8 Things you must consider before buying a gift
“Some gifts are big, some are small, but the ones that come from the heart, are the best gifts of all.” These wise words serve as a reminder about the true essence of gift giving—it’s the thought that counts, not the price tag. If you’ve been wondering what to buy for a special person in your life, we’d like you to stop for a moment and consider eight factors that can make you into the perfect gift-giver:
1. A perfect gift makes for a perfect event—keep the occasion in mind!
You wouldn’t buy an antique decorative serving plate for a ten year old’s birthday, would you? Similarly, we doubt you’ll want to gift a deluxe dinosaur plushie to a couple at their first house-warming party. Keeping the occasion in mind is key to perfect gift planning. Ask yourself: What does the occasion mean to this person, and how can my gift enrich the event? How does my present correlate with the possible major life event(s) that the receiver is going through? How is it helping or benefiting them? Once you make these connections, you’ll know that the couple that just moved into their first apartment would probably appreciate some new kitchen appliances or decorations. Similarly, you’ll know to invest more money at momentous occasions such as weddings and anniversaries.
2. That awkward moment when...you buy something they already own. Try to be unique!
We’ve all been there. We picked up the latest, trendiest gift for our loved ones. It could be a fidget spinner, a makeup item, their favorite artists album, etc. We excitedly presented it to the receiver only to discover later that they already own the item! This unlucky moment can be avoided by doing some simple research before buying the gift. You can discern if the receiver already owns an item if you’ve been to their house and seen their belongings before. Or you can take the easiest route - just ask them. Either way, it will pay off and help you avoid a lot of awkwardness.
3. Love is the best gift—Consider what the gift receiver means to you!
Are you buying a personalized gift for a sibling? Your parents? Your partner or husband/wife? All of these relations need to be considered during the gift buying process. Someone who is close to you will expect a present that is more thoughtful. On the other hand, if you’re just getting a small gift for a colleague at work, you need not put in as much effort. Certain gifts, such as those bought for your boss, may need to be completely impersonal and formal. They can include things like a new watch or a suit. A gift for your partner, on the other hand, will be more personalized and can include things such as gift baskets and customized portraits.
4. Invoke the element of surprise—don't be too predictable!
We already told you to find a unique present, but it’s equally important to find a present that isn’t predictable. Chocolates and roses are sweet for a valentine's day gift, but a customized bouquet is unique and unexpected, and therefore better for winning over your beloved's heart. The element of surprise isn't just about the gift itself, it can be hidden in the packaging, the way in which the present is delivered, the timing, etc. For example, a gift can be delivered at exactly midnight on someone's birthday to make it extra special.
5. Gifts should last a long while—Go by quality, not quantity!
It’s better to find high quality gifts within your budget bracket. When you give someone a gift, you’re giving them an item that they’ll always remember you by. You don't want that item, and therefore their memories of you, to only last for a few months. Therefore, look for durable, long lasting items that give the receiver practical benefit as well as joy. A helpful tip is to buy items with a warranty of at least a few years. Another thing you can do is to buy from big name, trusted brands, especially if you are buying things like electronics and household items.
6. Try to address the receiver's needs, not just their wants!
Most gifts, such as chocolates and flowers, give the receiver joy for a short while, but they do not address the receiver's long term needs. In short, they are not very practical. The best gift is one that makes the receiver's life easier. These can include household items, electronics, and other practical everyday items. Sure, it may seem boring to give someone a blender or an air fryer as a gift, but think about the amount of use that they can get out of it!
7. Let your gift say what words cannot—include a message!
Including a written message alongside your gift is always a great idea. There’s a lot of things that you may wish to say to your loved ones on their special occasions. You can utilize this opportunity to tell them what they mean to you, or to thank them for being in your life.
8. Don’t forget to remove the price tag!
The last important point to consider is the price tag. You want people to focus on the thought behind the gift, and not the price tag. In most cultures, it is considered impolite to leave the price tag on. You can request the gift shop that you are buying from to remove the price tag or do it yourself.