I am notoriously difficult to shop for. My taste is incredibly particular and fairly eclectic. Friends and family have been to known to snatch things out of my hands with a triumphant, “HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY!!!”
While I love gift cards, it’s always a special treat when someone goes to the trouble of selecting a gift they know I’ll love. Easier said than done, right? Well no need to stress. Here are some foolproof tips that will allow you to shop with the accuracy of a gift-giving savant.
1. Listen. Determine their needs and tastes. Use photos and verbal descriptions of colors, patterns, styles and sizes to clarify stylistic preferences and build a client profile. This will give you a shopping guideline.
2. Plan. Determine your budget and pick out several retailers that are within your range. Pre-plan your shopping schedule and allot time for multiple shopping trips plus returns. Give yourself up to 4 weeks, depending on how busy your schedule is.
3. Present the options. Don’t be afraid to include a wild card, something you choose on instinct. Everyone’s budget is different, but you want to be able to provide two to five options, four of which you’ll be returning. Save your receipts, and make sure to keep the purses in good condition. A fun birthday surprise would be to wrap and present all of the options. What a nice treat it would be for your giftee to be able to choose from a thoughtful, tailor-made selection. Or if you’re working with someone who is a bit of a control freak, you can schedule a couple of “options days,” gather feedback, and narrow it down to a few final choices. This will allow you to make the final selection with confidence and keep it a surprise.
4. Be nice to the employee who processes your returns. Building a relationship with retail associates will earn you a loyal pair of eyes on the inside and a heads up on inventory shipments and sales. I usually bring a Starbucks gift card whenever I have a couple thousand dollars in returns. A detailed, complimentary e-mail goes a long way as well.
With proper planning and a little creativity the process will be streamlined and fun. This little bit of extra effort will show your “impossible to shop for” loved ones, just how loved they really are.