Get practice in early – Tips for buying THE right present

There is no worse feeling than thinking you’ve bought someone the perfect gift, only to find out you got it wrong. Unfortunately, this seems to be a common occurrence, with recent research from WhatWeWant revealing that over half (53%) of UK adults have received an unwanted present within the past 12 months. With the mounting pressure to buy loved ones something they actually want, perhaps it’s unsurprising that WhatWeWant’s research also found that 47% of Brits find buying a gift for a friend or family member stressful. 

Yiannis Faf is co-founder of the crowd-gifting app, WhatWeWant. The app, which Yiannis created alongside his family, allows users to create a gift for an upcoming event for themselves, or for someone else. Users can contribute to gifts as well as notify their friends and family to contribute to their own gifts. Once enough has been raised, users simply use the money to buy their dream gift, cutting out a lot of stress, wasted money and unwanted gifts.

So, the question is, how can you redeem yourself after buying an unwanted present? Drawing on my own experiences, as well as those of my brother, I have developed my top five tips to help you overcome your gift-giving error.


1 Frankness is your friend!

Take initiative and talk to your friend or family member who received the unwanted present. Naturally, many recipients of unwanted gifts might not be forthcoming about the fact they don’t like the gift you bought them, so if you get the sense that they don’t seem happy with their gift, bite the bullet and ask them yourself. Once prompted, they might find it easier to tell you how they feel. Of course, it’s never nice to hear when you’ve misjudged a present, however, the only way to learn is by having an open and frank discussion with your loved one. It’ll help you avoid mistakes next time round


2.Join forces

If you’re struggling for a gift idea in the future, why not collaborate with other friends and family members. In the past, some have been put off the idea of joining forces because of the hassle of organising a big group payment. However, this needn’t be the case! At WhatWeWant, we took the hassle out of collaboration by creating an easy-to-use app, which allows you to organise the whole gift giving process – from collecting contributions to the final purchase. The benefits speak for themselves: nobody overspends and, most importantly, it allows you to buy someone something special that they’d never purchase for themselves. Win-win

3. Next time, plan ahead 

We all lead very busy lives and it’s too easy to leave your present purchases until the very last minute. However, failure to plan ahead of time could result in a last-minute panic and an impulse purchase – inevitably resulting in an unhappy recipient! Give yourself that extra time to do your research and find out exactly what your friend or family member want

4. Don’t overcompensate

As the saying goes, “money doesn’t buy happiness” and this is definitely the case when buying gifts for friends and family members! According to WhatWeWant’s research, over a third (34%) of Brits overspend when they are unsure of what to get someone. This is counterproductive, as neither party is happy with the final result. So, in future, just remember the golden gift-giving rule: an expensive present does not automatically make it a good one!

5. Pay attention to hints

Another easy way to become the perfect gift-giver is to sit up and take notice of hints and tips. Believe it or not, 50% of consumers drop hints to friends and family members, according to WhatWeWant, so perhaps being a little bit more vigilant could go a long way. When it comes to special occasions such as birthdays, or Christmas, take note if the recipient mentions a certain activity, clothing line, or book (etc.). Noting various hints will inevitably make gift-giving much less stressful


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