Gift giving can be a minefield…
You want to get it right – you want the recipient to love whatever you get them – you want to be thoughtful….
you also want to stick to a budget and not have to look around thousands of shops for days on end (OK a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea!)…
We’ve all been there…
It’s coming up to a birthday/Christmas/**insert special event that needs a present bought**, and you’re wandering around town from shop to shop, or scrolling through endless shop pages online – hoping for inspiration to jump out from behind one of the shelves…
Trouble is, if you try and find a gift like this, chances are that even if the perfect gift was front and centre in the shop, surrounded by banners and lights – you may not recognise it as such, and keep searching.
If you don’t know what you’re looking for, gift shopping can be at best a way to get your daily step count in and at worst a complete waste of time.
There has to be a better way to find the perfect gift…
HOW TO GIFT SHOP THE RIGHT WAY
Over the years I’ve become better at finding the right gifts for people. Things that they feel have been picked specifically for them, and gifts that make them smile.
It’s a really special feeling when you are the giver of a gift that the recipient loves, and it’s sort of addictive!
So – how can you get to the point where finding the perfect gift is easy?
The trick is to ask the right questions before you start shopping – so you can focus your search, not waste time, and so that you can recognise that perfect gift when it shows itself….
THE MAIN THING TO REMEMBER
Before I start on what questions to ask yourself, there is one key thing you must always keep front of mind when you start present shopping for anyone – and that’s the following: –
It’s not about what YOU like – it’s about THEM
It’s too easy to spot something that you love and assume that your friend would love it too – but we are all so different, and we should always think of that person rather than ourselves when buying for them.
At all times you want to be PERSONAL and THOUGHTFUL – it goes a long way to know that someone hasn’t just popped down the shops and bought the first thing they’ve seen, or bought something they love without thinking of you at all…
So – how do you do this easily and quickly each and every time gifts need buying?
The trick is to ask the right questions first – and I’ve listed them all below to make it easy for you.
KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK TO FIND THE PERFECT GIFT
Simply go through these questions and you will start to get a few great ideas to work with: –
#1 – WHAT DO THEY LIKE – OR IDEALLY, LOVE?
This will help you to focus on them rather than you.
If they are close enough to you for you to be buying a gift for them, chances are you’ll know the answer to this question already, but it never hurts to ask them as well.
#2 – WHAT DO THEY DISLIKE?
It’s just as important to be able to rule out lots of things that they don’t like as it is to know what they DO like.
For example – I like neutral colours and I hate pastel colours – so staying away from pastels in any shape or form would be perfect for anyone buying me a present. Someone else may hate a specific colour, a type of fabric, a food, a type of item etc….
They may not like technology, they may hate novelty gifts – just start to see what they comment on over time and you’ll get a good idea of their dislikes at the same time as their likes.
#3 – ANY ALLERGIES / PHOBIAS / HEALTH ISSUES TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION?
For example, can that person actually use what you want to get them? It would be very insensitive if they couldn’t..
Some examples of what NOT to get would be as follows: –
- Flowers are great unless they are a hay fever sufferer.
- Buying a Christmas hamper may be a perfect present for a couple – but not if it contains a bag of nuts and the wife has an allergy….
- Wine for someone who is not drinking in January may not be ideal for Christmas
- Someone who doesn’t have a bath in their house wouldn’t appreciate a beauty gift box with bubble bath included
Just remember to take a look at the whole gift, and ensure that they can use and enjoy every part of it.
#4 – WHAT’S THEIR STYLE?
Take some ideas from their own home / what they wear if you can – as this will tell you a lot about what they like.
See what crops up a lot when you see them, what they tend to buy etc…
#5 – WHAT COULD/DO THEY NEED?
- A family with kids may not want any more toys as they may be inundated. As such, maybe a book or a voucher would be a better match.
- Should you be adding to the clutter? Do they prefer cash to presents etc…
- Are they taking a course in something – could you get them something that would help with that?
- Do they have any hobbies that would work well for items that would be useful for them such as baking items for an avid cook, or a colouring book for a craft fan etc…
- Are they doing anything over the next few months that would prompt a present idea? starting school / starting a new job / going on a holiday etc…
#6 – WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET?
Whatever your budget, know it and stick to it. This will help you to know where to shop, and what you can look at.
And remember – you don’t have to blow the budget to get the perfect gift. In fact, often the opposite is true.
Handmade, gift vouchers of things you can give (time etc…) can be the best gift ever.
#7 – IS THIS A SPECIAL EVENT (anniversary, birthstone, theme etc..)
You may have an event that means it opens up doors that would otherwise not be options.
For example – you could focus on birthstones for a birthday, the specific theme of an anniversary (wood, silver etc…), maybe it’s a wedding where they have asked for a certain type of present, or a special age birthday (40th, 1st etc…)
#8 – IS THERE ANYTHING SPECIFIC TO THE TWO OF YOU THAT HAS A SPECIAL MEANING?
Do you know of something that they have mentioned over the last few months that would be a perfect starting point for a gift that really means something?
Do you have a special memory with a friend that would create the perfect idea for a gift?
If you can answer all these questions you are a lot more likely to be able to get a present that’s totally perfect for the person you are buying for, without breaking the bank doing so.
Yes, it may take a few extra minutes to brainstorm, but it will help you to focus your gift search once you are more clear on what you’re looking for and so will help save time in the long run.
HOW THIS HELPS FIND THE PERFECT GIFT OVER TIME…
Over the years you’ll become more and more aware of what each person likes, and you will be able to pick up on things that they say more and more because you’ll be looking for these ideas from them without even realising it.
There really is nothing nicer than having mentioned in passing something and then a few months later being given a present relating to that – it shows you’ve been listened to.
I always advise writing a list of good options for the different people in your life, so you have some of this thinking done beforehand – and you can also see what you’ve got them before. This is something I keep in the Friends & Family section of my Home File so it’s always there, and I can add ideas as and when they come to me.
TIP – This also makes it really easy to spot presents even when you’re not looking specifically for people. You will be training your brain to notice things. How nice it is to have bought the perfect present way ahead of time, and not had to go out of your way in the process – saves so much time and energy…
I really hope this has given you a few ideas of what you can get someone the next time you are buying a present.
Do you find it easy or hard to find the perfect gift for someone? If you want some inspiration, then take a look at the gift giving section of this site for more ideas (it’s new and will be added to and updated all the time with things I find and love) – enjoy!.