The holiday season is upon us and with it comes the pressure to buy the perfect present.
However, some people are not that great at shopping for other people, no matter how well they know them. Does this sound like you?
You may or may not know that there is a certain etiquette to shopping for presents. If you are struggling with gift shopping, don’t fret.
We’ve put together a guide on the most common gift shopping mistakes for you to avoid. So if you’re ready to give some great presents this year, read on!
1. Buying Utilitarian Gifts
Giving your giftee something useful may seem like a great idea, in theory. And for some circumstances, this can be true.
However, utilitarian gifts most often come across as boring, or sometimes even insulting. Such as giving mom a new mop for Christmas.
Unless a person has specifically said that they would like that new tool or gadget, avoid shopping with pure usefulness in mind.
However, there are some utilitarian gifts that people may not even know they were needing.
Gifts for doctors are a great example. Compression socks, a nice coffee maker, or even a smart watch can get a lot of real-world mileage while still being appreciated as a thoughtful gift.
2. Shopping For Yourself
Look, we’ve all done this at least once. We see something that we absolutely love and want to get, but we can’t spend that money on ourselves.
So we get it for someone else, hoping that we can experience the thrill of the gift vicariously. Or that maybe they won’t want it and re-gift it back to us.
At best, your giftee will also appreciate the item but will definitely notice your keen interest. Things might get awkward.
More often, it will be very obvious that the gift was not really bought for them, but for yourself. Which means it will likely be returned or shoved in a closet somewhere.
This is one of the most common gift shopping mistakes, so avoid it by laser-focusing on what your recipient likes and would appreciate.
3. The Bargain Hunter
There’s nothing wrong with snagging a great gift at an even better deal. However, some gift-givers only buy their gifts based on whether they’re on sale or not.
This leads to two gift shopping mistakes. The first is buying something that isn’t really a good fit. Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean it’s not a waste of your money and time.
The second is that you can end up compulsively stocking up on gifts, leading to a closet full of random items that look suspiciously like the beginning stages of hoarding.
Trust us, people know when they get a gift out of the gift backstock pile.
To avoid this, buy gifts intentionally. Plan ahead in advance if you know what you want. That way you can keep an eye out for sales during the year.
Avoiding Common Gift Shopping Mistakes
Ultimately, the best rule of thumb when shopping for a gift is to choose something meaningful and relevant for the recipient.
This doesn’t always mean material things. Experiences and services (such as spa days or show tickets) are always well-received and thoughtful. Don’t make the gift shopping mistakes from our list, and you’ll be fine.
For more shopping advice, make sure to check out the lifestyle section of our blog!