Last-Minute Gift Tips: Gift Receipts, E-Gift Cards, Free Wrapping

For many at this point, holiday shopping is said and done.  At least for those buying online, most orders have been placed, and fingers are crossed that UPS/Fed-Ex will deliver in time for this week’s holiday parties or Christmas Eve.  But — just because the shopping is done, doesn’t mean the gift-giving work is complete.  There’s the wrapping, card-writing, and personalization aspect of handing over that package.  Who said gift-giving is an easy endeavor?!

A few trends that have grown in popularity in recent years, to help ease gift-giving (and receiving!) pains:

Gift-receipts — According to the National Retail Federation, six out of ten people include a gift receipt most or some of the time when giving gifts.  This % has grown from 58.5% last year, and 56.9% in 2006.  Including a gift receipt certainly eases some of the burden on the recipient if they wish to return the item.  Store return policies vary: here’s our comprehensive list of return policies and tips to make returns easy.

gift receipt

**E-gift cards **— If you’re in a bind, many retailers now offer the option to email the recipient with an electronic gift card code, so you can make a purchase in true last-minute style.  Eco-minded recipients may also appreciate the electronic nature of this present.  The retailers themselves often offer this e-gift card service (Nordstrom, JCrew, and Neiman Marcus are offering virtual gift cards, among dozens of other retailers) or you can use a service like GiftZip to purchase e-gift cards.  Some retailers, like Sephora, are integrating e-gift cards with Facebook, so they show up on the recipient’s wall at the designated time/date you specify.

**Free Gift Wrapping – **Some retailers include a gift wrap kit, or free gift wrapping with the purchase of an item.   L’Occitane includes a gift wrap kit with each purchase, Gap brands include a complimentary gift box with purchase, and at Borders, among other bookstores, you can request them to hand-wrap your gift if you purchase in a store.

Best of luck with your last-minute gift preparation!