3 Simple Tips To Gift-giving Etiquette

What do you give the person that has everything? We hear this question at least once a week and I think we’ve gotten pretty good at finding the answer,  if I do say so myself.  And since we’re all about gifting around here, I thought I’d share our thought process when a customer comes in looking for the perfect gift for a “challenging” recipient.  

First, think about occasion, or reason, for the gift to narrow your choices.

I know this seems obvious, but you’d be amazed at how helpful it is.  For example, there's a big difference between a holiday gift for a work colleague and Mother’s day gift for your mom and you definitely don’t want to ignore that difference - the consequences on both sides of that coin might last for years.  Even if your mom is super practical, you’re better off finding something personal for her.  Try jewelry, a scent she loves, or something related to a hobby she has.  Your boss or client, however, needs something less sentimental. You still can be creative, but think about it in terms of whether the recipient will use the gift, as opposed to feeling touched that you thought of him or her.  Feeling “touched” and work, don’t go together!

Second, you don’t need to spend a lot of money, just choose something a little unexpected.  

I hate to discourage spending here, but the truth really is that the thought counts.  Think about hostess gifts – when friend invites you for dinner you don’t want to show up empty-handed but you also don’t want to create the expectation that you give each other expensive gifts each time you visit.  You can always bring a bottle of wine, but try something more unexpected like a small stack of fun, paper cocktail napkins, a “luxury” dish towel, or a cute notepad. All delightful and delightfully inexpensive!    

Third, sometimes you do need to spend more.  

I know, I seem to be contradicting myself, but think of it this way - There are times when you need a gift to reciprocate for something nice someone did for you, and when that something has a high monetary value, you ought to consider spending a little more to say thank you.  For example, there is a difference between lending you a beach condo for the weekend, and collecting your mail while you’re out of town.  Don’t go outside of your budget, or feel like you have to “gift-match”, just be sure to consider the value of the gift you’ve been given.  If you spend that weekend at a friend’s lovely vacation home for free, you probably ought to spend a little more to show your appreciation.      

Finally, if all else fails, ask for help.

Here’s the benefit of shopping with small business - You can talk to a human! And not just any human, a human that helps other people find perfect gifts all day long! Whether in store, by phone or via email, we’re here to help, and we like a challenge! So don’t hesitate to give us your background story, I’m 99% sure we can find the perfect gift for you.  And on those rare occasions when we don’t have what you’re looking for, we’ve got some pretty good suggestions for finding what you need somewhere else.

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