Around 69% of consumers prefer giving gifts to receiving them, which shows how much power there is in gift-giving.
Familiarizing yourself with gifting etiquette is essential for keeping the recipient happy and buying your loved one the ultimate gift. But if you’re unfamiliar with the etiquette around gifting, there’s a risk of offending someone and not enjoying the experience. Perhaps that’s what brought you here; you’re buying a gift for a loved one and are worried about offending them in the process.
Hit the nail on the head? Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything to know about gifting etiquette.
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Don’t Make It About You
You’ll notice that the best gifting ideas are always about the recipient. Make sure you don’t buy a friend tickets to your favorite band’s gig or clothing that only you’d wear because it defeats the purpose of gift giving. Instead, listen to whether they mention any particular items that they want and surprise them with a gift that focuses on their interests instead.
Avoid Gifting Too Early
Regardless of the types of gifts you buy, avoid giving them too early. For instance, you may have found the ultimate gift three months before your sister’s birthday, but that doesn’t mean you should give it to her then. Again, it’s all about the recipient, so wait for the big date and it’ll be far more satisfying for both of you.
Don’t Expect Anything in Return
The best gifts are given when nothing is expected in return. If you do, you’re missing the point of gifting because you’re focusing on yourself. You also shouldn’t compare what you give with what you receive as it’s not fair on the recipient, especially if you have a larger budget or a smaller circle to buy for.
Stay Within Your Budget
A good rule of thumb is to buy memorable gifts that are within your budget. Regardless of whether you receive an expensive gift, you shouldn’t put yourself in financial hardship to look good. Instead, give generously while being realistic with your gifts.
Be Culturally Aware
One of the top tips for gift giving is being culturally aware, especially if you’re in another country. The last thing you want is for your gift to be offensive and upset the recipient. To avoid any issues, research ahead of time and even double-check with someone from the same culture if you’re unsure.
Write a Note
Whether you’re buying expensive or affordable gifts, you should complete the gift with a note. Aside from being a token of love, you can address the recipient directly and include a thoughtful expression, so it’s more personal. And if you want to go the extra mile, add a greeting card, especially on a birthday or special occasion like Valentine’s Day.
Familiarize Yourself With Workplace Gifting Etiquette
Before gifting your boss police coins or an indoor plant, it’s wise to learn about corporate gifting etiquette. Make sure that it’s in a White Elephant or Secret Santa setting so that everyone is involved. But if the gift is for a single person, give them the gift privately, so that you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings.
Choose Gift Cards Over Cash
Although cash can work for some people, sending a gift card is more thoughtful. This is especially useful if you’re buying for a couple, whether it’s for a home warming gift or one from their wedding registry. Plus, gift cards are handy for kids’ birthday gifts as they can choose their dream toy.
Many people re-gift, but it’s not the best idea. This is because it could offend the person who gave you the gift. If you have received a duplicate gift and want to give one away, make sure it’s in the original packaging and check that it isn’t personalized.
Use a Gift Wrap or Bag
A gift isn’t complete without being wrapped up or placed in a bag. The beauty of it is that it covers most occasions, from baby showers to birthday gifts. Plus, it gives the recipient the option to either open the gift in front of everyone or privately, depending on their preference.
Shop from Local and Small Businesses
A great way to prevent gifting generic gifts, check out local or small businesses. You’ll be surprised at how many unique items there are, especially if you’re after a personalized gift. Or, if there’s nowhere in your area, check out sites like Etsy for creative ideas.
Don’t Buy Self-Improvement Books or Courses
Sure, you may love embarking on a self-improvement journey, but this may upset the recipient. For instance, avoid gifting weight loss books or budgeting tools to loved ones who are struggling with their finances. Also, don’t be passive-aggressive by gifting a book that conflicts with their views.
Buy from Wish Lists or Gift Registries if Possible
Whenever in doubt, ask the recipient for their wish list or registry. Not only does it make your job easier, but you know that you’re buying a gift that your loved one will keep forever. Also, you can chip in with friends or their family members to gift them a big-ticket item.
Always Say Thank You
Regardless of the size of the gift, always thank the gift giver.
If you can’t thank them personally, send a “thank you” note within a week of receiving it. It’s important to note that it should reflect the gift given. For instance, an e-mail will work after receiving baked goods while a handwritten note is better for more expensive gifts.
Gifting Etiquette 101
Now, you’re familiar with gifting etiquette, you shouldn’t have any problems in the future.
There are many important rules to follow, such as always sending a “thank you” note and only buying gifts that the recipient will love. You should also avoid re-gifting and buy from wish gifts whenever possible. Good luck!
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