By Danielle Holland Ingram
We all know the feeling: that special event is nearing -- creeping closer and closer to your presence and with every day that goes by the anxiety over picking a remotely decent gift for your special individual in mind builds and mounts until it's pretty much almost unbearable.
The dread of having to rifle through items and brainstorm ideas for decent gifts can be pretty daunting at times. I mean, let's be real, we're all busy. Most of us work a minimum of eight hours a day, five days a week and many of us work much more than that.
Throwing other responsibilities associated with adulthood in the mix such as keeping track of bills, maintaining relationships so we don’t wind up the reclusive house hermit on the block, handling parenting duties, children's events and more and can often times seem like we just can't quite ever get a break. Throwing in gift selection for the pending holiday or a loved one’s special day is just another responsibility amongst an already endless sea.
Don't be that person that defaults to Visa gift cards every year. Sure, everyone loves a little extra cash – and no one is going to complain by any means whatsoever, but what people love even more is knowing that you took the time out of your busy schedule to put a little bit of effort into their gift just so they could end up with some warm and fuzzies as the icing on top.
As you may know Father’s Day is quickly creeping around the corner. If you’re like many, you’re probably scrabbling to figure out a gift and you may or may not have been racking your brain thinking of what to do to make a good impression.
Well, don't fret because with the Internet of Things comes -- many special things -- of very specialized natures – and of those specialized things in the internet of things, we bring you: Gift selection companies.
These little gems are absolutely amazing. If you are like many out there who find it more than difficult to get creative with gifting ideas and strategies, these little diamonds are here to take away the stress of deciding the perfect gift for your special person or that special occasion. So we are naming a few online options to help you along the way and to solidify your status as Gift Master of Mankind.
Gift Baskets Plus
Gift Baskets Plus was something we instantly fell in love with. I mean it, I literally bookmarked it under my "clients" folder. This awesome little company is primarily meant to cater to those looking to get a hold on the ever difficult art of corporate client gifts, however, it is also applicable to those looking to gift individuals and families alike.
They pride themselves on being personal and offer a "lowest price guarantee, so free returns, fast ground shipping and 100% satisfaction". Hard to beat that. They offer a wide selection of upscale specialty baskets and gift towers ranging from wine kits to chocolates to birthday cake batter baskets and stuffed animals.
Themes range from movie baskets, to baby showers, sports items, pet suppies, care packages, barbecue and grilling baskets, spa & bath baskets and even military baskets -- Oh my! Our heads are kind of spinning. The website is clear, easy to navigate, straightforward and offers affordable pricing with the average basket ranging from around $50-$100 with PayPal as an approved method of pay.
Gift Advisor is kind of just all around spectacular. The website is definitely caters more towards the average everyday consumer looking to gift an individual for their special occasion or event – so visitors may find that a bit more relaxing.
They offer a sleek contemporary design and boast a creative and colorful website that also offers you the option to browse additional websites to get the product you want. The categories differ in that the company chooses to focus more so on the individual receiving the gift or the occasion/interest in mind.
Consumers can search based on gender, relationship, occasion and category. Need a gift for a tech junkie? Check the gadgets page. Wine enthusiast? They also have a lovely selection for wine lovers. Or, perhaps your recipient is one that is a lover of life and experiences. In that case, the website even offers the option of gifting what they call "hand curated experiences" such as exotic car racing, zip lining, learning to fly, helicopter tours, cruises and much more.
Budget the number one worry? They have you covered and even offer gift ideas in selections by price with everything from items clocking in at $10 and under to the more big-ticket splurges topping off at $200 plus. It's kind of an all-around amazing experience just to browse through and check it out. Oh – and they also have an app for that.
Our third option clocks in as an anomaly in this list – a lone wolf, if you will -- due to the fact that it's actually not a traditional gift company whatsoever. However, the abundantly creative nature of this handy-dandy website is what thrust it onto this list as being exceptionally relevant and useful for those of you looking to take the edge off the gifting process.
Those of you who are not die-hard DIY'ers, artists or creative's, may quite possibly not be all too familiar with this social media platform. Pinterest is classified as the world's catalog of ideas. It is a "database of intentions”, if you will -- a popular image-based site similar to that of Instagram with the major difference being that it is heavily catered to the DIY type individual and creator.
Want to upcycle your favorite old wooden wardrobe? Go to Pinterest. Need some ideas on Parisian chateau style decor? They've got you. Want to check out the latest in contemporary installation art? They have it all. Need a guide for identifying 1968-1972 Chevelles? Yep. Step-by-step instructions on fabricating a log cabin? There's a few videos for those too.
You can understand why we are absolutely gaga for the website. Simple searches unearth hundreds, if not thousands of ideas at your fingertips. Type "creative gifts for artists", "quirky gifts for intellectuals" "best fashion gift ideas for girls" -- The opportunities are absolutely endless, which is why we absolutely could not leave it off this list.
What is better is each search result can be “pinned” to a customized “board” of ideas tailored to whatever your little heart desires. You can pin to whatever like on the website and completely free to use. These pinboards become little collections of images and ideas that you can reference and can range in varying themes based on your choosing.
Dollar shave Club
Come on now – you knew we couldn’t leave it out! We felt like it was our duty to throw in a male-centric option since a few of these tend to be dominated by a female audience. For those of you who have been living under a rock, Dollar Shave Club is the tried-and-true for gifting male counterparts. I mean, it's pretty impossible to go wrong here. Whether his style range from shaggy and unkempt Bear Grylls to lumbersexual to the ever so gorgeous and calculating metrosexual – Dollar Shave Club has it on lock.
You can buy everything from artisanal products and soaps, to specialty razors and upscale grooming products and kits. Their selections are trendy, chic and serve almost just as much as decoration in some cases as they do for practical use. The aesthetic value is high with this one and it’s really worth taking a browse – especially considering your first razor clocks in at just $1 with free shipping on your first order. They even offer the option for individuals to cancel any potential memberships or subscriptions anytime in the event you are feeling unsatisfied.
Okay – we did it again – not necessarily your traditional gift advising website per se but Groupon has quickly morphed into a gifting site with its various local and national deals of the day ranging everywhere from electronics to spa and fitness packages to cruises and international travel destinations.
How could we leave this out? This is almost just as good as every single option combined on this list because it is just like a little mini Amazon for your gifting needs, except it does a significant amount of the legwork for you by categorizing things so wonderfully effortlessly.
Something to keep in mind – several of these deals seem pretty much too good to be true because many of the companies on the list utilize this service purely for marketing purposes. Many businesses do not profit significantly from these deals and coupons but instead are using the service to establish themselves and develop/grow a customer base. As a result – you get mind-blowing deals on any and everything you could possibly conceive of under the sun.