Over the weekend I replenished my ‘Present Box’. I remember hearing about Present Boxes before I became a mum and thinking such people were completely bonkers.
And now I’m one of them.
I like to think of myself as a thoughtful shopper. I love the idea of spending hours thinking about presents for the special people in my life; their habits and personal style or something they might really need at the moment.
Given that consumer goods are so cheap these days, many more people simply buy what they want when they recognise a need, hence the popularity of ‘experience presents’ and vouchers for services like a massage. (I always think such vouchers need to come in pairs; here’s a voucher and here’s some time in your diary to have it!).
Over the last year, I have come a convert to online shopping . And now I have a Present Box.
Friends will be pleased to hear that it’s not as thoughtless as it sounds. Rather than (as I had imagined) a set of generic ‘adult female’ type presents, if I see something you might like now, I buy it immediately and have it ready for your birthday. Last Christmas was my easiest Christmas ever.
There are some more generic style presents in my Present Box, like things for newborns and new mamas, as as well as presents for Four Year Old Girls. Simply because those invitations to parties from day care can sometimes stay in the bottom of the bag until the day before!
I also really hate trying to rush in shopping malls. In fact I hate entering a shopping mall and the Present Box has helped.
Here’s my system for how it has simplified my online shopping.
1. Create a ‘shopping’ folder on your favourites on your browser. Then if you find a good site you can start browsing on sites you’ve already enjoyed previously.
2. Once you’ve found a few sites and browsed them a little, set yourself up for a session with credit card and calendar handy. While most Australian sites I’ve used deliver within a week, I like to prepare a couple of months ahead.
3. Working through birthdays and other celebrations I simply shop online as I would in a mall, working through my priorities, leaving a tab open if I am unsure about something and moving onto my next choice. This is a good thing to do if you’re considering several purchases from the same store. It not only saves on delivery costs but makes receipt of packages a lot easier too.
4. I also keep all of those annoying emails that you get when you join any kind of loyalty program in one email folder. I then scan it for ideas when I am looking for something in particular; reminded of brands and stores I have frequented in real life.
5. Once I’m finished, I then check my stocks of wrapping paper and cards to check that they cover the same time period I’ve just shopped for. Nothing like realizing you’ve left out something important at the last minute. You could do the fancy personalized photo card if you’re really keen, but I find most people are happy with something drawn by the kids or one of those cheaper ones from places like Big W.
6. For my recent Present Box replenishment, I used My Favourite. I’ve found on previous occasions that their delivery is very quick and the products are made of high quality materials. (Not sponsored, I just like them)
7. I’ve also started to keep a Christmas List around this time of year, mostly to keep track of what I have bought and who is left. Last year I was pleasantly surprised to discover most people had been covered off through ‘incidental shopping’ through the year.
Do you have a Present Box? Do you think people who keep them are thoughtless – or a little bit mad?