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How to Spend Wisely on Last-Minute Gifts

By Rich Beattie

  • PUBLISHED December 10
  • |

No matter how carefully you plan your holiday gift giving, you’re likely to forget to add someone to your list and then need a gift at the last minute. Maybe it’s for your child’s teacher, or for that uncle who just surprised you by saying he’s coming in from out of town to join your holiday dinner.

Or maybe you’ve been looking for the perfect gift for someone, but just haven’t been able to find it. Whatever the reason, the last-minute gift scramble can cause serious stress and even lead you to pay more for a present than you had planned.


A Common Holiday Nightmare
There are many problems with last-minute gifts. The holidays are already stressful, and unplanned shopping adds to the pressure. Plus, stress makes it harder to find a thoughtful gift that the recipient will really like.

You also may not have time to find the perfect gift online, wait for it to ship and then wrap it. But if you head to the stores, you face traffic, full parking lots and fighting your way through the crowds…only to end up waiting in long checkout lines. This can be frustrating because the holidays are supposed to be a time you spend with family and loved ones.

When you’re stressed and short on time, you’re not doing your best thinking and are more likely to overspend in an attempt to buy a gift that will be appreciated. Overspending can be problematic, especially if you’re buying last-minute gifts after you’ve spent your holiday budget.

If you’re looking for last-minute gifts, a digital gifting service can help you lower your stress and better manage your spending.


Digital Gifting
So, how can you find a gift on short notice that’s thoughtful but won’t require you to run all over town and break your budget?

The answer may be through a digital gifting service, a new approach that combines the personalization of a well-considered present with the flexibility you know people want when you put that gift receipt in the box. It’s a way of selecting and giving a thoughtful, specific present to a loved one—online.


How It Works
The pioneer in digital gifting is Loop Commerce’s GiftNow® service, which is offered through many well-known retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Target and Saks Fifth Avenue, to name a few. You select the gift you want online and choose GiftNow on the retailer’s site. The service then sends a beautifully designed and customized gift notification email to the recipient. The recipient gets to enjoy the full experience—the surprise and the appreciation—that comes with receiving a gift.

GiftNow is better than a normal gift in some ways, especially for picky recipients, because the gift notification takes the recipient to the retailer’s site, where she can specify the size, color or style of the gift you’ve purchased for her. Then, she has the option of accepting or virtually exchanging the gift before it even ships. Once she decides, she’s done—with no need to add items to a cart, check out or enter a gift card code. All the recipient has to do is enter her delivery address—another plus, since you don’t even need to know the correct mailing address in order to send the gift. All you need is an email address to send the recipient her gift notification.

A digital gifting service can be a better option than just ordering an item online and shipping it, because of the flexibility it offers the recipient. And it has an edge over gift cards because you get the credit for selecting a thoughtful gift, and the recipient gets the experience of receiving an actual gift you selected for her—even if she exchanges it later.

With time, money and patience all at a premium during the holidays, using a digital gifting service like GiftNow may be a wise way to give the right gift to everyone you forgot to add to your gift list, while also giving yourself a much-needed break.

Rich Beattie is a former executive digital editor of Travel + Leisure, and has written for outlets such as The New York Times, Popular Science, New York Magazine and Ski.

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