There are many occasions when you may be lucky enough to receive, or indeed are feeling generous enough to send a well-considered gift to a loved one or friend near or far. One of the many great joys presented by the internet is that geographic boundaries are no longer of major barrier to long-distance gifting; with bespoke gift retailers offering fast and affordable delivery options, the world has become a far smaller place.
Gifts can have a wide range of meanings; for example, the gift of a shamrock-embossed teddy bear could indicate a sign of casual friendship, while an expensive diamond-encrusted Claddagh necklace will tell the recipient in no uncertain terms that you’re seeking a far more serious relationship!
Other gifts have different meanings, like in the corporate world you might be given an iPad, phone, car or a snazzy watch as a show of appreciation for the good work that you’ve done over a period of time or indeed in anticipation of improved future business relations! Some of these gifts are expected and in other occasions you can get a gift for no reason other than the kindness of someone’s heart; these are normally the best kinds of gifts!
The most common gifting occasions are weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers and during the festive seasons, which is right around the corner. There are also highly seasonal periods in which the Irish diaspora are brought a little close to home with the unexpected gift of a St. Patricks Day hamper or Guinness treats, packed full of home comforts such as tea, crisp and chocolate!
Most gifts these days are bought online. This is done by searching for them is by typing in something like the most popular Irish gifts and you will be presented with a variety of options. It is easy to buy a gift online as it provides you with a couple of the following advantages:
Whenever you’re unsure about buying a product that you have little information about the best source of information are customer reviews. The reviews section on most online retail stores are normally from unsolicited customers who either talk positively or negatively about a certain product. Also, you can browse some reviews on sites like Yelp or similar.
The reasons why these reviews are important is because these are real people giving you their first-hand experience about the product you are about to buy. Websites like the globally-ubiquitous Amazon and Dublin-based Gifts Direct use their customer reviews to great effect to help people buy products from them and to reassure them they’re making the right choice prior to purchasing.
Buying from an online retailer gives you the added benefit of buying from a shop or store that is thousands of miles away from you. You don’t have to go to the actual shop to buy the product as it is presented to you with an appropriate description and the store will ship the gift to your location. The shipping might cost you a little bit more or sometimes it could be free, but it is still a lot cheaper than you actually going to the physical store location, particularly for luxury, exotic items such as fine Irish crystal ware or the much sought-after Tayto crisps which every Irish expat craves every now and again!
You feed in your credit details and the item becomes yours, or lucky recipient in the destination of your choice. This has saved you so much time as you don’t have to go to different stores looking for a bargain or the right size for you or your loved one; it all comes together making it easier to buy some soft, cuddly outfits for your new-born niece or for your great uncle Jimmy (we’re thinking Guinness giftsets!).
Most online stores allow you to return the gifts you buy within a certain period of time if it has a problem or it is faulty. This helps ensure peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that you’re buying a great gift from a reliable brand and if it fails to deliver on expectations, you’ve got a clear line of recourse… unless of course you’ve scoffed all the food or polished off half the bottle of booze before popping it in the returns package!
All-in-all, if you’re making any online purchases over the coming weeks and months, be sure to shop around and ensure you’re a) getting a good deal and b) are buying from a trusted retailer. Check out product reviews, look for secure online checkout facilities and if you don’t mind your inbox being flooded with promotional materials, you could do a lot worse than subscribing to retailers’ mailing lists for news of ongoing promotions as the price wars loom large.