Type ‘unwanted gifts’ into eBay you’ll get thousands of search results. From clutch bags and purses to novelty boxer shorts, people everywhere are decluttering their home of unwanted and often awkward or embarrassing gifts. But wouldn’t it be nice if every gift we gave was valued, rather than unlovingly stashed under the bed. Well, with a little strategic planning we can all be artful givers. Here’s our round-up on how to buy gifts people love.
Don’t rely on Facebook to send you notifications. You need to plan for birthdays, weddings and other occasions well in advance. Keep a calendar of important dates and be realistic about mail and parcel delivery times so cards and parcels don’t arrive unfashionably late.
Image: Simply notebooks Etsy
Make a list:
Struggling to think what someone will like? Write down their hobbies and interests. Are they a budding explorer or botanist? What kind of lifestyle do they lead? If the recipient has recently had a baby, they probably don’t want a fluffy white jumper. But if they’ve recently moved home, some gorgeous bedlinen or a fluffy bathmat could make the perfect gift.
If you’re in any doubt as to what your friend, family member or co-worker would like, check out their social media accounts. A quick snoop on Pinterest will provide you with a visual snapshot of their likes and dislikes, whereas Facebook can help you figure out how they spend their free time. The more you know about the receiver, the less likely you are to buy something you like or want and exert your tastes over theirs.
Once you’ve done your research, search for gifts relating to their interests and lifestyle. Frequent travellers may love a travel pack. Joggers may enjoy a gift card for their favourite sportswear store. Whether you opt for an ephemeral gift or one that brings year-round enjoyment, the important thing is to choose something they’ll value rather than bringing clutter into their lives.
Mind your manners:
Include a card or handwritten note with your gift, making sure the message befits the person and occasion. Attempts to be funny can backfire unless you know the recipient well. Far from being a waste of money, many people treat cards as keepsakes, turning the best ones into artwork that can be lovingly displayed around the home.