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Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 in Guest Posts | 0 comments

Shopping for the “Other People”

As if trying to figure out what to buy your family and friends for the holidays isn’t bad enough, there are always the “other people” on your list.  You’ve been at your new job for two weeks and are expected to buy something amazing for your boss, or your boyfriend’s brother’s best friend’s wife has invited you over for dinner and you need a hostess gift.  Sounds like an impossible task, right?  I am here to tell that there’s hope. By keeping your eyes and ears open, you can easily pick up on some helpful hints that could lead to the perfect gift.

Here are a few tips that can give you the edge on gift giving:

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They Are What They Eat

While most of my bosses have been fine with alcohol or cookies (the standard generic gifts) I had one boss who ate super healthy.  My solution was Harry and David Pears- which he then “suggested” I give him again the next year. A simple idea is to watch where they go out and grab lunch: a gift card to their favorite restaurant would be perfect.

Potential Caffeine Addiction

When my sister worked at a preschool, her job was to supervise the carpool line every morning, and every morning she stood outside in the cold with her cup of coffee.  It’s no wonder when Winter Break came around she had baskets of coffee, travel mugs and Starbucks cards.  All the parents had seen her caffeine addiction and recognized a gift giving opportunity!

Listen To Their Stories

The question “What did you do this weekend?” could help you pick up on potential gift ideas.  Do they talk constantly about their pets or seem to see movies all the time?  Attend local theater or sporting events?  Are they a foodie or a scrapbooker?  Each of these opens an endless supply of possibilities.

Look For Favorites

When people are passionate about something it tends to show up in their everyday life. Are the books on their desk or end table all of the same genre or author?  Do they listen to country music or talk radio? What kind of keychains or logos do they have?  You may be able to expand their collection.

Be An Online Stalker

Don’t ACTUALLY be an online stalker. That’s creepy. But if you’re close enough to be Facebook friends, on Pinterest or any of the other social networking sites, this is a golden opportunity. Because so many businesses and products use social media, chances are that your new networking friend has a favorite company.

If you don’t have time to take in your surroundings there are also some time tested gifts that appeal to the masses such as Starbucks gift cards, alcohol, coffee table books, lotions and gift baskets.  While they are not as personal, they will certainly fit the bill as well.

By opening your eyes and ears you can find the perfect gift- even for someone you don’t know very well!

Guest blogger Laura Oliver is a Savings.com DealPro and founder of A Frugal Chick, a website helping others learn how to live well without going broke.

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