From battling crowds and braving the weather to re-gifting and returns, holiday shopping can be stressful. A recent survey commissioned by Groupon, a daily deal website, found that 60 percent of respondents consider “finding the right gift” a top giving challenge.
“Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be a burden,” advises Brett Runyan, a Grouponcierge, one of Groupon’s gift-giving experts. “There are many ways to ease the pain of finding the right gifts, so that you can fully enjoy the joyous side of giving.”
According to Runyan, new tools and old tricks can help you solve this age-old conundrum.
• Go local: Not all presents come wrapped. Help people you love discover the towns they love. Concert tickets, cooking classes, helicopter rides — the gift of experience is one they’ll never forget and certainly beats another tie or scarf.
• Travel Made Easy: Score brownie points by arranging a weekend getaway for someone. Doing so doesn’t need to require extensive planning on your part. By subscribing to a daily deal website, like Groupon, you’ll get completely planned travel deals sent to your inbox. Impress a tough crowd like your in-laws with minimal effort!
• Play it Safe: Letting gift recipients pick their own presents is a safe bet when you don’t know someone all that well. But rather than purchasing a traditional gift certificate, consider waiting for a deal that allows you to purchase store credit at discounted rates. Remember, if you’re shopping for someone in another part of the country, think national or online retailers.
• Avoid the stores: Brick and mortar stores can mean lines and headache. Rather than muscle your way through multiple stores in pursuit of the perfect present, try a one-stop-shop that you can visit from home. A daily deal website can help you save on the newest toys, gifts for the home and gadgets. And this season purchases from mobile devices are more popular than ever as people buy on the go. More than half of all Groupon Goods purchases made over Thanksgiving Weekend were from mobile devices.
• Charitable gifts: Some people truly have it all. Instead of giving such friends and family one more thing they don’t need, support a cause in their honor. Choose an organization that’s meaningful to you or them — many have special contribution options for gifts.
• Get Help: Tired of brainstorming? Don’t be afraid to get help. New resources can help you find an appropriate present for those tricky recipients, such as your “sort of” boyfriend or girlfriend, your boss or your 10-year old nephew. For example, Groupon’s new Gift Finder tool asks you three simple questions about your recipient and searches for deals on potential presents.
You can also send a tweet to @groupon for real time gift suggestions. Just send a note with the #groupongifts hashtag and say who you’re shopping for, where they live and what their interests are and you’ll get a message back with a suggestion.
With the right strategies, shopping for anyone can be a stress-free experience.