12 Points to Consider When Buying Expensive Gifts
The holiday season is just around the corner, which means you may be planning out your next few months. There’s traveling to think about and time away from work to schedule. Add in buying gifts for your loved ones and friends, and it’s a lot to handle.
Coming up with the right gift for everyone is challenging. You have to think about their personality, what they’ve done in the past year and what their current interests are. Once you find what seems to be the right gift, the price tag could stun you.
Before you swipe your card for an elaborate gift this year, read about these 12 points to consider when buying a pricey present. You could save yourself money and find a better option at the same time, so everyone ends up with a happy holiday.
1. Money Doesn’t Make the Gift
There’s an unspoken pressure during the holidays to give extraordinary gifts. It’s when you’re supposed to go all out and celebrate a special time of year, but it often leads people deeper into debt.
Before you purchase anything this year, remember a simple truth: Money doesn’t make the gift. Yes, your sibling would probably love that brand new tablet, but you won’t be less of a family member if you opt to buy them a new watch instead. It’s the thought that counts and the love you wrap it in.
2. Don’t Buy a Repeat Item
The worst thing you can do when you purchase something expensive is accidentally buy someone a gift they already own. Try not to make this mistake with your gifts this year.
Spend time with the people you’re buying presents for to see what’s lying around their house or what they’d like for the holidays. A little conversation can go a long way, saving you from a costly mistake.
3. Check for Seasonal Sales
Depending on what you want to buy, you might be able to find an upcoming sale where you can get a better price. You should always check for seasonal sales to keep up with what will sell for a discounted price next.
Even if there isn’t a traditional holiday for another month or two, certain stores host their own sales where you can find what you need.
4. Rent Before You Buy
If it’s a possibility, you should rent an overpriced gift before you buy it. Picture a metal detector. You don’t know how much someone will love one before they use it.
Take your family member or friend to where they can use their future gift without knowing it, like a beach trip to search for buried treasure. You’ll get a guarantee that they love it before spending big bucks, and only pay about $24 for half a day. That’s far better than paying full price for something that may not pan out.
5. Try a Gift Basket Instead
Don’t waste your money on an expensive gift when you’re not sure what your friend likes. When you’re not sure about a person’s preferences and don’t have time to search for something, buy them a gift basket to provide a variety of things all in one package. It’s often far more affordable than buying the same amount of items individually.
6. Buy It Used
Most things you can find at the store can also be found online or at consignment shops. See if you can find it for a cheaper price online if it’s for sale by someone who doesn’t want or need it anymore.
The only thing to keep in mind is previously owned technology may have minor scratches or glitches because it’s used. You could take a gamble on tech you don’t get to see for yourself before you buy.
7. Think About Your Budget
The expensive gift is probably the first thing you pictured yourself buying for the specific person in mind, but give thought to your budget. Will this one gift drain your wallet and prevent you from buying gifts for everyone else? When put in that perspective, the expensive gift may not seem like a great option after all.
Depending on how many gifts you need to buy, weigh the cost of each one. You don’t want to go big for one person when you have many others to think about, as well.
8. Save the Receipt
While you’re considering an expensive gift for someone, don’t panic if you can’t think of anything else to give them. If your gut says to get the one gift, keep the receipt after you make the purchase.
In a worst-case scenario, your loved one can return it and use the money to get something they enjoy.
9. Score Extra Benefits
Certain expensive items come with warranties, while others come with an extended service plan. There’s a difference between the two, so read about the definitions before you buy something that costs a lot of money.
A warranty will expire, but an extended service plan covers repairs and cleanings long after the warranty is gone. That might be worth the extra money, which is when it’s smarter to invest in the gift.
10. Consider Their Age
Your young cousin may want the new handheld game console, but will they still like it after a few weeks or a month? Consider the age of the person receiving your gift. You don’t want to buy something expensive for someone who will only value it for the short term when it’s meant as a long-term gift.
It’s smarter to give more costly gifts only to adults who will treasure it and know its value. Younger kids can wait to get the higher priced stuff from their parents, who know when their kids are old enough to treat a costly gift with respect.
11. Research the Brand
Every brand wants you to spend money on it, but that doesn’t mean you should. Some brands will take their time making quality products that are worth their price tag, but others want to charge more for a cheap product. Don’t wait for the gift to break before or just after it’s opened.
Research the brand you want to buy an expensive gift from. Learn about how they make their products and if they’re priced differently online. Finding the same thing for different prices is a big sign that the company isn’t reliable. Read the reviews on different products as well, so you know if it makes quality products across the board.
12. Trust Your Gut
Sometimes, overthinking something doesn’t help at the end of the day. Run through these considerations before making your purchase, and if your gut still says it’s the right choice, buy the gift.
You’re the only person who knows what to get your loved ones. Just be sure your gut isn’t telling you to get something because you feel obligated. You should want to get the expensive item because your heart is behind the purchase, not a need to fill a gift box.
Take Your Time
Start your shopping early this year so you have enough time to think things through. Time gives you the opportunity to weigh your options. Keep the higher-priced gift in the back of your mind and try to find alternatives if you need to save money.
Look for a used version of the item online, get a warranty if you can or exchange it for something everyone can enjoy, like a gift basket. When it’s time for your loved one to open their present, all that will matter is if your heart was behind the decision.
If you love what you give them, they’ll probably love it, too.
Dylan Bartlett, aka, “The Regular Guide,” writes about a broad variety of topics on his blog. Check out Just a Regular Guide for more, or follow Dylan on Twitter @theregularguide for updates on his work.