These are all questions that come to mind when trying to buy a gift for someone. However, this never seems to be a problem when it comes to weddings or baby showers. Why is this the case?
There is one simple reason: registries.
For decades now, it has been our culture to find out where someone is registered before buying wedding or baby shower gifts. This is very effective as you find out exactly what people want and what has already been purchased. Why can’t we do this for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or even non-events?
The simple answer is that we can. All it takes are a few keystrokes and clicks to create a registry or “wish list” for absolutely any occasion. There are a number of Web sites that specialize in this area.
The registry or “wish list” is a win-win for both the shopper and the recipient. The shopper knows exactly what to get and the recipient will be excited to get exactly what he/she wants. Moreover, unlike traditional registries, these registries are generic in that they aren’t limited to those products only sold at certain stores.
If we can get our family and friends to create online “wish lists,” shopping will be a breeze for all occasions. We have tried it in my household and it has done wonders for satisfaction on both sides of the equation. It has also done wonders for us not having to stand in long lines trying to exchange things that we didn’t want or didn’t fit.
It may seem obvious now but the best way to find the perfect gift for someone is to find out exactly what they want. Online registries provide that tool so that you can find out what they want without asking them.
No more guessing what size your niece in Virginia wears. No more wondering what to get the couple who has everything. No more waiting in long lines after Christmas with returns. Just answers, all of them, in one simple spot.
Tony is co-founder of WonderNot.com (http://www.wondernot.com) and as a husband and father of one, has become an ardent shopper.