10 Things to Avoid When Selecting Gifts for Someone

10 Things to Avoid When Selecting Gifts for Someone

While there is a myriad of gifts we can get for someone, not all of them are right and considerate.

By giving a wrong gift, you’ll risk feeling embarrassed or offending someone you truly love and care about.

But worry not, as we’ll tackle the things you should avoid when selecting gifts in this guide!

What should I avoid when gifting someone?

What should I avoid when gifting someone

Here are the things that you shouldn’t do when gifting someone important:

  • Don’t give a gift that suggests a negative idea
  • Don’t assume that the recipient will like a certain gift
  • Don’t buy a common gift
  • Don’t get a gift due to its cash value
  • Don’t give cheap gifts
  • Don’t over-gift
  • Don’t overspend on gifts
  • Don’t give the same gift
  • Don’t gift them something they gave you
  • Don’t gift the person late

1) Don’t give a gift that suggests a negative idea

Don’t give a gift that suggests a negative idea

The first tip we can give you is to steer clear of a gift that can hurt or offend the recipient in any way.

For instance, if you find the recipient complaining all the time, don’t give him a book about anger management.

Or if at one time, you noticed they smelled bad, don’t give them a deodorant or soap to use. That’s because it can hurt their feelings even though it’s not your intention.

As you can see, it’s wise not to give these kinds of gifts at all. Just choose something else entirely to prevent your friend or loved one from overthinking and feeling upset.

2) Don’t assume that the recipient will like a certain gift

Don't assume that the recipient will like a certain gift

Although some people commit this mistake at times, we shouldn’t give the recipient a gift that we think they will like. It helps to ask first rather than assume.

Besides that, we should avoid gifting them things that we’d like to have for ourselves. Just because we like the mug, figure, or other thing doesn’t mean they will too.

In both these instances, there’s a chance that they won’t like the gift, but they won’t show it to you out of respect. Some bolder people will even tell it to you upfront.

The best thing you can do in relation to this tip is to ask the recipient’s friends questions about what gift they like or be alert in your conversations before you buy a gift.

3) Don’t buy a common gift

Don't buy a common gift

Since people want to feel special, don’t give them a common gift on their birthday or a special event. 

By a common gift, we mean something that somewhat involves no effort and thought and you can snag from any store.

Examples of these are Post-it notes, a pair of socks, a can opener, and an alarm clock. 

But, mind you, you can still get common gifts like candies and chocolate bars, but include a nice note with it to show that you’re thinking of the recipient.

Thus, it is ideal that the gift you give is personalized and conveys your feelings and message to the receiver.

Besides, nowadays, personalizing a gift is not that hard to do. 

Some stores actually offer this service to clients, particularly for flowers and gift baskets, and this is already inclusive of the product price.

4) Don’t get a gift due to its cash value

Don’t get a gift due to its cash value

Not giving an overly expensive is just good gifting practice wherever you are in the world.

These premium gifts can be Nike shoes, a gaming headset, a new Apple tablet or laptop, a robot vacuum cleaner, and the like.

But, of course, doing this is all right if the person is a family of yours.

This is because the receiver will feel indebted to you to give a gift of equal value or return the favor in some way.

Instead, you can gift them a reasonably priced practical or experiential gift.

As a result, the recipient will appreciate the gift and can use it for their needs without feeling they owe you something. 

They can also learn, enjoy, and/or experience new things with it. For example, you can give them classes to learn how to be a barista or to play the piano.

Or you may dine with them at their favorite restaurant.

5) Don’t give cheap gifts

Don’t give cheap gifts

In contrast, refrain from giving a cheap or novelty gift because this won’t likely give value to the recipient.

These things are all too ordinary and may break easily. 

However, if your budget is extremely limited, you can try to be creative. Perhaps you could create homemade tasty pickles, a photo scrapbook, or a nice video message.

While these things are affordable, they make for a unique gift idea for someone special. All it takes is some skill and creativity, and it’s not necessary to always order from a store.

6) Don’t over-gift

Don't over-gift

Gifting is a great gesture, but it should not be done constantly or to the extent that it irritates the receiver.

At first, it’s fine, but as it continues on and on, it may start to get on their nerves and these gifts will add clutter to their house.

You just need to gift the recipient on certain occasions like a birthday and Christmas. Your gift will be well-received and appreciated.

In the meantime, you could just save your money for something else or just treat yourself. 

You have to consider the recipient and what they are feeling so you can avoid this mistake of over-gifting altogether.

7) Don’t overspend on gifts

Don't overspend on gifts

It’s understandable that you’re getting a gift to make your recipient happy, but you shouldn’t do this to the point that your wallet hurts.

Gifting should be a fun experience for you and your friend. It mustn’t always be a cash sacrifice, though a little bit of it is fine because your friend matters to you.

Moreover, when you find a potential gift that your recipient would like, don’t buy it impulsively. First, look for discounts and sales that can lower the total cost of the gift.

If you are lucky and can find one, then it becomes a win-win situation. See, you’ve availed of a lower-priced product that you feel your receiver will certainly love!

8) Don’t give the same gift

Don’t give the same gift

Everyone can get tired of the same old gift being given to them. So spice it up by giving different gifts every year.

To be honest, though, who doesn’t want to get a money envelope on certain occasions in the year?

But if you’re trying to make the recipient excited, then you have to creatively gift them something different.

9) Don’t gift them something they gave you

Don’t gift them something they gave you

Unless it’s money you owe a person, don’t give the person something they gave you the last time.

It just shows that you don’t want or need their gift anymore, and it defeats the purpose of gifting in the first place.

Other people are sly about this, as they re-gift gifts that have been given to them, not by the same person, but by a different one. 

Still, this is bad gifting etiquette since the giver is trying to get some credit for a gift that didn’t really belong to them.

Our advice is to simply get a new, thoughtful gift

10) Don’t gift the person late

Don’t gift the person late

Your special gift for a sweetheart or friend has to be given on the day of the occasion. It can be before that but not after.

This can lead to most celebrants being sad or disappointed because they expect a gift, especially from their best friend or partner, on their important occasion.

So do not get a gift at the last minute because it may arrive late.

Plan the gift weeks or even months before. This way you won’t probably be hurried and can find the perfect gift for them with a nice personal touch to make the recipient’s day.

What are the gifts you should never give someone?

What are the gifts you should never give someone

Below are some more examples of gifts you should not give to a loved one or friend:

  • Steamy novel
  • Calendar
  • Underwear
  • Wrong-sized dress
  • Fitness equipment
  • Pet

1) Steamy Novel

An erotic novel or magazine is uncomfortable to open when families and friends are all around the recipient.

It can make the person red in the face and be playfully teased by everyone around. 

2) Calendar

Calendars aren’t a bad gift to give someone per se provided the new year hasn’t started yet.

But if several months have elapsed already, it’s not prudent anymore to gift a calendar. It will just be used for a couple of months or so and then discarded by the receiver.

3) Underwear

Underwears are a personal thing. It’s also very uncomfortable to receive this kind of gift from someone, whether it be kin, friend, or colleague.

After all, the giver has no business with regard to the recipient’s very personal needs.

4) Wrong-Sized Dress

A dress gift can be hit-or-miss. Looks can be deceiving, and the actual dress can be a size larger or smaller on the recipient, which can offend the person in some way.

So unless you know the exact dress size of the receiver, it may be better to look at a gift alternative. Maybe stick to stylish tees that have standard small, medium, or large sizes.

5) Fitness Equipment

Unless asked for, don’t give fitness equipment as a gift. It may be misunderstood to mean that the person receiving it needs to shed excess pounds.

The same can apply to people who seem to be lanky or unathletic. It could be mistaken to mean the receiver needs to put on some muscle. So to be safe, refrain from gifting a friend a fitness accessory.

6) Pet

A pet may be a sweet, cuddly, and cute gift, but the person may not be able to take on the full responsibility of taking care of them.

They’re living creatures, and if you’ve been given a pet for your birthday or just a random day, then you’re stuck with them permanently.

Also, it’s quite irresponsible to give them away to a friend or neighbor just because you can’t look after them.

Thus, avoid gifting a pet at all to someone you care about, especially those that can attack, like a scorpion or tarantula.

What are bad luck gifts for a relationship?

What are bad luck gifts for a relationship

You should also not give these gifts to a couple:

  • Knives or scissors
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Shoes
  • Unlucky-colored things
  • Portraits

1) Knives or Scissors

Never give knives, scissors, or other sharp objects to a couple or newlyweds because they are said to symbolize separation or cutting ties with someone.

This superstition is especially taken seriously in Asian countries where all sorts of sharp objects are considered bad-luck gifts.

If you are given a cooking knife set or arrows for archery, a coin or other small object is said to counter some of the misfortune that comes with them.

2) Handkerchiefs

Regardless of its fabric type, don’t give a handkerchief to your partner because it signifies goodbyes or parting and/or wiping tears from the face.

3) Shoes

It’s best to avoid gifting shoes to a couple or lover, especially during Thanksgiving or Christmas. 

The reason is that shoes are thought to bring bad luck, as they connote walking away from someone.

4) Unlucky-Colored Things

Watch out for giving an unlucky-colored gift to a friend or partner. Bear in mind that this not only applies to the gift but also to the wrapping used.

However, as you may know, unlucky colors can vary from one culture to another. 

Like, for instance, most cultures believe that black symbolizes death and melancholy, red means anger and hostility, and green expresses envy and jealousy.

5) Portraits

Receiving a portrait of yourself in the form of a framed picture or drawing is considered bad luck by some people. 

Asian cultures display photos of departed loved ones in their homes or the temple. Additionally, some view this gift as a symbol of unfaithfulness to a friend.

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