Gift Guide 2018: The Procrastinator's One-Stop-Shop
Welcome to Amidst’s first ever gift guide! You’ll find I do gift giving a little differently: I’m not about high prices that break the bank. What matters most to me is that each gift feels personal, and comes from a company you want to talk about. In this five-part series (I’ll be putting new posts up through Dec. 14), you’ll find a list of affordable, special fashion and beauty items and companies that will have you just as excited to give gifts as your recipients will be to receive them. Happy gifting!
Procrastinators, I see you. And I have good news: Waiting until the last possible week to pick out holiday gifts doesn’t have to mean opting for presents that feel last minute. Enter Amazon’s somewhat new Handmade marketplace, where you can find great gifts from small businesses that’ll get to your doorstep in two days (as long as you have Prime) all from your warm, cozy couch.
My husband and I have been buying a bulk of our holiday gifts from this particular Amazon section (basically the company’s form of Etsy) for two years; and I’ve learned some things. Here’s how to have a successful shopping trip via the new department. Tip: When Mom asks if you finally did your Christmas shopping early, the correct answer is yes.
THE SEARCH FILTER IS YOUR BEST FRIEND Head directly to the “refine by” feature on the left side of the page after you first search for an item. My two non-negotiable checkmarks: the item is Prime friendly and has an average customer review of four stars are more. This will, one, ensure you get your gifts in enough time and, two, weed out anything that will likely be a waste of time to look at. You can also refine your items by price (something else I often do), shop location, where items are made and if the item can be made custom (though that would likely show up after the big holiday).
…SO ARE REVIEWS Once you find an item you like, scroll straight down to the reviews. Yes, you are already looking at items that have a good rapport with reviewers. However, it’s still very important to read people’s experience with each individual item. I read somewhere that the best way to get an accurate description of an item is to read between two- and four-star reviews. The purpose, said the expert, is to get rid of the polarizing outliers so you can learn what the product does and doesn’t do well.
READ THE STORY BEHIND THE SHOPS I do this every time. You’ll learn about the process of making your chosen product, which is typically information you can add to your gift to make it feel more special. Can’t decide between two items? This is a way to pick the winning gift, too.