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  • Writer's pictureJessica Nacovsky

78: Gift Buying Tips

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

Howdy! The holiday season can be super stressful, more so when the loved ones on your list are prone to impulse buys. As in, they see it, they want it, they got it. What then, is left for you to buy? Sure, gift cards are great but they aren't very personalized.

What's worked for me, is I keep a secret Pinterest folder for every loved one. Throughout the year, if I see something they might want, or they mention a hobby, an interest, anything that they're collecting, I save it there. Then, when I'm at their house, I will take creep shots of their collectibles, books, gaming system & games, etc. The only person who sees these pictures is me, and I use them to see what they already own, so I don't buy them the same thing.

For things like Warhammer, which is very specific and involved, I will ask them which set or book they want. Being observant only goes so far. Better to just be direct, as opposed to guessing, and buying the wrong thing. Like if I know one relative loved Danielle Steele, I'm not going to make assumptions on which books they've already read, especially since they could have books I can't see on their kindle, or maybe they're hitting up the library. And there is nothing wrong with being direct. Some folks are a mystery and simply asking what they want can save a ton of time and stress and fruitless brainstorming.

It's a good idea to budget. Figure out what you can afford to spend on the holidays, and divide that by your intended recipients. If you have to travel, factor that in too. Some families have set agreements where the adults only buy for all the children, or everyone just buys for their own children and godchildren. That's fine too, as long as everyone is aware of what rules there are and abides by them. Most folks don't have a limitless budget and it's not great to go into debt over holiday spending. Making gifts might save money, but often, it's very time intensive and the cost of supplies adds up. If you're shipping gifts out, the cost of shipping needs to be accounted for in the overall budget. Amazon, while very publicly an unethical business, has very quick and affordable shipping. If all of your loved ones live far away, and you're on a tight budget, an Amazon prime account is a wise investment. Etsy shipping costs vary widely, and last I checked, don't take your location into account. When I had an Etsy shop, I could only set one shipping cost per item, as opposed to letting the site base it on the buyer's location. It's possible that's changed, but a few years back, when I did all my holiday shopping on Etsy, I spent a ludicrous amount of money on shipping. As an aside, toys are incredibly expensive on Etsy, in my experience. Supporting small businesses is great, but don't go broke in the process.

Anyway, I hope your holiday season is going well. Thank you for stopping by. I drop a new blog post every Monday. Toodles!

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