What is the Best Way to Find Out What Gifts to Buy?

Giving gifts to people is a satisfying way to express how important they are to you. Here's a guide on how to figure out what gifts to buy.

What is the best way to find out what gifts to buy?

Giving gifts to people is a satisfying way to express how important they are to you and what they mean to your life. However, it can be challenging to think of unique gifts that’s practical, special, and unique at the same time. In this article, we’ll talk about the best ways you can come up with a gift for your friends or loved ones. We also discuss some mistakes you should avoid when giving gifts to people. Read on about what gifts to buy!

Fix the Receiver’s Problems 

When gifting for another person and you’ve run out of ideas about what can make them happier, think about what makes them stressed, frustrated, or even angry. Most of the time, a great gift is something that solves a person’s problems — it’s all about removing negatives in their lives. 

Find a problem, and solve it for them using your gift. Here are some great examples: 

  • Take on responsibilities: give them a “gift certificate” for a few days of babysitting or petsitting. They can use it to get your help when they need a few days away from the kids or pets. Just be sure you’re responsible for them to feel comfortable leaving you with their kids or pets!
  • Fix their house: buy gifts for their house such as a new set of knives and new blinds. If you want, you can also pay a handyman to fix little things such as squeaky doors, leaking sinks, and broken light switches. 
  • Do their chores: or outsource them. Given them a gift certificate for home-delivered meals o laundry service. 
  • Reduce pain: if you know the person suffers from pains like sore neck or muscle, get them a session in a massage parlor or a physical therapist. A nice massage do wonders to the body — and to friendships! 

One important reminder: do not fix problems they don’t know they have. For instance, bad breath or body odor. The chances of such gifts backfiring are high. 

Personalized Gift 

If you’re pretty close with the person, chances are you can give them something sentimental or personalized. If you know the person truly well, you can answer a gift-finding quiz to know the most suitable personalized gift for that person for any occasion. If you want to try that, look here — it has a variety of questionnaires you can answer when you run out of personalized gift ideas. 

Apart from taking quizzes, you can also use the following tips: 

Come Up with A Message 

It’s easier to think of a gift when you have a message in mind that guides your “theme” for the present. Think about your relationship, what you feel about it, and what you would like them to know. This allows you to come up with a few potential gifts quite quickly. 

Make a List 

Put your ideas on paper. This helps you better gather your thoughts and visualize the gift. Also, consider their interests and hobbies. This will allow you to cross out any items that might not be as good as others. 

Talk to Others 

Two brains are better than one. If you know another person who knows a lot about the receive, talk to them and pick their brain for any ideas. You can show them your list and tell them the message you want to tell. The other person may tell you what the receiver wants or needs. You can even find out what their sweet spots are in terms of gifts, if you don’t already know about them. 

Look for Clues 

Check their social media accounts. Scour their posts for something that they might write on their wishlist. Pinterest is a nice place to start if the person you’re giving the gift to has an account there. Check their pinned items of their Pinterest board and see if there’s a product they’ve been meaning to buy for some time. You can get the same results on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Check their posts about their favorite items and see if you can buy them a new one. 

Ask the Person Directly 

You don’t have to tell them you’re buying a gift for them. Be smart and creative when asking questions. For instance, if it’s a Christmas gift, tell them you’re working on your Christmas list, then casually ask them if they’re doing that too or if there’s anything they wish to have on Christmas. If their birthday is coming up, ask them casually if they already thought of a gift they’d like to receive. 

Important reminder: if they tell you exactly what they want, don’t try to outsmart them. You might think you’re being thoughtful when you’re giving them something other than what they wish for, but studies suggest that recipients are way happier when they receive the gifts they actually asked for — you don’t know them better than themselves. 

Opt for Experience, Make Memories 

If your recipient values experiences more than material gifts, then consider giving them that — you can either let them enjoy the experience with the person of their choosing or with you. Look into local events, restaurants, places, and other activities that the person might enjoy.

If the person’s favorite band is doing a show in your area, buy them tickets for that. If they love theater productions, buy them a ticket. You can also try gift cards for activities that they enjoy doing. This might be a gift card for a bowling alley, a book store, cooking supply store, or a restaurant. Then, go to the shop together — if the person asks you to come, that is. 

When giving the tickets or gift cards to them, add a note that tells them your message. More importantly, it should tell them what the experience will provide and how they can have fun with it. 

Avoid These Gifting Mistakes 

Finally, keep the finally gifting pitfalls in mind and try your best to avoid them: 

  • Not giving them what they asked for: again, don’t try to outsmart your recipient. Give them what they want. They’ll think of you as more thoughtful when you give them what they asked for — it means you actually pay attention to them. If they ask for a new toaster, don’t give them an oven. Don’t overthink it. 
  • Using charitable donations as gifts: some people think that charitable donations on behalf of their gift recipients is thoughtful. While some people actually like that, studies suggest that most people aren’t happy with these gifts. If you want to be socially responsible, do it on your own behalf. Don’t assume that they want that, too, unless they explicitly tell you to do it. 
  • Trying to buy different gifts for different persons: while this isn’t a mistake per se, there’s no rule that says you can’t give more than one person the same gift. In fact, giving the same kinds of gifts to multiple people works like magic in the right situations. For example, trying giving personalized shirts to your family members on a holiday; you can wear them as some sort of uniform on vacation. This is also a highly practical approach to narrowing down long gift lists. If you find something that you think more than one person will enjoy, then gift it to them by all means. 

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