Why would you use an app to create and share wish lists?

Growing up, many children find it frustrating having so many wants yet lack the means to get it. For many people this can be a source of motivation, for others it’s overwhelming. Despite the plethora of wants and needs, gift givers frequently don’t know what to buy for their loved ones.  There is a disconnect that leads to wasted time and money.  People stand in lines with the hope they can at least exchange an unwanted gift for at least a store credit, otherwise it gets tossed to the re-gifting pile and all the while we smile at the gift giver telling them how much we loved their ill thought out panic driven present.  We bear no ill will toward the gift giver, particularly as adults, because we too have been there.  We finish this celebratory punch with the expression, well…it’s the thought that counts. 

From birthdays to graduations, anniversaries to religious celebrations, finding the right gift for someone can prove to be a rather unique challenge. Gift givers frequently face busy schedules  and before they realize it the gift day is upon them.  If this year is proving to be a major struggle for you, you may innocently ask the person what they want, but this may not go as simply as you expect.  You call your brother about what his kids want because you are at the store and want to buy something and your brother isn’t available.  Perhaps you thought ahead and asked the child directly, “what do they want?”  Though you are anticipating a perfect description you instead get… “I don’t know.”  Maybe you’ll be lucky and they respond, “I want an Xbox One.”  Unfortunately, that’s a little higher than your budgeted $25.  You say, “that’s great honey, anything else….,” and they say “I like Star Wars.”  “Great buddy, would you like a light saber?”  “No.”  “Action figure?” “No.”  “What about Star Wars would you like?”  “I don’t know.”  You are back where you started.  Before you think this scenario is crazy, try to recall how often your significant other has asked you if you need anything from the store and despite the fact that you are out of shampoo and shaving cream, you scratched your now scruffy face and said,… “Nope, I know I need something, but can’t think of a thing now.” 

So, we need to face facts, whether you are 5 or 55, our memory about things we want and need is just plain lousy.  If you have multiple nieces, nephews, grandkids, and children of your own, keeping all of those gift ideas in your head can be tough work!

When you think of an idea for someone, if you don’t make a note of it that idea can evaporate long before you’ve had the chance to digest it. Soon, that idea gets mixed in with daily tasks and responsibilities and before you know it you have forgotten what you needed.  Nevertheless, this want or need will resurface.  It’s easily done, and it’s why using a gift wish list app can be such a smart decision.

So, let’s examine both perspectives of the gift giving exchange to see how a gift app may make each person’s life a little bit easier and the gift day much more rewarding.

The Giftee Gets What They Really Want

·         One of the best advantages of using a gift app is that you significantly increase the chance you’ll get a gift you really want. Sometimes people get the idea of what you wanted, but then buy a knock off version of the item.  This can be super frustrating as you now have a generic, but functional version of what you wanted, you are less likely to get what you really wanted.  Having a gift app may increase the chance you get what you really want.  The apps that are most successful in doing this create a purchase link on the item you want, so that when gift givers view your sharable wish list, the brand and product you want is right there where they can use the purchase link to take them straight to check out. 

·         You don’t have to worry about forgetting your wants or getting pseudo stage fright from being shy when you get put on the spot by a significant other or family member asking what you want; having this little gift app will allow you to show them exactly what you have in mind. 

·         Aren’t you tired of faking excitement over an ugly sweater or junk you did not want?  Isn’t it much easier to be excited when you actually want the gift?

·         Finally empty out your regifting closet.  So, what happens to all those gifts you did not really want?  You have either thrown them in a pile to give to someone else or perhaps you ran out to any retailer you thought might accept your item in exchange for a gift card.  Isn’t it a little telling about the gift giving process that retailers routinely handout “Gift Receipts” so people can better exchange unwanted items?  Clearly, the current process isn’t very good.  So, grab your phone and download a gift giving app.  Make a wish list, but don’t stop there.  Ask your family members to share a list with you too!


Rewards for the Gift Giver

Of course, being the gift giver with an app can be pretty cool too. In fact, once you experience the ease of finishing your birthday shopping for your favorite nephew in 2 minutes on the couch, you’ll be asking all your present bound family members to make a list. 

·         How many times have you completely forgotten someone’s birthday?  As stated above, if you have a good app, it will put you in a position to make a purchase without a trip to Walmart or Target.  As soon as a list is shared with you, the ability to quickly make a purchase and send it to your loved one can take the stress off your back. Look for an app that makes your life easier in this regard.

·         Gift Wish List apps put the person’s wish list in your pocket.  You don’t have to wonder what they may want.  Exactly what they want is right there.  Perhaps there is a life lesson to a child learning to lie about liking a gift given to them even though it’s horrible, but do you want to be a part of that lesson?  Do you want it to be your gift they are cringing at and faking a smile?  No, you do not and you will not if you choose something from a wish list they have chosen. 

·         You may actually be in for a surprise.  Sometimes the child is more interested in a couple of Hotwheels cars that are a $1 a piece.  He could care less about the expensive orange track with elaborate battery powered jumps that will actually limit his imagination.  You may spend a lot less and make the child much happier with five or six totally awesome toy cars.


·         Save the family from the embarrassing “Re-Gift.”  Whether you are the giver or the receiver, being caught in a Re-Gift is just as bad.  Most of the time, there’s an element of rushed gift giving at play.  You didn’t have time, so you pulled something from the stash….but you forgot who it came from and now you are caught.  Again, a good gift app will make a purchase easier, so the panicked buy never occurs.   Still, even if it does occur, you’ll know what to get someone.   

·         Most of the advantages have to do with getting things right with less stress, but I think that you can also learn from a wish list.  As stated before, if you ask someone what they want, you are likely to get an, “I don’t know.”  When someone sends you a list of things they want via app, they are telling you a lot about who they are as a person.  If a teenager puts a camera lens and a tripod on a wish list, they’ve likely taken an interest in photography.  So, at the gathering of friends and family, now you know what to talk to them about even if you haven’t seen them in over a year.  Even a child with a Teen Age Mutant Ninja Turtle on their list gives you something to discover.  Which Turtle is her favorite?  Why?  Does she want to be like one of them?  Is that Turtle funny, smart, a leader of the team?  They may or may not open up about it, but they’ll know you are interested in them.  They’ll know you love them and isn’t that the point of the gift anyway?

·         Finally, another feature you’ll find in good apps is the ability to discover whether an item has already been purchased by someone else.  Even the most wonderful gift isn’t likely needed in duplicate.  Again, in the traditional method, you may be calling to alert your immediate family what you are getting, but the other side of the family may not get the memo.  Technology can help keep everyone on the same page. 


Getting the Right Gift App

To help you make the right choice, then, we recommend that you take a look at any wish list mobile application that offers the following features on top of the above:

·         Sharable Wish List.   Creating a wish list isn’t very helpful if it isn’t sharable. 

·         QR Code Scanning. QR code scanning is one of the most popular and important features of a high-quality gift app. This allows you to actively scan the item when the opportunity arises using barcode scanning. This makes it much easier for you to ensure the list is as accurate as possible, and all purchases line up with expectation.

·         Purchase Links. Another nice feature for a gift app is the ability to make a purchase using a link to the product scanned. Also, look for the items to be updated in real time.  That way people aren’t shopping from lists created from the previous year.  If the app can provide cost information, then it helps the gift giver make a decision on their purchase.  Ultimately, we want this to be as stress free as possible. 


Now, can you see why using a gift application can be such a smart move? By using an app like this, you remove one of the most common mistakes in buying gifts. Not only can you make it easier to get gifts you want, but it is also easier on the gift giver.  Use the right mobile app and you may find that even the less tech-savvy members will enjoy the process. 

Considering it can be easily accessed and seen by everyone who is buying gifts for one another, using an app to create and share your wishlists as friends and family just makes sense. It helps to avoid forgetfulness, eliminate re-purchasing faux pas and making sure people no longer feel so stressed out trying to buy presents.  You may also want to show it to other families to help reduce their stress level around celebrations and major events.

Let’s make buying gifts a little easier for everyone – even Uncle Fred who is not so hot with technology!