The Top 3 Gift-Giving Mistakes People Make And How To Avoid Them

by Katie Straw

Not all of us are exactly awesome at picking out gifts for people.  Actually, to be frank, some of us are downright dreadful.  From buying golf clubs for a man who has never once teed off to spa sets for 5-year olds, some of us need a little help with this process.  Of thousands of tragic gifting mistakes, here are the top three and easy fixes to promote yourself to a gift-giving aficionado.

Gift Giving Mistakes1.    I’m Late, I’m late…

We all procrastinate.  We see that note on our planner that says so-and-so’s birthday, wedding, bar mitzvah, etc.  But we ignore it.   “I’ll remember next week,” we say, and then it’s the day before and we have no time to shop and no idea what to buy. 

Solution:  Take a few minutes when you realize you need to buy a gift and get online.  It’s pretty simple.  Good websites, such as, let you choose when you’d like gift delivery.  So no matter how important the date, your gift will be on time and you’ll be set.

2.   Frugal Franny

Don’t want to be called Franny?  Don’t bargain shop.  That’s not to say you can’t buy something that’s on sale, but it should never be your reason for buying a gift.  If you’re on a tight budget, you can still find that perfect something.  Do a little research.  Try to surf online or window shop to uncover the best product at the most reasonable price.  You’ll still save money and you won’t have to spend hours digging through a 5-dollar bin.

3.    Don’t take the Easy Way Out

Nothing says, “I really put no thought into this,” like a gift card. Even if it’s to his or her favorite store, a gift card falls a little short of being a perfect present. Take some time to check out what is at the store that they like and buy something that reminds you of them. If you don’t know anything about stores they like, just try picking up something that you think they might like and be sure to get a gift receipt just in case.


4.    Use Your Resources

Bringing the wrong sort of gift to an event is pretty embarrassing.  Imagine being that guy  who gave a bride a self-help book on relationships (and you thought you were being suave).  If you’re unsure what to get, don’t fret.  Use your lifelines: phone a friend, contact someone else invited to the event, or Google it.  A great gift is just a little research away.

5.    Consider Your Audience

Sometimes when we shop, we forget who we’re shopping for. We go into a store for a retirement gift and come out with a new outfit for ourselves. Instead of backtracking (and spending more money than you need to), try making a list of things you know the recipient likes and dislikes. After writing these down, you’ll have way better luck not only finding things for them, but things they’ll actually like.

Of course, you can never go wrong when shopping for your next gift basket at!

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