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Shopping for Others

What techniques do you use when shopping for other people? Have you run out of ideas for your mother? Does your sister never seem to like anything you buy for her?

What about buying for the brother or friend who have everything, or almost everything, already? Buying for others can be exhausting, but not if you employ shopping techniques that will keep you right on track with your purchases.

The idea behind shopping for other people, and giving gifts, is to show them that you care. In order to do that,you should find out what types of gifts that person likes. Listen carefully to what they say because they may inadvertently tell you what they want. If the person doesn't drop any clues, then ask someone close to them what they need or want.

Learning to shop defensively is very important, especially if you are not a big fan of shopping. First of all, plan in advance to buy gifts. The best way to do this is to jot down, on a wall calendar, all of the special occasions that lie ahead, such as birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, graduations, etc.

Then you may want to buy some generic gifts that could appeal to plenty of people and are excellent for spur of the moment presents. Some suggestions include bath items such as soaps or lotions, picture frames, and wallets. It is best to make a list of whom you plan to give what to.

Take someone who is a shopping pro with you. Some people are blessed with the ability to find the perfect gift every time they go into a store. If you know someone like that, then take her, or him, with you the next time you need to buy a gift for someone.

Buying over the Internet or through a mail order catalog is a simple and easy way to buy gifts. Just click and order. If you choose to shop this way, remember that you must order early, maybe a week or two before you need the item, or in some cases, as much as four to eight weeks. 

Another option is for two or more of you, meaning you and a brother or sister, or you and a friend, buy a really nice present for someone else as opposed to buying individual smaller gifts. This option works very well at Christmas or when money is in short supply.

There are certain gifts that are best avoided, unless you know the person you are buying for extremely well. Clothes may, or may not, be a good idea because it is not always easy to buy the proper style, color, or size. It may be better to buy a gift certificate than a piece of clothing.

Stay away from anything that is offensive, such as giving your overweight cousin a piece of exercise equipment, that is, unless they tell you that weight equipment is something that they want.

Pets are not a good idea to give as presents and neither are generic gifts such as coffee mugs. Whatever you do, never buy someone a gift that you absolutely want for yourself because you will probably end up keeping it for yourself. Ladies, now let's be honest, you know this happens sometimes.

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