Monday, 7 May 2012

Top 10 tips for buying the best gifts

What’s the best present you ever received? Chances are it was a gift you received as a child – something you really wanted, something that you wrote on your Christmas list and hoped Santa would remember. Buying gifts for children (apart from the ones that have everything) is easy - they know what they want and they’re not afraid to let you know. Adults, on the other hand are much more complex. There are few people that will tell you what they really want, with men often being the worst culprits. So how do you become a ‘mind-reader’ to find the perfect gift that they’ll really love? Our top 10 tips for buying the best gifts will set you on the right track:

1.    Listen
Your gift recipient is your best source of information for gift inspiration, so listen up! What have they been up to lately? Have they moved house? Perhaps they have taken up a new hobby, such as golf, or started a new job. Recent changes in their life present numerous gift opportunities for items that would come in handy and help them adapt to a new situation. For example, if they have just bought a new car perhaps there are some accessories, such as car seat covers or floor mats that they might need. Likewise a new job could warrant some new cufflinks or a laptop case. Listening closely and taking note of the things that are important in their life shows you care - after all, this is the reason you are buying them a gift in the first place!

 
2.    Ask
Sources close to the person you are buying a gift for are like gold, especially if you haven’t seen them for a while. Your ‘sources’ will be able to give you the inside info on what your recipient is into, what they need or what they have asked for. People such as partners, parents, siblings, children and close friends are all useful gift inspiration sources and you could even chip in and purchase a gift together if you want to buy something really special.

3.    Take note
It may sound tedious, but keep a note of the gifts you buy people so you don’t accidently buy them the same gift again. This is something I’m guilty of, and I have also had the pleasure of receiving the same gifts two years in a row from the same person. Something you thought was a good gift idea last year may still sound like a good gift this year, so be careful!

4.    Don’t buy a gift for yourself
Believe it or not, not everyone likes the same things as you! As tempting as it is to buy that newly released book from your favourite author, question if your recipient would enjoy it as well.

5.    Be organised
A lack of organisation often results in panic-buying, which can be expensive and futile. If you need to buy a last-minute gift, go with something consumable such as a nice bottle of wine, a food hamper, spa voucher or movie tickets. Whilst these gifts are not as memorable (or personal), at least you won’t end up buying your poor recipient something hideous in haste that they will put in a cupboard and never use again. Be sure to add key birthdays to your calendar, or set a reminder in your phone so you have plenty of time to research, purchase and send gifts and cards.

6.    Set a budget
A budget will give you some parameters that will help you narrow down your options and hopefully save you time. If you want to buy something really special, consider buying a joint gift with close friends and family. Whilst joint gifts can help take the pressure off decision making, they can also become complicated if you can’t all agree.

7.    Buy special or unique items that people wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves
Whilst I’m a huge fan of practical gifts, the best gifts are often the ones that we can never justify buying for ourselves, such as a nice watch, a beautiful pen or expensive wine glasses. We often ‘made do’ with what we have and it’s not until we use this new, unique gift the we think “wow, how did I ever live without this!”. Check out Mr Gift for quality gifts and fresh gift ideas.


Other gift tips:

8.    Don’t forget to remove all price tags before wrapping your gift


9.    Spend time looking for an appropriate card and wrapping paper
A great gift is made even better when you pay attention to these small but important details.

10.  Send it in time!
Yes, it may be the thought that counts, but the best gift in the world still seems like an after-thought when it arrives a week late.


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