Add to Cart: A Gift Buying Guide for Savvy Online Shoppers

When you want to make your friend or loved one feel special, it helps to catch up on the latest gift buying tips. Learn what to buy for everyone on your list and come up with ideas for gifts by occasion. The art of gift giving comes down to a few simple rules for you to create a list of gifts for all the important people in your life.

Gift buying tips work best when combined with online shopping. Going online allows you to shop in your free time, and is a lifesaver when purchasing at the last minute — you can even send presents right to your recipients in a pinch. Find everything from clothing to furniture at the touch of a button, without needing to leave your couch.

For Kids

Which presents you buy for the kiddos in your life depends mainly on their ages. The best gifts to buy the toddlers on your list will be different than those for the 'tweens and teens. But thankfully, when you're buying gifts for kids, there are a few easy rules to follow for success!

When shopping for babies and young children, look for bright colors and simple themes. Think about items like blocks, dolls, picture books, and stuffed animals. Remember to buy something that will be an exciting surprise and that they can use right away. 

The school-aged children on your list are more likely to prefer challenging toys. This is an opportunity to get skill-building or educational items that are also a lot of fun. Sports equipment, art supplies, magic kits and home science experiments are all examples of fun and constructive gifts for kids.

Shop for teens essentially like you would for adults. That means you can get nicer and more useful items like clothing or electronics. You're also safe with skill-building items similar to the items you get school-aged kids, depending on your recipient's interests.

For 20-Somethings

Graduations, birthdays and holidays are all events where you may need to buy a gift for the 20-somethings in your life. As it turns out, most young adults are usually easy to shop for, even when you don't know them that well.

First, remember that most people in this age range are just making it out on their own. Furniture is a nice idea for your recipient's new apartment or dorm room. Choose items with vibrant and modern designs. You also can't go wrong with kitchen tools like cutlery, glassware or appliances.

If you still feel stumped, perhaps a gift card is the solution. Unlike other groups, young adults almost always feel special when you give this simple present. Gift cards give your loved ones the freedom to buy whatever they need and have it delivered right to their doors. A gift card to a restaurant or movie is also a nice way to give 20-somethings a night out they couldn't normally afford.

For Friends and Family

When purchasing for friends and family, try to get something personal and thoughtful. It means so much more to people when you show that you care about their lives and listen to their interests. Hobbies, collections and home improvement projects are all topics to keep in mind when you shop for loved ones.

Ask questions of your recipients leading up to the occasion. You don't have to be sneaky about it either unless the present is a surprise. Even just hanging out with your friends and family can give you inspiration if you keep your eyes and ears open.

Another good approach is to get family and friends something they wouldn't normally splurge on for themselves. Think about items like luxurious bedding, fine glassware and other home decor gifts, or consider art or nice stationary for their homes or offices. Try to pick personal details in presents like these that show you know the person.

For Romantic Partners

Like friends and family, your romantic partner is probably expecting a heartfelt gift for the holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. Make sure to choose something personal that shows your feelings. Start by investigating their likes and dislikes well before the event.

A little bit of preparation goes a long way. For example, clothing is a popular gift buying tip for your partner, but be sure you know their size first. Do some research before buying items for their hobbies, too. Look up the must-have gifts for people with similar interests. Know their favorite colors and brands, as well, in case there are several options when choosing your present.

For Her

Although every woman is unique, some products are universally welcomed. Great gifts for her include items that beautify her home, like wall art or flower vases, are a good start. These products give you the chance to personalize your present, too. If your lady isn't much for interior design, consider items that pamper. These include scented candles, lotions, cosmetics, and comfy pajamas, and with many of these options, you may find them grouped as gift sets.

For Him

Grooming items for him are a win/win for both parties. He gets to restock his supply, and you get a well-groomed man. Beard, hair and skin products are all suitable gifts by recipient and are almost always appreciated. Cooking accessories like grilling tools or chef knives are ideal if your man is always in the kitchen or loves to barbecue or consider a new set of highball glasses if he enjoys a drink after work. Other unique gifts for him? How about a fire pit, nautical-themed wall decor, or a funny coffee mug?

For Business Associates

No matter what the occasion and who the recipient is, presents for business associates should always be tasteful and professional. It's probably a good idea to save personal treasures for personal occasions and friends, even if you have a close relationship with one of your coworkers.

Begin by thinking about items your business associate can use at work. Stationary or picture frames for the desk is a good place to start. Gift baskets are another idea for when you want to impress someone. Gift baskets are also a lifesaver when you need to send thank-you gifts. Whether for a client or a coworker, gift baskets come in a wide variation depending on the occasion. These baskets also provide a brilliant presentation for your recipient to enjoy before they get home.

These gift buying tips prove that choosing the perfect present is easy with a little preparation. Ask questions leading up to the occasion, and remember that shopping online gives you more options and variety. Follow these rules and your recipient will love whatever you choose.