Today I want to highlight a few startups (in both web app and mobile app form) that will help you buy the ever-elusive perfect gift because, let’s face it, buying good gifts is hard. It doesn’t matter what the occasion is; whether Christmas, birthday or other holiday/special occasion, it is never fun to get a fake “I like it” reaction. Luckily, there are some excellent, and dare I say even amazing, new services popping up here and there to make gift giving easy and even a little fun. Here are 3 of my current favorites.
Wantful – Give the Gift of Choice
I have to say, this service is truly revolutionizing gift-giving. I used it to send a gift to my mom on mother’s day. Wantful is a bit of a hybrid solution; it’s customized and personalized, but the recipient also has a say in what they actually end up getting as a present. Through a very sleek interface, you help Wantful identify who you are sending a gift to in terms of personality, age, sex, etc. Once the recipient’s style has been zeroed-in on, Wantful will help you produce a customizable booklet (including a personalized message; you also pick the colors and style) that contains 16 excellent present recommendations. That is what you actually give to the recipient. They, in turn, get to pick out the perfect gift. I will say that the packaging and experience were excellent and my mom raved about the fun new experience and getting to choose what she wanted (she chose custom, hand-made earrings). If there was one thing that could improve, it would be the selection, but I’m sure that will grow.
Karma – Social Gifting
Karma (recently acquired by Facebook) aims to make gift giving easier on the giver. For instance, you don’t need to know your friends’ addresses; that is something they can enter. I like Karma’s slick interface and unique personalization options. For those of us who are lazy, the ability to pull birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates from Facebook so you don’t have to remember them on your own could be a life-saver. Similar to Wantful, there are a variety of gifts to choose from (you do the choosing, not the recipient) and if someone is dissatisfied with what they get, they can easily make an exchange. Personalization takes a different form with Karma. While you do the gift picking, the recipient can choose things like color, style or flavor. In this case, your friend or family member is notified of their present via TXT message, email or Facebook. One final cool feature to highlight: your gift recipient can choose to donate the amount of the gift to charity.
Giftly – Supercharged Gift Cards
Giftly does a great job of bringing gift cards into the internet age. You can’t really go wrong with a gift card, but, gift cards can seem a bit impersonal at times. Giftly attempts to change that by letting you give a “Giftly” for any item or experience. Want to send your co-workers some morning coffee? Now you can. How about a birthday cupcake? Yep. Giftly works by helping you track “giftable” moments (Giftly is especially good for little serendipitous occasions), lets you select what to give (pick an icon or photo to go with), choose where it works (or let the recipient choose where to use it), and finish by customizing with an appropriate color scheme before delivering your gift via TXT, email or Facebook. When a person receives a Giftly, they download the Giftly app, go to the correct location and tap “I’m here” and receive a credit for the gift amt directly onto their credit card. What’s cool and/or creepy about Giftly is that you’ll be able to see where a person used it as well as what they got.
What Do You Think?
Are there other services or apps that make gift giving easier or better? Have you used any of the apps listed above? Leave a comment and let us know!