Tatiana wants a Lacoste shirt; she announces her desire on zebo.com. Zebo, hoping to become the next MySpace, bills itself as the world’s largest database of what people own. Its four million users also let other users know what they’d like to own.
But if you’re of a certain age (i.e., older than 25), you may find it a bit uncomfortable to list the items you covet on a website accessible to all. How, then, to get exactly the gift you want?
Well, you could do something even better. List the items you covet on a gift registry. Think bridal showers and baby showers gone global. Amazon.com has a gift registry; list what you want and e-mail friends and family. (You can elect to know what has been purchased for you, or choose to be surprised.) Other gift registries abound on the Internet; try the wide-ranging thethingsiwant.com. Sure, there’s that not-so-subtle problem of letting your gift buyers know where to find your list. But don’t think of it as intrinsically tacky; it’s all in the presentation. Even Tiffany’s offers customers a wish list. But it’s on high-quality paper and well designed. And that only seems fitting; after all, if you’re asking for jewelry, you’re not asking for a small item, says spokeswoman Jennifer McGuire.
Show, don’t tell. Dwayne Dixon, manager of The Sharper Image in Short Hills, says many of his customers use the strategically placed catalog method to tell family members what they want. Try leaving a catalog open to a key page on the dining room table, kitchen table, or passenger’s seat of the car.
Leave suggestions where you shop. If you knit, for example, tell the proprietor what you want. “A lot of husbands come in,” says Dori Kershner, owner of Wooly Monmouth in Red Bank. “They look lost, poor things.” At Peper, a boutique in Hoboken that sells designer clothing, many shoppers let the salespeople know what they favor—and their size, which eliminates a major pitfall for the gift giver.
Of course, only one method for getting what you want is error-proof. Buy it yourself.Click here to leave a comment