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Many people like to buy our products as gifts or as presents for holidays and birthdays. While the intentions are good, the results sometimes aren't. Over the years, we've observed some things that provide helpful lessons. We're passing those on to you, here. Apply them to all of your holiday shopping, and you'll be happier.

Suppose you buy a product that seems like the perfect gift. But, it turns out not to be. For whatever reason. You go to return the item to the merchant, but it's now past the evaluation period.

  • Traditionally, surprise has been a part of gift-giving. In today's world, this is seldom realistic.
  • Traditionally, gifts have been given exactly on specific holidays. In today's world, this is often a challenge (at best).
  • To coincide with holidays, people will order a gift as close to the holidays as possible. In today's world, this is risky (late deliveries, missed deliveries, stockouts, etc.).
Unfortunately, buying something as a gift or present does not confer an extension of the 10 business day evaluation period. And that is because there are so many different gift occasions that the only way to make a return policy fair is to keep it consistent.

Viewpoint

Think of a gift as a gift, not a mandatory exchange of purchased items (which is more like a tax). This will have a positive effect on how you proceed from this point. The key to effective gift-giving isn't surprise or waiting until a certain day to give the gift. It's communication. So, here are some suggestions to make your gift-giving less stressful and more rewarding. After all, aren't you trying to create feelings of happiness with your gift?

Options

Here are some options to consider. Taking any one of these is likely to be a big improvement over older methods that are just out of step with today's world for most of us.

  • Trading surprise for delivering on time. Consider buying the gift a month ahead of the holiday and say, "Please try this. If you like it, you can have it now. This way, you can actually use it during the holidays and have an extra month of enjoying it."
  • Trading on time for maintaining surprise. Consider printing out a product page (with description and photo) and saying, "This is what I want to buy for you. If you like the, I'll have it sent here for you to try out. If you don't like it, then I will send it back and get you something else."
  • Give choice a chance. An option many people are finding very effective is simply shopping with the intended recipient. For example, Joe decides he wants his wife Mary to have a translator because her job takes her overseas a few times a year. So, they go to Mindconnection and look at all the models. Mary picks the one she wants. Joe orders it, then gift-wraps it and gives it to her perhaps at a romantic dinner. It doesn't languish under a tree while the evaluation period time clock runs.

More about choice

The "give choice a chance" approach is similar to what happens with bridal registries. It's also what many people are doing with catalog shopping. They give the other person a short list from a catalog, complete with page numbers or just mark up a catalog and give it to them.

In the example, Mary might select a translator but also select some completely different items and let Joe choose. He may decide to give her the season's ticket to the theater instead of the translator, or he might decide the other way. That keeps the surprise element in there.

Now, if they agree to "exchange gifts" two weeks before a holiday, they avoid holiday problems. Anniversaries, birthdays, and the like are not going to be a timing issue that way. But, holidays always are.

Pre-trip purchases

A final note on timing. Don't order anything just before a trip. Things happen--delivery delays due to weather problems, lost shipments, and so on can happen. Plan ahead!