Americans have a reputation for being finicky customers, a reputation bolstered by the number of people who return their purchases. According to one survey, Americans returned 10 percent of their purchases in 2020, which translates to a whopping $428 billion worth of products.
Although there is nothing wrong with returning a product that’s defective or you’re unhappy about, sometimes people return gifts. The culture of disappointment in purchases has even leeched into gift-giving. Today, people usually include the receipt of the gift they’ve just given so the recipient can return it.
If you don’t like it when people return your gifts to the store, you need to enhance your gift-giving skills. The art of giving gifts is useful not just in a personal setting but also in the workplace and with expanding your networks.
Learn a few great tips on how you can improve your gift-giving and ensure no one will return your presents to the store.
1. Pander to Personal Interests
Anthropologists have theorized that seeing someone appreciate a gift you’ve given them can enhance a relationship. On the other hand, a poorly received gift can sour your connection with the recipient. People are usually disappointed with their gifts because they aren’t related to their personal interests.
If you truly cared about a person, you would know what activities they like the best and what items they will enjoy the most.
For example, someone who likes to cook will love a set of personalized knives; the same gift will not be well-liked by a gardener. Avoid such gaffes by actively looking for items you know would match what they would like, not what you would want for them.
2. Check Social Media
Social media has now become so ingrained in everyday life, you can glean so much information from browsing someone’s page. If you are in doubt of the personal interests and hobbies of someone, social media is a great way to double-check. This is especially helpful if you don’t interact with them a lot, such as a new business partner or your boss at work.
Check out what information is publicly available on their social media feed.
If they routinely post Instagram stories of seaside views and beach trips, you may want to give them a pair of nice sunglasses they can wear on their next outing. If they constantly tweet about their favorite books and authors, you may consider giving them a copy of a good book or a gift card to a bookstore.
They may even post about what they want themselves, making it easier. For example, if someone posts that they’re looking for a cheap PS4 controller, you already know what to buy for them.
3. Is it Appropriate?
Another important factor of why people often reject gifts is when these gifts are inappropriate. Lack of research or forethought on your part could lead to purchasing a present that the recipient not only does not like but considers offensive on some level.
Your primary consideration should be how close or familiar you are with the recipient. For example, it is all right to buy a significant other swimwear, but you cannot do the same for a coworker.
Aside from the inappropriateness of the gift, the product you bought may not even fit them properly or be in the style they like. Dietary concerns are also a concern when buying edible presents. Someone may be allergic to the ingredients of a gift bag you bought, or they could be practicing a religion that forbids the consumption of a particular food. Always consider the appropriateness of a gift before you buy it.
4. Peek at their Wish-Lists
Finally, if you don’t have the time to trawl through their social media feeds or to double-check their preferences, you can always try to find their product wish lists. Over the years, online shopping platforms like Amazon have pioneered the creation of online wish lists.
The very point of these lists is to make it easier for people to buy presents and other items. If you are at a loss on what to buy someone, try to find their personal wish list online. The best part of some online shopping wish lists is they notify the owner of the list when a product from their list has been purchased. This eliminates the problem of buying a present someone has already bought for themselves, ensuring they won’t return your present.
Thanks to various technologies, buying amazing gifts for someone you care about or respect is getting easier. All you have to do is to keep your wits about you, do your research and you can find someone a present they will cherish for years.