
This gift giving tips guide written by gift finder and gift designer LeahG contains excellent suggestions for determining the ideal gift for a specific person, as well as suggestions for what not to buy!
Gift-giving has many different meanings around the world, and we look at some of the gift-giving traditions so you get it right when gifting family, friends, and business colleagues, among other things! DIY gifts, money-saving gift ideas, and, of course, gift giving etiquette and rules!
Main Considerations for Gift Buying
- Who is the lucky recipient of the gift?
- What is the occasion for the gift?
- How much money do you have set aside for gift-giving?
- What is the deadline for gift-giving?
- What are the likes, dislikes, interests, and passions of the gift recipient?
These are the most important factors to consider when purchasing gifts. Purchasing a thoughtful gift necessitates knowledge of the aforementioned so that you can budget and source a gift that you know the gift recipient will enjoy.
1. The Recipient of the Gift
The gift type will differ depending on the gift recipient's relationship with you and, possibly, the gift recipient's own cultural background. You would not buy the same type of gift for your spouse as you would for your boss or a neighbor, for example. And, if you're giving a gift to a Chinese friend or business partner, there are some items that are considered unlucky. (Scroll down for rules on gift-giving etiquette around the world.)
2. Occasions for Gift-Giving
The occasion is crucial because your gift will often be 'occasion related,' such as a wedding, anniversary, or baptism. Birthday gifts can be more interest-based, so having a good understanding of their age, interests, and hobbies is essential. You may discover that you need to conduct some additional research.
3. The Budget for Gifts
There are a plethora of online resources (see below for our money-saving gift-buying tips) for gifts you can buy or make yourself that are inexpensive, thoughtful, and one-of-a-kind. You will have more options if you have a medium to large budget, but you don't want to spend a lot of money on something the gift recipient doesn't like or enjoy.
4. Gifts that leave an unfavorable impression.
There are times when spending more than a certain amount is inappropriate. Spending a lot of money on a gift for your boss or a friend's partner, for example, may indicate romantic interest or ulterior motives. It's a fine line to walk between spending "enough" and spending "too much."
5. The Law of Reciprocal Gift Giving
If you're gifting someone who has little money to spend on a reciprocal gift, you should be aware that an overly generous gift (depending on their relationship to you) may make them feel uncomfortable or force them to spend an equal amount, putting them in debt. Instead of buying gifts, consider arranging to 'trade' favors.
6. The deadline for gift-giving
It is critical to keep the deadline for giving the gift in mind, especially if you are purchasing a gift that requires customization or has personalized details, as the manufacturing process may take longer. Allow time for delivery as well as possible return and redelivery if the item is faulty or incorrect. For major gift-giving occasions, plan at least 6 weeks ahead of time.
7. Likes and Dislikes of the Gift Recipient
If your gift is going to be decorative, you should think about how it will fit into the existing scheme of the home or office. If it's too flashy for the decor, too modern or vintage for the gift recipient's tastes, the gift may end up hidden away in a cupboard. Avoid decorative gifts if you do not have this knowledge. If you do, most people prefer a coordinated item that can blend in discreetly.
Gift ideas for people with special interests.
You can find out about the gift recipient's special interests by asking them or those who know them questions. If you are close to them and know them well, you should already have a good idea of what they might like.
Learn about their favorite author. Is there a specific book they'd like to read? Is there a first edition they'd like to have? You can personalize it by adding an inscription or obtaining an autograph.
What kind of music do they like, and who are their favorite bands, composers, and artists? Investigate the most recent releases
Do they have a favorite artistic style? Do they like wall art? Consider a poster, print, original painting, or word art in a style that you know matches their decor and taste.
What are their favorite fashion designers, high-street stores, and online retailers? A gift card or a thoughtfully sourced gift from one would be greatly appreciated.
Is there anything they collect? Can you add a desired collectible or book about their interest to their collection?
Do they enjoy going to the movies, going to the theater, going on vacation, or participating in sports? Consider giving tickets to an event or an experience day as a gift. Spa days are popular among both men and women. Every now and then, we all need to unwind and be pampered. If that's out of the question, how about a spa day gift basket?
8. Do-It-Yourself Gifts
If you enjoy crafting, there are many great books in the library and YouTube tutorial videos on how to make handmade gifts.
Trade in Favors
If funds are limited, consider issuing 'trading favors' vouchers. You could offer to mow their lawn, and they could offer to bake you a delicious cake in exchange. Whatever your skill set is, you can use it to help out friends and family members without spending money on gifts.
Personalized gifts are always a good idea (and they don't have to be expensive; prices start at under $5!). A nice set of monogrammed hand towels, a photo watch, a named water flask, and so on might be appreciated by your gift recipient. ZAZZLE has an amazing selection of personalized gifts. There is a full money-back guarantee.
9. What Gifts to AVOID Buying
There are no-nos when it comes to gift-giving, a set of simple rules to follow to avoid making costly gift-giving mistakes. The worst case scenario would be a'meat' hamper for a Vegan. Alternatively, alcohol for a recovering alcoholic or non-drinker.
Gift Buying Tips - List of things to avoid when shopping for gifts :
Buy alcohol as a gift only if you know they drink it and what they like.
If you're unsure about vegan, vegetarian, or food allergies, don't buy food as a gift.
Keep in mind that some people will only accept ethical, vegan gifts and will not accept anything made from animal products.
Gifts that are harmful to the environment may also be on the list of eco-conscious people.
Do not buy a gift that could be interpreted as romantic for a boss, coworker, employee, or ex. This includes items such as perfume/aftershave, jewelry, and, of course, NO lingerie. If you'd get it for your spouse (as a romantic gesture), don't get it for a stranger Your spouse will be upset, and the recipient will be perplexed.
ten. Secure Gift Options
After reading the preceding, you may be wondering what you can buy! Don't worry, there are plenty of safe gift options available. You may not know much about your gift recipient's interests and tastes, in which case a themed gift basket is a safe bet.
You can't go wrong with any of these. There are so many to choose from for every occasion and taste that they take the guesswork out of gift-giving.
And, of course, they look fantastic. They are a sophisticated gift that reflects the sender's personality. They are also no longer limited to food, wine, cheese, and chocolate. Sport, movie, spa, and garden-themed gift baskets, to name a few, are available, and gift cards with a general theme are always welcome. To make it a little more special, place the gift card inside a small, nicely wrapped gift box. Fill the box with gift tissue paper and place the card on top.
11. What Gifts Shouldn't You Buy Your Boss?
The gift recipient's relationship to you is crucial. You would not buy the same gift for your boss as you would for your spouse, for example. Some gifts may be considered inappropriate for some, while others find them extremely desirable. This is why gift etiquette is critical; you must get it right. A gift for a boss or coworker (assuming they are not family or close friends) would be impersonal, perhaps with a corporate edge.
It would be formal and not overly sentimental. For example, you would not buy perfume and red roses for your female boss or a coworker. If you try to tell them you love them, they will either get the wrong or right impression. Funny work-related gifts or personalized office supplies make great gifts for bosses and coworkers.
12 Ways to Save Money When Purchasing Gifts
Purchase from end-of-season sales for the following season.
Look for unwanted gifts in thrift and charity stores after Christmas.
Organize a gift exchange party - re-gif Gift Sales - Buy at the end of the season for the following season!
The stores I prefer (e.g., Zazzle) frequently have gift and accessory sales of up to 60% OFF, so it's definitely worth keeping an eye out for a sale on the gift item you're looking for, even if the event or holiday season is a long way off. I'm always on the lookout for good deals on gifts.
Many of my Christmas gifts, for example, are purchased in January sales, eleven months in advance! Savings on Christmas decorations and other items can be especially significant because they are now out of season. For example, in the January sales, I buy Christmas cards, crackers, and gift wrap for the following Christmas. Discounts of up to 80% are possible. Stocking filler type gifts brought into stores specifically for the Christmas season are frequently heavily discounted because the store does not stock such items the rest of the year. Beauty gift sets from your local pharmacy, for example.
I do the same thing with seasonal clothing. When they're out of season for the following season, I buy them during the sales. Some styles are timeless, allowing me to remain fashionable.:) Winter coats can be purchased in the spring for significant savings, and summer beachwear and vacation clothing can be purchased in the autumn for significant savings. You will save a lot of money if you are a wise shopper!
Perishable goods should not be purchased at sales. It's not a good idea to buy perishable gifts like food that is past its expiration date, especially if you intend to keep them for several months. Chocolate that has been out of date or has had a long shelf life can develop that white cocoa appearance. It is claimed that it has no effect on taste, but it does not look good.
Look for NEW unwanted gifts in thrift and charity stores after Christmas. You can also save money on gifts by taking advantage of 'unwanted' items that end up in charity or thrift shops. In these stores, you can find brand new gift items, often complete with original product wrapping and tags. They are brand new, unused, and heavily discounted. There are even items from well-known brands.
Throw a gift-swapping party. Meanwhile, here's a novel idea... This may appear to be a little mercenary. You could throw a party with your local friends and bring unwanted or unused gift items to swap and trade. It reduces clutter, prevents hoarding, and ensures that all items have a good home. If you have any seasonal money-saving tips, please share them with me here:)
13. International Gift Etiquette
Etiquette for Western Gifts
Gift giving tips, rules and etiquette in the West are typically limited to price, relationship to the person, and occasion.
Red roses as a bouquet gift are reserved for those with whom we are romantically involved - a dozen on Valentine's Day or as a single.
Giving PETS as a gift is frowned upon and discouraged.
Perfume and jewelry gifts are appropriate for friends, family, and partners, but not for coworkers, bosses, or business associates, neighbors, or others. Any large expenditure or 'intimate' appearing gift would leave a "periphery acquaintance" unsure of your intentions or feelings toward them. Your gift could be completely misconstrued.
We do not give gifts at funerals, but we do send sympathy cards, flowers, and wreaths to the deceased's family's home or the funeral parlor. We may also give memorial gifts to close friends and family.
We regard a cash gift as unthoughtful (though this is becoming more welcome especially amongst marrying couples and the younger generation). A Gift Card is a more palatable option.
Flowers are given as gifts to express congratulations, sympathy, or thanks, or to commemorate a 'day.' Different flowers will be used to commemorate each occasion. Your florist will be aware.
It is customary to send a thank you note after receiving a gift.
Gifts are gift wrapped and labeled with a gift tag or other identifier.
Gifts have their price tags removed. Some companies now provide receipts that allow the recipient to return the gift if desired. Personally, I am opposed to returning gifts or this practice.
We usually give gifts on the following occasions: Birthday, Religious Holiday, Mother's Day - Father's Day, etc., Wedding Day, Valentine's Day, New Home, Graduation, Retirement (co-worker), Leaving gift (co-worker)...this appears to be an endless list of gift-giving occasions! Begin saving now.
Customer gifts (including monetary tips) to service personnel are generally prohibited and must be refused - work rules! Some establishments don't mind, such as restaurants (tips), salons, and the like. If the gift was particularly valuable, it would almost certainly be declined.
Homemade food gifts are inappropriate for anyone other than family. The food may contain ingredients that the person is allergic to, or they may simply lack 'trust' in the food's safety.
Giving religious items to a non-religious person is strictly forbidden.
Clothes that are too big or too small are a big no-no!
Real fur, snakeskin, crocodile skin, and other exotic skins are frowned upon and, in some cases, illegal.
Different Cultures and Gift Giving
Food, drink, flowers, and number-related gifts should be avoided, as should anything sharp, such as scissors or knives. To different cultures, different flowers and their colors represent different things. Sharp items, in those cultures that consider them, generally refer to the severing of ties.
Alcohol is, of course, frowned upon in many cultures, and foods such as pork or beef, as well as cowhide bags, can also be frowned upon. Consider what that country or culture is known for when giving a gift. Don't give them anything that might offend their sense of national pride. Avoid political, sexual, religious, or illegal anything gifts, as well as joke gifts or t-shirts displaying any of these no-nos.
Chinese Gift Buying Tips
No clocks, no black or white gift wrap, no red ink writing on cards, etc., and no handkerchiefs'. These things are thought to be evocative of death, illness, sadness, and so on. Socks and shoes should also be avoided as gifts.
Japanese Gift Buying Tips
White flowers, lilies, lotus blossoms, camellias, and potted plants should be avoided as gifts because they are associated with illness and death. The numbers '4 or 9' in a gift are frowned upon - though less so among the younger generation. There will be no red cards because this is the color used for funeral notices.
Korean Gift Buying Tips
Koreans have their own traditions, which you can read about here. Anything with the number '4' should be avoided.
Saudi Arabian Gift Buying Tips
Saudi Arabia has a slew of rules governing what is and is not acceptable, and certain activities are outright prohibited. Anything having to do with or referring to alcohol or pork is an obvious no-no in terms of gifts. A t-shirt with writing or graphics that could be considered sexual, provocative, or offensive to their religion may be less obvious.' When giving gifts, avoid anything political, sexual, derogatory, or religious. It is impolite to refuse gifts when they are given to you. Do not open the gift while the gift giver is present. No flowers for the ladies!
Personalized Gifts are the best - here's why!
They're one-of-a-kind, wonderful keepsakes that are less expensive than ever! Personalized gifts do not cost what they used to before technology caught up, and you can now have almost anything personalized for a little more than the original item price. And online tools for personalizing gifts are more user-friendly than ever. Personalized gifts are the best gift option when all of these factors are considered, and here's why.
When it comes to the 'thoughtful gift,' they are unrivaled. Personalized gifts demonstrate that the buyer values the gift recipient and considers their preferences, needs, and passions when selecting a gift. Because of its one-of-a-kind personalized nature, a personalized gift quickly becomes a treasured keepsake for the gift recipient. They will feel loved, appreciated, and respected every time they look at their personalized gift. These are the sentiments conveyed by personalized gifts. And that isn't all.
Tops in terms of sentimental value. If the gift is personalized with precious family photos capturing special moments or includes a personal message, it has great sentimental value. This is especially true when it comes to personalized memorial gifts, wedding anniversary gifts, and retirement gifts.
Many of the personalized gifts available today are also functional and serve a dual purpose. Tea towels, for example, can be personalized with family photos, a chic family monogram, a family crest, or a drawing by your grandchild. A tea towel purchased on the high street with no personalization features will be quickly forgotten, as will the person who gave it to you, but add the personalised features and it will be treasured like no other. We have an entire house (almost) full of practical gifts that you can personalize right here.
Gifts that are personalized are timeless. We all enjoy receiving gifts with our names on them, as well as photos of our pets, children, family, and other loved ones, whether we are children, adults, or retirees. We prefer things that are familiar and elicit warm fuzzy feel-good vibes.
Lots of ready-made designs. Some personalized gifts are a blank canvas and you add your own design however you can also find lots of wonderful themed and special occasions gifts that have designs on them already. They have template fields for you to add your personal details. The designs are created in many cases by talented designers who will be happy to assist you with bespoke refinements. If you're not convinced pop along to Zazzle and read their reviews!