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“Gift-ability” becomes a prevalent topic for business owners as the holiday season approaches, but the truth is that understanding what makes a good gift can benefit your business all year round. After all, there’s birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day… If you’re like most, you’re on the prowl for some kind of gift nearly every month.

Most blogs and magazines for business owners will tell you to offer gift wrapping or to create categories of gifts for different people (man, woman, girl, boy). But today I’d really like to go further.

See, I believe there are some truths about gift-ability that go completely unacknowledged, and it’s about time somebody brings them into the conversation!

1. size really does matter

This is the reason why no gift guide– not online or in any magazine– has ever felt truly helpful to me. The fact is, a medium-to-large gift box feels more fun than a small one– even to full-grown adults.

And regardless of how much you spent, it’s easy to feel a bit cheap giving a smaller-sized item, that just doesn’t look like much. Nonsensical? Yes. But we’re human, so that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

Because of this, I’m always put off when I see an “under $20″ or “under $50″ gift guide with suggestions like a trendy cocktail ring or a mini zippered pouch. In order to give something small like this, one is often compelled to buy something a little bit bulkier to pair it with– like an inexpensive scarf, a book, or candle.

Want to make your smaller products the most gift-able on the virtual block? Pair these items up from the get-go! Create ring + scarf duos or combine a few small lotions with a glove scrubber or candle. If everything you have to offer is small, then you’ll just need to get a tad creative! Why not add a box of chocolates? Or arrange a few things in a gift basket?

2. no one wants a project

Some gifts are just a hassle to receive. They require you to go out and buy a missing component or do some kind of work. Thoughtful gift-givers will often do the legwork themselves in order to spare the receiver, but someone ends up with a project either way.

If it’s possible, do remedy this! Leave the individual product listings for whoever prefers them, but in case of gift-givers, offer your art prints in frames, your lamp bases with lamp shades, your pillow covers on pillows.

Any effort to make your products look like easy gifts is worthwhile. Definitely a good reason to choose your store over another.

3. we want it to look expensive

Finally, there are instances when gift-giving can become downright nerve-wracking and make us feel insecure.

On one hand, you don’t want to over-spend, but you don’t want to under-spend, either. So you end purchasing a gift that falls somewhere in the middle. And then insecurity returns, questioning your decision all over again.

If we’re being honest, when we’re buying for people we want to impress, it’s important to us that our gifts look expensive.

To illustrate what I mean, let’s talk again about that cocktail ring, shall we? Depending on whether you’re purchasing a piece of costume jewelry from Forever 21, Nordstrom, or an up-scale boutique, the cost of that ring will be very different. So when presented very plainly, the person on the receiving end has little way of knowing how much you forked over in order to get it for them. $5? $20? $100?

So, want to do us all a huge favor? Make your gift-able products look expensive! For one, ensure they come in pristine, professional packaging– that means paying attention to the little details. And if your products are legitimately on the precious side, be sure to point it out on the package or label. For instance, if the ring is 24 karat gold, make sure it says so! Or if it was by made by hand. Or if it was imported from someplace interesting. (For whatever reason, most Americans find items from Europe especially fancy.)

I hope these tips have been helpful. If you’ve got one to share yourself– either something that you’ve found to work for your business or something you personally look for when you shop for gifts– I hope you’ll share it with us!

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