Don't Let The Christmas Gift You Give End Up On Ebay
When we give a gift, we like to think that the person who receives the gift will treasure the gift like no other. We imagine the person thinking fondly of us each time they either glance at the gift or pick it up to use. But if we're honest, many of us secretly fear that we'll wake up on December 26th to find that the gift we so excitedly gave on December 25th is listed on eBayŽ. And the seller is none other than the person to whom we gave the gift. How can we choose a gift that will become a cherished present by our loved one rather than a featured item on the auctioneer's web site? To help improve your gift's chance of being a treasure, consider these helpful tips:
1. Go for Unusual, But Not Out-in-Left-Field. You obviously want to give a give that the recipient doesn't already have. And you'd like it to be a surprise. However, if your gift is too far afield from the interests of the receiver, she or he probably won't consider it a "keeper." Stay well within the range of the receiver's interests.
2. Avoid the Overly Practical. Years ago I heard of a man who gave his wife a vacuum cleaner for a gift. She didn't find the present very imaginative or satisfying. Nor did she appreciate the not-so-subtle suggestion that housework was her inborn area of expertise. I can only imagine that this poor man was invited to share the couch with the vacuum cleaner for a couple nights.
3. Don't Undergive to a Serious Hobbyist. It makes sense that we would want to give a hobbyist something related to her or his deep interests. However, if we are not familiar with the subtleties of the hobby, we may give an item that is considered inferior by the standards of neck-deep enthusiasts. This would be somewhat like giving a toy guitar to a rock star. Either be sure you know very specifically what the hobbyist would enjoy, or pick a gift in another area of interest.
4. Ask the Intended Recipient for Ideas. I know. Asking takes out all the fun. It ruins the surprise. But an anticipated gift is better than eBay-advertised gift. And if you can draw out a long list of ideas from the recipient, you can save some elements of the surprise, since the person won't know which item you'll choose.
5. Create Your Own List of Ideas and Ask for the Receiver's Thoughts. By telling the receiver what things you have in mind, you can get a pretty good idea, based on reactions, about what will work well. And during the conversation, great new ideas may pop into your head that you don't even have to mention.
6. If You Need Certainty, Give a Gift That Expires. If you just can bear the thought of your gift ending up on eBay, and you need absolute certainty this won't happen, give a gift that self-destructs in 15 days. This way, even if your gift goes unappreciated, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing it can't possibly end up in the hands of a total stranger! (In case you're wondering, I am kidding with this item.)
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