We’re responsible for buying gifts for a variety of people at a variety of occasions. Most of us want to give gifts, but find it difficult, especially when we don’t know the recipient of the gift that well. We want to make a good impression, make the person happy, and ideally, make our gift stand out from the others in the pile – but how can we do this?
In this guide, we’ll review the most important strategies for finding the “perfect” gift for anyone.
The Most Important Rules for Gift Giving
Before we go any further, let’s talk about the most important rules for gift giving. You’ll need to follow these rules, universally, if you want to make the best impression.
- Get them something they personally want or like. This rule should be obvious, but many people end up neglecting it. It’s important to get your recipient something that they actually want and will genuinely enjoy. Too many people end up buying a gift that they would want, often with good intentions, but unless you and your recipient share almost everything in common, this gift may fall flat.
- Prioritize originality. Next, strive for originality. It’s much better to give a gift that is one of a kind then something that’s mass produced and mass marketed. Handmade leather backpacks, for example, have a distinctive look and feel that you can’t find in factory-produced goods. Choosing something original will make your gift stand out and make it more memorable, ultimately leaving a better long-term impression.
- Say something about your relationship. If you can, try to make your gift say something about your relationship with the recipient. That could mean giving them a throwback to an old inside joke, or simply hinting at the durability and longevity of your relationship with a gift that could last forever.
Talk to the Person
Here’s a great place to start: talk to the gift recipient. Your conversations don’t have to be particularly deep or unique; as long as you’re talking and getting to know them better, you’ll start gleaning information that you can use to purchase a good gift. Get a feel for what they’re currently interested in, what their hobbies are, and how they’re generally feeling.
Check Wish Lists and Registries
Next, see if there are any wish lists or registries that you could consult. Does this person have a wish list on Amazon, Steam, or some other platform? Is there a standing list of things that they hope to receive? In some contexts, like for weddings and baby showers, these lists are made publicly available. In other cases, you’ll have to do some digging on your own.
Analyze the Person’s Style
Take a moment to analyze this person style
- Home layout and décor. What is this person’s house like? What kind of decor do they have? Are there any favorite color schemes that are prominent throughout the house?
- Clothes and fashion. A person’s clothes and fashion choices may speak volumes about their personality and preferences. What kind of taste does this person have? Are there certain types of accessories they really love?
- Purchasing habits. What does this person usually buy for themselves? Is there a favorite restaurant they frequent? Is there something they collect? These could be keys to getting them the perfect gift.
- Gift giving habits. Furthermore, how do they give gifts to others? This can help you figure out what this person perceives as an “ideal” gift.
With these in mind, which kind of gifts is this person most likely to appreciate?
Look for Unique Stores
When you start your shopping, assuming you don’t have a wish list to work from, start looking for unique stores. Are there any establishments that sell handmade goods or similarly original products? These tend to be great places for gift giving inspiration.
Consider an Experience
Most consumers prefer temporary experiences over tangible items. Instead of buying a product and wrapping it, consider purchasing and intangible gift for your chosen recipient. For example, you could purchase them a pair of concert tickets or book them a weekend getaway. Just make sure you don’t sign someone up for an obligation they don’t truly want.
Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative. Sometimes, the best gift you can give is one that you made yourself. If you’re an artist, or if you’re good with crafts, make something from scratch and present it as a way to strengthen your relationship with the recipient.
One of the most common adages related to gift giving is “it’s the thought that counts.” And that mostly rings true. As long as you spend at least some time thinking about this person, and trying to find something they genuinely enjoy, your gift will probably be well received – so try not to stress too much about the process.