Only a few days remain before Christmas and for many people, that means the panic-shopping season has arrived. This is a perilous time of year when hurried last minute gift givers will waste their money on some of the worst gifts imaginable.
Before you shop for a last minute gift, here are a few things you should know in order to keep your panic in check and save yourself time and money.
According to researchers Cindy Chan and Cassie Mogilner of the University of Pennsylvania, gift givers looking to make a strong connection with the receiver should consider giving the gift of an experience. Gifts like concert tickets or SCUBA lessons create stronger bonds between the giver and receiver than material gifts, even when the experience is not shared. Why? The receiver connects the joy and fun they experience during the event with the gift giver.
If you’re looking for a last minute gift idea, take a few minutes to consider their favorite band, TV show, or sports team and see if there’s something out there that fits your budget. Bonus? You may be able to print out the tickets instantly – no shipping, no waiting.
Don’t think that the price tag will bail you out when it comes to giving a good last minute gift.
The price tag of an item is a poor predictor of how much the receiver will appreciate the gift according to Francis Flynn of Stanford University. Women in particular value gifts based more on the thought put into them than men predict.
Researcher Karen Pine agrees and offered this example, “A woman recently said she desperately wanted her husband to buy her jewelry, so she hinted she wanted jewelry from him. When the big day came, he gave her a voucher for a jewelry store. He was being practical, and thinking, ‘I don’t know what to buy, but you can buy what you want yourself,’” says Pine. “For her, that completely missed the point. It was the sentimental value that she wanted.
Instead of reaching for your wallet, check out our guide to get you brainstorming.
The best time to make decisions is in the morning and right after lunch. If you are going to the store in the evening to “figure stuff out” you’re asking for trouble and on the path to bad gifts. Chances are you will make a rushed decision and overspend or waste money on the wrong thing.
Instead, come up with a plan and ideas before you hit the store.
It is obvious but it bears repeating: you are better giving what they want, rather than what you want for them. According to a Chase Blueprint-AOL survey, almost half of Americans believe strongly that a gift should be a surprise.
If you are holding out from using their wish list because you want to give a surprise, you may want to reconsider. In their view, picking from their wish list may show that you cared to pay attention to them and their opinion of surprises.
However, if they are the type of person who wants a surprise, respect that too. Remember the above tip that overspending is unlikely to help? People who want a surprise are looking for you to show a little knowledge of them – the price of the gift is often less important.
It’s this need to find thoughtful, surprise gifts that spawned Giftovus. Giftovus users share their insights and knowledge about a person to give amazing surprise gifts. Give it a try. Working together will take the pressure off, speed up your search and make your gifts better.
We hope that helps with your last minute gift giving!