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How to Buy a Great Gift
Have you ever received a housewares or appliance gift that never got to strut its stuff simply because it didn't fit in with your lifestyle, kitchen decor, was overly complicated to operate or you already had four similar items?
You're not alone! I find many folks have appliances stashed away waiting for ... a future time when they can safely move it out of the home without being noticed by the one who gave it.
A few buying considerations can make all the difference between whether your gift will gather dust in a corner, or be received with delight and enjoyed for some time to come. It's a known fact that we often buy what we would like to have ourselves, instead of considering the likes and needs of the recipient.
First and foremost, always buy within your budget and don't be locked into assumptions that you have to spend a certain amount for a gift. That being said, you probably would not buy a $10 wedding gift, nor would you likely give a $100 hostess gift. But use reason when buying and let usefulness and enjoyment to the receiver prevail. Taking advantage of sales can enable you to buy more with your money, or even a higher quality item for the same price of a lower grade product.
We often assume that the higher the price - the better or more appreciated the gift will be, but this isn't always the case. We might buy a $50 appliance for a parent, when a $20 set of replacement cookie sheets or a new cutting board would actually be much more appreciated.
Take time to inspect your purchase for noticeable flaws or missing parts. When we're in a hurry, we often defer this inspection only to find when the gift is opened, that an all-too-important part is missing or the item is broken. A real let-down for the receiver and return time for you.
Check the product construction. Does it have a good functional design with no hazards or sharp edges present and will it last? Are you buying a right-handed product for a lefty? Acrylic parts are not all created equal, some are much more durable than others and with a little shopping experience, you'll easily spot the difference.
Quality speaks! You can see and feel the difference when you handle it, it's more durable and will bring more enjoyment to the one using it. Read the packaging for quality related features and important warranty information.
Design & Capacity Considerations
Does the person on your gift list have physical limitations or challenges that you should consider when choosing a gift? There are specially-designed housewares for persons with arthritis and vision problems. Some kitchen tools are easier to handle for persons with problem hands due to their soft ergonomic designs. Buying for seniors requires a few other considerations.
Ensure that the capacity of the housewares is adequate or suitable for the receiver. You wouldn't give a single person a large grill, nor a small grill to a family of six. Also consider the style and colors in their kitchen so your gift will easily fit right in.
What's their passion? It can provide the clues you need to choose a gift that suits them and their lifestyle.
- Do they like to host dinners, socials or sporting events? They may like buffet or hosting housewares, an ice maker or large quantity appliances.
- Is their home a place where all the kids hang out? Fun snack and smoothie appliances may be just right.
- Do they have a passion for cooking and baking? Choose cookware, cook's tools, bakeware, food processors or kitchen gadgets.
- Do they love canning the harvest and preserving foods? Choose food sealers, canning equipment, food dehydrators or sprouters.
- Do they like to travel? Buy compact or travel appliances, thermal insulated products or a portable cooler.
- Do they attend a lot of pot luck dinners and socials? Appliances and kitchenware to cook and carry foods, crockpots or covered bakeware would be ideal.
- Do they like to cook and bake from scratch? They would probably love cookie cutters, specialty bakeware or a pasta maker.
When buying for a career person who may not have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen, choose appliances with time-saving, convenience and easy clean-up features. These can include programmable slowcookers and roaster ovens, rice cookers, breadmakers and non-stick cookware and bakeware.
Shipping & Long Distance Gifts
Product weight and size should be considered when shopping for long distance gifts. Depending how far your gift will travel, it's possible that shipping costs could exceed your gift outlay. To avoid shipping charges, take advantage of retailer free shipping or ship-a-gift promotions. Out-of-country shipping can result in duty or customs charges to the receiver. When in doubt, inquire from border authorities. You may want to include this amount in your gift, or downsize the gift cost to meet exemption guidelines.
When You Just Can't Decide What to Buy
You've exhausted all your ideas, considered every option and read all the gift suggestions you can find, and you still can't decide on a gift. Don't panic! Time to go to plan B:
- Make a Gift Basket
- Order a Gift Basket from a Retailer
- Give a Gift Card or certificate. This provides a great opportunity to the receiver to finally get their dream appliance or that kitchen gadget they've had their eye on.