Jan 12, 2009

Tips for Finding Unique One of a Kind Gifts Online

Many people find gift-giving to be difficult and complicated. But it doesn’t have to be stressful, so relax and take a deep breath. You can find a wonderfully unique item to give to your loved one and this article will give you tips to finding that one of a kind item they will treasure.

When looking for a gift, we often just “go shopping,” with no plan in mind. Before you start shopping, it is best to have a plan. So first, get a cup of tea or coffee, sit down, and think about the person you are shopping for. You can even do this first step while taking a walk – it might help you focus your thoughts! But a walk outside might be more helpful than one in a mall! Think about the obvious distinctions like whether the person is male or female; older or younger; a child or an adult; or the always difficult-to-shop-for teen. Beyond those obvious attributes start to consider the receiver’s likes and dislikes, interests and hobbies.

People all have something they are interested in, though it might not be quite as obvious for some as it is for others. Are there certain things they talk about a lot? Have they ever expressed a strong opinion about a news item? Have they shared a dream they have, or remarked on something on television, in a book, or at the movies? If you can recall these types of comments, they can give you insight into what the person you are shopping for might like.

After you’ve pinpointed what the person’s interests are, you will start thinking of some possible places to look for gifts, and other places will not need to be considered. You won’t need to look at automotive places for a gardener; you won’t need to look at antique shops for someone whose house is filled with contemporary décor. By identifying specifics, you’re simultaneously able to eliminate those things that won’t be of interest. You’ve taken care of two things at once and by knowing where you don’t need to look, you’ve narrowed down the options to something more manageable.

Driving around to places matching the interests and likes you’ve identified is one way to start. There are numerous gift shops and usual places to drive to where you might find a gift. But you probably won’t find a one of a kind gift. You will often locate more interesting, unique, and hard to find items online. This is especially true if the person you are buying for lives near you and regularly shops at the same places you might be thinking of driving to! Besides yielding a better selection of unique items, shopping online allows you to save on gas. You do need to plan ahead and start sooner rather than later to shop online, unless you want to pay for express shipping.

Looking online for a gift that will wow might sound intimidating since there is so much of everything on the internet. So we need to narrow things down a bit more before you start searching. Most often, a one of a kind item is a handmade item. Many shoppers know about eBay as a place to find a one of a kind item. But items here are often used, not handmade, and the quality may not be good enough for a gift purchase.

One way to narrow things down and find handmade gifts is to go to your favorite search engine and use specific keywords. Words that came to mind when you thought of your receiver’s attributes can be typed into the search engine along with the keyword “hand-made” and will probably result in hundreds or thousands of possibilities.

An alternative is to go straight to a website that sells handmade items. Online craft malls are one place to find hand-made gifts. A new popular alternative is a website called Etsy. Etsy is “the place for all things handmade.” It has something for everyone, from trendsetting hipsters to traditional vintage lovers. It’s a good bet that something there will match whoever you are shopping for. Here’s where you can use the attributes and keywords you thought of earlier.

Shopping on Etsy will bring up-and-coming designers and new artists to your door. You’ll amaze and delight your family and friends with your stylish finds. Jewelry, housewares, embroidery, and quilts abound. Country, rustic, contemporary, and vintage things are in abundance. Hip, geekery, modern, and trendy items are aplenty, too. Do you know someone who loves anything made of fabric? Or maybe you’re shopping for a teen – hip young designers sell everything from funky t-shirts to vinyl wallets to “geekery” to robot-themed items. Whatever the interest, search for it and you’ll find wonderful items for it such as soaps, punk, quilts, gardening, automotive, executive, animals, sports, décor, teas, candies, glitter, and so much more. You can shop by person (mom, dad, teen) or you can even shop by color. So if your Aunt Edna has an all pink house or room, or young Tommy only wears black, go to the search-by-color page and have fun!

Finding a unique gift does take a little sleuthing, identifying the receiver’s preferences, and thinking ahead, but once you’ve done some pre-planning, going to Etsy will yield hundreds of gifts to match any taste. The hardest part might just be choosing only one item! Have Fun and Happy Shopping!!

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