Gift Buying Etiquette, Money Saving Tips and Ideas

disney named gifts marvel superheros pixar

Welcome to my Bumper Gift Buying Tips Page

Content:Shop thousands of custom products

  • Shop Featured Brands on Zazzle.com
    • How to Choose the perfect gift – what NOT to buy
    • How to save money when buying gifts
    • Gift Etiquette – Your Questions Answered
    • Gift Etiquette Around The World – avoid offence, get it right!
    • Thoughtful Gift Ideas
    • Personalized Gift Selection

How To Choose The Perfect Gift

 

Shop Black Friday on ZazzleThe main consideration when buying gifts is to know your audience. You need to know who you are buying for and why.

  • What is the occasion?
  • What is their age?
  • What is their relationship to you?
  • What are their interests?
  • What is your budget?

Buying a thoughtful gift requires knowledge of the above so you can budget and source a gift you know the gift recipient will enjoy. The occasion is all important as often your gift will be ‘occasion related’ ie wedding, anniversary, Baptism etc. Birthday gifts can be more interest related and so a good understanding of their age and interests, hobbies is very helpful. You may find you need to do a little research.

Questions you can ask to help select a perfect gift

  • Who is the gift recipients favorite author? Is there a particular book on their wish list? Is there a first edition they might treasure? You can add an inscription, obtain an autograph to make it extra special.
  • What music do they like, who are their favored bands, composers, artists? Then research latest releases.
  • Do they have a favorite artistic style, enjoy wall art – consider a print, original painting, word art in a style you know matches their decor and taste.
  • If buying a decorative item for their home (commemorative plate, personalized bedding, towels, ornament) what is their room color scheme, theme? Knowing this can ensure your item is a good match and fits their current scheme.
  • Who are their favored accessory, fashion designers, high street stores, online shops? A gift card or carefully sourced gift from one would be very welcome.
  • Do they collect anything? Can you add to their collection?
  • Is there something they need? Can you put a gift type spin on it?
  • Do they enjoy theatre, movies, leisure , sport activities? Consider tickets to an event, experience day type gifts.

What to buy the person who has everything?

  • Make them something, invite them for a meal, give them a gift card, buy them flowers, a gift basket. Depending on your budget, you could treat them to a weekend away,  a Spa day etc.

What NOT to buy

  • Shop Cyber Week on Zazzle Do not buy alcohol unless you’re certain they drink it and know what they like.
  • Do not buy food if you’re unsure about vegan, vegetarian, food allergies etc.
  • Be mindful that some people only welcome ethical, vegan gifts and would not appreciate anything made from animal products.
  • Eco conscious people may also have gifts on their list they would not welcome.
  • Cultures have differing rules about gift etiquette – page down to view the main ones.

Safe Options

You may not know very much about your gift recipients interests and tastes in which case you can play it safe with a themed gift basket. You really can’t go wrong with these. There are so many to suit every occasion and taste, they take the hard work out of buying gifts. And of course they look super. They are a classy gift and say the same about the sender.

What Not to BUY your BOSS

The gift recipients relationship to you is all important. You would not for example buy the same gift for your boss as you would your spouse. There are gifts that could be considered inappropriate for some and yet the same gift is highly desirable by others. This is why gift etiquette is important, you need to get it right.

A gift for a boss or a co-worker (assuming they are not family or close friends) would have an impersonal feel to it, perhaps a corporate edge. It would be formal and not too ‘touchy feely’. You would not for example buy perfume and red roses for your female boss or a co-worker. They would get the wrong impression or the right impression if you are trying to tell them you love them.

Find the perfect Color Coordinated Housewarming , Wedding Gift

Locate the perfect color matched home decor gift (housewarming, new home, wedding) using this handy color match tool. Simply select the color desired to view all the home decor themed gifts in that color niche.
Pink Fabric yellow fabric Gold fabric green fabric teal fabric blue fabric purple fabric navy blue fabric black fabric coral fabric red fabric orange fabric

How to save money when buying gifts

  • Buy from end of season sales for next season
  • Check out unwanted gifts appearing in thrift in charity stores after Christmas
  • Have a gift swap party – regift

Gift Sales – Buy end of season for the following season!

The stores I favor ( ie Zazzle) often have gift and accessories sales as high as 60% OFF so it is definitely worth keeping an eye out for a sale on the gift item you’re seeking, even if the event or holiday season is a while away.

I always take advantage of gift sales myself. I buy many of my Christmas gifts for example in the January sales, eleven months early! The saving on Xmas decorations and so on can be especially huge, simply because they are now out of season. For example, I buy Christmas cards, crackers and gift wrap in the January sales for the following Christmas. Discounts are often huge, maybe up to 80%.

You also often find stocking filler type gifts brought into stores just for the Christmas period massively discounted as the store doesn’t stock such items the rest of the year. Items such as beauty gift sets from your local pharmacy and so on.

I do the same re seasonal clothes. I buy them during the sales when they’re out of season for the following season. Some styles are timeless so I can still be fashionable. 🙂 Big savings can be made buying winter coats in Spring and buying summer beach wear holiday type clothing in Autumn. Be a savvy shopper and you will save a fortune!

Do not buy perishable goods in sales

It’s not a good idea to buy perishable gifts such as food items out of , not if you’re planning on keeping them for several months more. Chocolate that is out of date or has had a long shelf life can tend to get that white coca appearance to it. Allegedly it doesn’t affect taste  doesn’t look great.

Check out NEW unwanted gifts that appear in thrift and charity stores after Christmas

You can also save money on gifts by taking advantage of ‘unwanted’ gifts that find their way into charity or thrift stores and shops. You can find brand new gifted items in these stores, often complete with original product wrapping and tags. They are new, unused and massively discounted. You will even find top brand items.

Have a Gift Swap Party

Here’s a novel idea meanwhile … Which may seem a little mercenary.

You could have a party with local friends whereby you each bring unwanted or unused gift items to swap and trade. It reduces clutter, stops you from being a hoarder and ensures all items find a good home.

If you have any seasonal money-saving tips, let me know here 🙂

The linked advice articles cover your gifting questions. Check them out and you need help ask me.

Gift Etiquette – Your Questions Answered

Check out the Menu to the Left for our latest Answers to your Gifting Dilemmas!

Western Gift Etiquette

  • Red roses as a bouquet gift are for those we are romantically involved with only – a dozen on Valentines day or as a single.
  • Giving PETS as gifts is highly frowned upon and to be discouraged.
  • Perfume and Jewelry gifts are suitable for friends, family, partners – NOT work colleagues, bosses or business associates, neighbors etc. Any great expense or ‘intimate’ seeming gift would leave a ‘periphery acquaintance” uncertain of your intentions or feelings towards them. Your gift could be grossly misinterpreted.
  • We do not give gifts at funerals – but we do send sympathy cards and flowers and wreaths to the home of the deceased’s family or funeral parlor. We may also giver close friends and family memorial gifts.
  • We consider a cash gift as lacking thought (though this is becoming more welcome especially amongst marrying couples and the younger generation). A Gift Card is a more acceptable alternative.
  • Flowers are sent as gifts by way of congratulations, sympathy or thanks or to celebrate a ‘day’. Different flowers will mark those different occasions. Your florist will know.
  • It is polite to write a thank you note after receiving a gift.
  • Gifts are gift wrapped with a gift tag or other identification.
  • Price tags are removed from gifts. Some now issue receipts for the recipient to ‘return’ the gift if desired. I personally do not agree with returning gifts or this practice.
  • We generally gift on the following occasions: Birthday, Religious Holiday, Mother’s DayFather’s Day etc, Wedding Day, Valentines Day, New Home, Graduation, Retirement (co-worker), Leaving gift (co-worker) ..this seems like an endless list of gift giving opportunities! Start saving.


  • Gifts (including monetary tips) from customers to service personnel are generally not allowed and have to be refused – work rules! Some establishments don’t mind, these tend to be restaurants (tips), salons and similar. If the gift was of high value, it would almost certainly be refused.
  • Homemade food gifts would be a no-no for anyone other than family. The food may contain ingredients the person is allergic to or they may just not ‘trust’ that the food is safe to eat.
  • Giving religious items to a non-religious person is a big no-no.
  • Clothes that are too large or too small – big faux pas!
  • Real fun, snake-skin, crocodile skin etc. frowned upon and illegal in some cases.

Re Different Cultures – Avoid gifts of food, drink, flowers, number related and do not give anything sharp such as scissors or knives.

Different flowers and their colors represent different things to different cultures. Sharp items generally refer to severing of ties in those cultures that consider such things. Alcohol is of course a no-no in many cultures and food items such as pork or beef could also be very unwelcome as can cow hide bags and so on. When giving a gift also consider what that country or culture is famous for. Do not give them something that could offend their national pride.

Avoid political, sexual, religious, illegal anything gifts, or joke gifts or t-shirts displaying anything pertaining to these no-no’s.


Gift Etiquette Around The World – avoid offence, get it right!

In the West gift giving rules and gift etiquette tend to be restricted to price, relationship to the person and the occasion. These things I cover above . In some cultures however there are very particular gift giving rules which can cause great offence if ignored. This section aims to cover those cultural gift giving no-no’s.

Please DO add to this article with your own knowledge and experiences re this topic in comments.

There are a few articles on the web that focus on Chinese and Japanese gift giving practices. Saudi Arabia also receives a mention. I have reached out to my global network to get their feedback re this and their answers are what will be featured here. I believe they reflect what is ‘known’ and what is common practice. There may be traditions that elders may be aware of that newer generation may either not know about or simply may not adhere to.

What we want to know here is – what is acceptable TODAY. That said ‘let the games begin’! 

Chinese gift giving etiquette rules

Chinese Gift giving etiquette and practices, the main considerations are:

No clocks, no black or white gift wrap, no red ink writing on cards etc. and no handkerchiefs’. These things are considered reminiscent of death, illness, sadness and so on. Also avoid socks and shoes as gifts.

Japanese gift giving etiquette

Avoid giving white flowers, lilies, lotus blossoms, camellias and potted plants as gifts – these are associated with sickness and death. The numbers ‘4 or 9’ appearing in a gift is unwelcome – though less so among the younger generation. No red cards as this is the color for Funeral notices.

Korean Gift Giving Rules

Koreans have particular practices – read about those here. Avoid anything with the number ‘4’.

Saudi Arabia Gift Giving Rules

Saudi Arabia has multiple rules of what is acceptable and not acceptable and certain things are not allowed at all.

Obvious no-no’s re gifts would be anything to do with or giving reference to: alcohol and pork. Less obvious may be a t-shirt with writing or graphics which could be considered sexual, provocative – offensive to their religion’. Avoid anything political, sexual, derogatory, religious when giving gifts. When receiving gifts, it is rude to refuse. Do not open the gift in the presence of the gift giver.

No flowers for women

What are your experiences of cross-cultural gift giving?


Thoughtful Gift Ideas- Personalized Gift Selection

  • Why personalized gifts are tops
  • Wedding, Anniversary gift Ideas
  • Ideas for Kids, Teens, Babies, Adults
  • Home Decor Gift Ideas
  • Business Merch, Boss Gifts, Corporate Gifts.

Personalized gifts are tops and here’s why!

Shop Monogram Gifts & MoreThey’re Unique, Wonderful Keepsakes And Cheaper Than Ever!

Personalized gifts do not cost what they used to before technology caught up and now you can pretty much have anything you like personalized at little over the original item price. And the tools for personalizing gifts yourself online are easier to use than ever. Combined this makes personalized gifts the best gift choice and here’s why!

  1. They are tops when it comes to the ‘thoughtful gift’

Personalized gifts show that the buyer values the gift recipient and is thinking about their preferences, needs and passions when choosing their gift. For the gift recipient, a personalized gift quickly becomes a treasured keepsake due to its unique personalised nature. Every time they look at their custom gift they will feel loved, appreciated and respected. These are the things that personalized gifts express.

And that’s not all …

2. Tops for sentimental value

If the gift has been personalized with precious family photos capturing special moments or feature a personal message then the gift has great sentimental value.

This is especially true for personalized memorial gifts, wedding anniversary gifts and retirement gifts.


Many gifts you can have personalized today are also practical and as such dual purpose. For example you can have tea towels personalized with family photos or a chic family monogram, family crest, a picture your grandchild drew. A tea towel bought on the high street with no personalization features will be quickly forgotten along with who gifted it, but add the personalised features and it will be treasured like no other. We have a whole house (almost) of practical gifts you can personalize here.

Shop Custom Father's Day Gifts 4. Personalized gifts are ageless

It doesn’t matter whether you are a child, adult or a retired person, we all love gifts which have our name on, photos of our pets, children, family and more. We like things that are familiar, that trigger warm fuzzy feel good vibes.

5. Lots of ready-made designs

Some personalized gifts are a blank canvas and you add your own design however you can also find lots of wonderful themed and special occasions gifts which have designs on them already. They have template fields for you to add your personal details. The designs are created in many cases by talented designers who will be happy to assist you with bespoke refinements.

How are the gifts personalized?

There are many ways that gifts are being personalized online which include engraving, printing, embroidery, carving. On this site you will find all the latest and most sophisticated personalized gift options. You can design your own jewelry, create baby stat blankets, even design your own fabrics. It is all here. Check out the side menu and page tabs for niche items. If you’re looking for something specific and you can’t find it here, drop me a line.

Personalized Gift Selection

Zazzle – HUGE PERSONALIZED GIFT RANGE

personalized gifts
SEARCH HERE

Use the Gift Search Tool to FIND your perfect Gift.

There are thousands of customizable, personalized gifts to choose from including Artisan Gifts, Popular Brands, Clothing, Accessories, Electronics and Home Decor.

You can add photos, names, dates, personal greetings or your own images and designs. In many cases you can change the product color, style and size.

TOP PICKS

Featured below are my top Ad picks for personalized gifts. Each gift shown has template fields for you to add your own personal data, whether it be photos, names, dates or other.

Wedding Anniversary Gifts – Commemorative


Zazzle has a wide range of wedding anniversary gifts which cover all the milestones and many which can be personalized to suit any number of years married. Featured here are two popular personalized Golden wedding anniversary gift ideas. One allows a photo and text to be added, while the other simply has a text field. For more great anniversary gift ideas ENTER HERE.

Personalized Name Gifts for Baby’s , Children and Teens

Baby shower gifts become wonderful keepsake gifts when they feature the new baby’s name. Zazzle has a wide range of personalized baby gifts for boys, girls, twins and even triplets. Christmas Baby’s are celebrated with tree ornaments and other holiday decorated items. View the full baby gift range HERE.


Buying gifts for teenagers can be a tricky business but with some subtle hints from them you can buy them a unique personalized gift they will love. Gadgets and iPhone, iPad cases are a popular choice as are wallets and sports bags. View the full range of Teenager gifts HERE.


Personalized Home Decor Gifts

Zazzle has  wide range of home decor items including pillows, blankets, fabric, lamps, night lights, shower curtains, floor mats, bath mats, clocks and more. These make great wedding gifts, new home gifts, baby or child room decor gifts as well as being niche gifts to yourself featuring a favored photo, work of art or niche theme that is not available anywhere else! You can create a unique room design scheme by designing your own furnishings and accessories.

Personalized Business Merchandise, Team Gear and Boss Gifts

Zazzle have a massive customizable clothing range which you can use as gifts, for sporting team purposes, business promotional events and more. You can add logos, team emblems or choose from the wide range of existing themed designs available on site. View the full range of personalized clothing HERE.

For corporate gifts, co-worker and team member gifts, check out the sporting goods which feature sports bags, water bottles, can coolers, ping-pong paddles and more! View the full range of personalized sporting goods HERE.

 

Close

About

Hi I am LeahG, Gift Blogger and Designer. As an approved associate of various carefully sourced merchants incl. as a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program I am well versed in current gift trends and gifting etiquette. Drop me a line if you need any help finding that perfect gift!

%d bloggers like this: