Do you ever find yourself blindsided by gifting occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations and holidays? Does it bother you that opportunities to show you care are wasted on feeble offerings like gift cards? Well, these helpful tips will help you master the art of gift giving.
Discover What Your Recipients Want
First, make a list of upcoming gift-giving occasions and the people who will be the recipients of your generosity. Keep the list handy. When you speak with the people on your list, make note of their interests. People are usually happy to tell you what they’re interested in — all you have to do is listen. Get down to the nitty-gritty. It’s not enough to know someone likes cars, for example. What specifically do they like about cars — the feats of modern engineering or sleek designs from yesteryear? This knowledge will help you narrow down the gift selection.
And there’s a particular type of establishment that can increase your odds of finding that uniquely thoughtful gift.
Antique malls are like museums where all the history is for sale. Any item that has a higher value because of its age and/or collectability is considered an antique. So, if your recipient loves baseball, an antique mall is likely to have related memorabilia. If they love fashion or furniture, there’s sure to be vintage clothing or furnishings from a different era that would be of interest to them. You can find plenty of malls listed online, but some of the best finds are in small, unlisted places. Watch for signs on the side of the road. The less frequented the shop, the more likely you are to find something unusual.
Another great thing about antique malls is that posted prices are often negotiable. Politely offer 15–25% below the listed price and see if the seller is willing to meet you in the middle. You may be the only person interested in an item that has been in their shop for years, and if that’s the case, you stand to pick it up for a bargain.
Of course, antiques aren’t for everyone. A brand-new version of an old favorite can be an ideal solution to your gift-giving quandary. Tools and kitchen equipment are good examples. Mom’s been using the same old blender for years, but secretly dreaming of that shiny new food processor she saw at a store demo. If you go for the functional gift, keep your receipt in case Mom replaces her blender before you have a chance to surprise her with a new one. And if you’re making a purchase well in advance of a gift-giving occasion, know the store’s return policy
Whenever you spot a store that looks interesting, step inside for a look around. It shouldn’t take more than 5–10 minutes to determine if they have a gift that would be right for someone on your list.
If you see the perfect gift, but it’s only a display item, let the proprietor know of your interest in purchasing it. Once you explain that this treasure will not go unappreciated, the seller may be willing to part with it. And odds are you’ll make someone a very happy recipient.