Archive for the ‘Gifts – Gift Cards’ Category

Xmas tip: for guys: gadgets … for gals: something expensive (and useless)

December 21, 2011

For Christmas,  Behavioral Economists (you know, the guys who say we’re predictably irrational), advise getting “him” a gadget and getting “her” something expensive and useless.

Excerpted from: The Behavioral Economist’s Guide to Buying Presents

Buying for a guy? Get him a gadget. Buying for a girl? Get her something expensive and useless.

University of Utah Professors Russell Belk and Laurence Coon  found three main purposes for presents: social exchange, economic exchange, or a sign of “agapic” — that would be Greek for “selfless” — love.

In the social sense, gifts were seen as a symbol of commitment.

In the economic context, men saw gifts as a way to get sex.

Women, meanwhile, tended to be more agapic, giving out of the goodness of their hearts.

But what did men and women actually want?

Belk and Coon found women care about the symbolic value, whereas men are more interested in the utility.

So women are best off getting their guy a gadget.

Men are better off going sentimental. Or extravagant.

In his book The Mating Mind, University of New Mexico Professor Geoffrey Miller explained that  the best gifts are “the most useless to women and the most expensive to men.” Flowers. Pricey dinners. Jewelery.

The less useful, the better.

Waste is the most efficient way to a woman’s heart.

Hey, I’m just reporting …

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What’s the best Xmas gift?

December 20, 2011

According to Behavioral Economists (you know, the guys who say we’re predictably irrational), the answer is cash money.

Not just generic money … cash money.

Excerpted from: The Behavioral Economist’s Guide to Buying Presents

What is the single best possible gift? Cash money.

Money is the soundest gift for one simple reason: It guarantees that the recipient gets exactly what they want.

In 1993, economist Joel Waldfogel published a study with a title that only the Grinch could love: “The Deadweight Loss of Christmas.”

Deadweight loss is the term economists use to describe the gap between what we spend on something and what it’s actually worth.

Because people rarely know exactly what their friends and loved ones want, Waldfogel decided to ask a simple, slightly uncomfortable question: How much value do we waste every year by picking the wrong holiday gifts?

He concluded that gift giving “destroys” between a tenth and a third of the value in what we buy.

In other words, if you spend $100 on that Santa-red cardigan at Macy’s, chances are whoever gets it will only value your gift between $70 and $90.

Some groups had a better gift radar than others.

Grandparents, aunts and uncles had the worst sense of what to buy.

Friends and significant others had the best.

But ultimately, cash was just more efficient.

So if you’re feeling uncertainty, don’t guess.

Do everyone a favor and go with greenbacks.

If you want to seem a tad more thoughtful, make it a gift card.

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Not sure what to get? How about an experiential gift card?

April 13, 2011

TakeAway: People are starting to turn away from stuff and turn to experiences and memories.

The rise of “experiential gift cards” has shown that you can do more with just an old gift card. Gone are the days of unwanted toasters or even gift cards to stores you don’t frequent. 

Gift cards loaded with a value that covers a variety of different activities are becoming the new rage.

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Excerpted from AdAge, “New Gift-Card Trend Swaps Stuff for ‘Social Capital'” , March 28, 2011

“Experiential gift cards” …are becoming more popular, because they allow creativity for the giver and flexibility for the recipient.

“People aren’t looking for ‘stuff’ anymore, they’re looking for experiences,” … You can post pictures of your African-safari experience, but you can’t put up a picture of your Mercedes. That’s tacky.”

Smartbox offers gift-card boxes that retail from $49 to $369 … Inside the box is the card, of course, but also a book of the possible choices for such experiences as dinner for two in New York City (50 choices for $99); adventures like white-water rafting and surfing in California (100 choices for $69); and upscale getaways in the Great Lakes (35 choices for $369).

Experiential gifts, … are relatively nascent in the U.S. compared to the other places in the world such as the U.K. and Australia.

“In the U.S., this is really new, especially at retail, …The growth is really happening now”

Smartbox …has pushed out an aggressive public-relations campaign and more recently begun spreading its message via social media. …partnership with Zagat Smartbox Table for Two, and was marketed at Valentine’s Day with PR and a social-media promotion. …

“All happiness research points to the fact that it’s not the things you have that make you happy, it’s the experiences you have,” …”The lag in experience gifts and the lag in consumers recognizing it was an option surprised me, but marketers are catching on now.”

Gift experiences have the added bonus of making the giver more memorable. You won’t remember who gave you socks or a sweater, but you’ll probably recall who gave you an experience where a memory was created,…”A gift is a connection between me and you, and things have far less meaning than experiences.”

Edit by HH