Whether you tend to procrastinate during the holidays, or you find yourself scrambling for a gift one day before a friend’s birthday, last-minute gift shopping can be stressful. Although it may be an automatic response, overwhelming yourself by ruminating on all the family members you still have to buy gifts for or panicking over which store to start at only adds to the anxiety! Take a deep breath and follow these tips that will help you find the perfect gift for a loved one fast:
Start with stores that target the person’s demographic
If you truly don’t know where to start, don’t overthink it: check out a store that you know targets the age and general style of the person you’re buying for. For instance, if you are shopping for your 18-year-old niece, stores like Forever 21, Garage, and many local brick and mortar stores that clearly advertise toward young women are easy places to start. Even if you have no clue what kind of gift your loved one might be interested in, starting off with stores that are popular among people who are the same age as them could save you a lot of time and energy.
Don’t forget to ask for in-store wrapping!
A service that people tend to forget about is in-store wrapping. If you’re in a last-minute frenzy, chances are you don’t have the time to make another trip to purchase wrapping supplies and get the job done yourself. Instead, ask an employee to wrap the gift while you’re checking out. Most local businesses offer complimentary gift wrapping where a big box could charge a fee. Some stores like Bed Bath & Beyond allow customers to give their gift a quick personal touch, displaying a free wrapping station where you can wrap the gift yourself with the supplies provided.
Avoid shopping malls and landmarks
If you live in an area where this is an option, try going to a local store that isn’t renowned for being jam-packed at certain hours of the day. It’s tempting to drive to the largest and most popular mall in your city, but “busy” doesn’t automatically mean “great finds.” Instead, try going to local retail stores to save both time and the stress of attempting to find a gift in a crowded shop.
Choose a thoughtful card
At this point, it’s worth taking a few extra seconds out of your hectic shopping schedule to look for a card that you feel best describes your relationship with the person receiving the gift, or, includes a sweet and thoughtful saying. This will diminish any pressure you feel to write your own long and personal message if you don’t have the time (or the words). A well-written card adds sentimental value to a gift, which can be just as important as the item itself. Besides, if your last-minute gift fails to impress, your heartfelt card could help make up for it!