Strategies for a Different Kind of Gift-Giving Season

Recently, I was asked by a Wall Street Journal reporter to share my thoughts on “What items to buy people when certain gifts on their wish list are sold out or back ordered.  What strategies shoppers might turn to in this situation”?

First and foremost, you need to shop immediately to get ahead of the holidays.  Giving yourself enough time will eliminate the stress of trying to find last minute gifts.   But how do you get that special person the right gift that you know they will appreciate, be in stock, and be a reflection of your heart?  Given our current supply-chain issues, I believe it’s perfectly okay to ask the gift receiver to share five items on their “wish list” for the holidays.   This strategy allows you to maintain the element of surprise and one of the five items is bound to be in stock. 

If the one and only thing on your receiver’s list is backordered and coming after the holiday, it’s perfectly fine to print a high-quality photo of the item and wrap it.  I would also add some kind of trinket gift.   This strategy gives the receiver something to open and look forward to and the trinket gift acts as a placeholder. 

So– if everything on your loved one’s wish list is sold out, here are some of my recommendations: 

-Replace the gift with an experience.  For example, purchase tickets to a sporting event, a Broadway show, a day pass to a museum, or tickets to the cinema.  This type of gift becomes memorable and gives someone the opportunity to experience something that they would not normally plan or book for themselves. 

-Buy them a subscription to a club.    A subscription gift is the gift that keeps giving throughout the year.  It’s thoughtful, practical, and it’s an extremely customizable gift.   Depending on the receiver’s interest, the options are endless.   There are subscriptions for the lover of wine, candy, books, flowers, fashion, pre-made meals, etc., etc.

-Purchase a gift card.  Gift cards are always appreciated and they do make for the perfect last- minute gift.   No one is really every disappointed by receiving one.  You can personalize a gift card by buying one to the receiver’s favorite retail store, electronics store, restaurant, or to your favorite personal stylist.

Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays!

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