Looking for gifts for people who have everything / are hard to buy for? Look no further! I’m here with gift-giving strategies PLUS amazing gift ideas for everyone on your list.
We all have someone on our gift list that is hard to buy for. You know, the person you dread drawing for a gift exchange or struggle to find a gift for every year. But I’m here for you!
I dove deep into the reasons why people are hard to buy for and created eight categories. What is interesting is that people who have everything / are hard to buy gifts for often fall into more than one of these categories! That’s good news for you because I’ll give you gift strategies for each group and some fun gift ideas.
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The 8 Types of People that are hard to buy gifts for + Gift Strategies and ideas to help you out!
1. You don’t know them very well
Perhaps you have a new son-in-law, or drew a co-worker for a work gift exchange. If you don’t know someone very well it can make choosing a great gift feel like an impossible task.
Gift Strategies for people you don’t know very well
- Do some sleuthing: Ask around about their hobbies/interests. Check out their social media in a non-creepy way. Once you discover their interests and/or hobbies, look for a gift that compliments their likes. RECOMMENDED POSTS: Astronomy Gift Basket, Photography Gift Ideas, Gifts for Men who love watching sports, Hiking Gifts, Gifts for Gardeners
- Go the commonality route: We all have basic things in common…we eat, we drink, we sleep, we have a place to call home etc. Purchase a gift that fits within one of those categories. RECOMMENDED POSTS: Useful Gift Ideas, Ultimate Grilling Gift Guide 45 Self Care Gift Ideas for Women
2. They already have everything
Older folks and those who are well off financially often fall into this category of people who are hard to buy gifts for. When you are brainstorming for gift ideas and they seem to have everything that you think of, it can be frustrating!
You need to think outside of the box for some great gift ideas that will be useful or sentimental to them.
Gift Strategies for people who already have everything:
- Go Personal: Get them things that you know they will like and USE. Do they get a Starbucks every morning? How about a personalized Starbucks cup and a gift card? An Audible plus subscription or audio book you think they’ll like?
- Go Nostalgic: If you have a connection with your giftee, buy them a gift that brings back those memories. Create a photo book, buy a cookbook or travel book from a place you traveled with them. Purchase a keychain or necklace with GPS coordinates of a special place.
- Give Service: This is probably one of my favorite things to gift someone who already has everything. Try and think of something of service you can do for them. It could be doing something they don’t like to do (painting a bedroom, organizing a closet, raking leaves), it could be doing something they don’t have time for (cookie-of-the-month club). You could do this act of service one time, or make a certificate to do it more often.
3. They have expensive/hard to buy for hobbies
Maybe the hard-to-buy-for-person on your list has a hobby that you know nothing about. Or their hobby requires expensive equipment that is out of your price range! So what to do when it comes to gifts?
GIFT STRATEGIES for someone with an expensive/hard to buy for hobby
- Think educational: Is there a hobby magazine, book, or online class that could help them expand their knowledge about their hobby?
- Help them celebrate their hobby: If you can’t afford the equipment, buy clothing or décor that helps them proclaim their love for their hobby. You can find a hobby t-shirt or keychain for just about anything! I also love to look at digital download prints on Etsy.
4. They only want gifts that are out of your budget
(I’m looking at you teenagers!) There comes an age when it seems like EVERYTHING your child wants is way out of your budget. It’s time to get real with them about budgets…and clever with your gift-giving so that they will still be excited to see what you chose.
GIFT STRATEGIES for people who want gifts that are out of your budget:
- Try to solve the problem in a creative way: If they want expensive headphones to listen to music, consider a less expensive alternative that will give the same utility. Now, you have to be careful because with teens it often is the brand that is all that matters! So I recommend an alternative that ISN’T an off-brand or it will be rejected. For example, your son wants Apple Airpods. Don’t get him off-brand wireless headphones, instead think of another fun way for him to listen to music like a bluetooth shower speaker. Another option would be to purchase a different (less expensive) gift, and then give them some “seed money” towards a purchase of the gift they really want. When you have to work for something, you appreciate it even more!
- Give Connecting Gifts: Especially when it comes to teens, try to think of gift ideas that will help them connect more with their friends, family or you! Maybe a mini bluetooth projector or a fun board game (this one combines phones and trivia!) that they can play with family or friends. RECOMMENDED POSTS: Outdoor Games for Families
5. They have no hobbies
Does one of the hard-to-buy for people on your list seem to have no discernible hobbies? Are you absolutely stuck on anything that you could possibly give them because you have no idea what they do in their spare time? Here are some ideas for you!
GIFT STRATEGIES for hard to buy for people who have no hobbies
- Bring back hobbies they did in the past: It’s time to do some research. You can straight-up ask them what hobbies they used to enjoy, or ask their loved ones or even look in their social media or old photo albums. If they did the hobby once, then re-sparking their interest with some new gifts could be super fun! RECOMMENDED POSTS: Astronomy Gift Basket, Photography Gift Ideas, Gifts for Men who love watching sports, Hiking Gifts, Gifts for Gardeners
- Think of a hobby that they might enjoy: There are tons of hobbies making a big resurgence! Knitting is sooo 2020. So many people started gardening this year too. There are tons of amazing books out there that everyone should read and you can make it fun with a “100 books everyone should read in their liftetime” challenge.
6. They are picky
If the person who has everything/ is hard to buy for is extremely picky (translation: they return all the gifts they get) it can be a bit disheartening to try to thoughtfully choose a gift for them. I’ve been there! Sometimes it isn’t worth the effort to buy them something when you know it will get returned. But there are a few strategies that might help you with picky recipients.
Buy things they need: There are lots of useful gifts that are sure to be used by even the pickiest of recipients. I would not recommend spending too much money…but buying a few “needs” is a good way to go with a picky giftee!
Buy Gift Cards: As a professional gift idea thinker-upper (yes, that is my official title ;)) it PAINS me to say this because I generally hate gift cards. However, if the person on your list has returned everything you’ve given them in the past, save your heart some pain and just buy them a gift card to a store or restaurant they love. You can add a little bit of love and thoughtfulness by including a heartfelt note about the things you admire or love about them. Kind words are a gift in and of themselves.
7. They don’t want gifts
There are some people on our gift lists that insist that they don’t want gifts. Now this could be because of any or ALL of the other seven reasons in this post (they have expensive hobbies, they are picky, they live minimally etc) and/or they could be more concerned with your budget and wanting you to save your money for yourself (so nice!). HOWEVER…it can make you feel terrible to let someone’s birthday/Father’s Day/Christmas go by without giving them some token of your love.
GIFT STRATEGIES for hard-to-buy-for people who say they don’t want gifts.
- Go Consumable: There are some really fun ways to gift things that they will definitely use! I love the flower subscription from the Bloomsy Box. A Grill Masters Subscription box is great for people who love to grill.
- Give Service: Service is another great gift for people who say they don’t want a gift. Do they have a problem you can solve with your help? Think about a way to make their life easier with something you can do for them.
- Give experience/connection gifts: Make your connection stronger by gifting something you can do together. Perhaps a cooking class? Or an experience that they can do by themselves, like a massage.
8. They live minimally
This could mean minimalists or college students but it all boils down to the same thing…they don’t want more “STUFF.” I think it is important to honor their lifestyle even if it isn’t one you live. Here are some gift ideas for people who don’t want to clutter up their homes or spaces.
GIFT STRATEGIES for minimalists
- Buy consumable gifts: Think about things that they use on a daily basis. To make it more “gifty” buy a fancier or more unusual version! A Tea Subscription Box a Hot Sauce Making Kit, an herb garden starting kit.
- Buy useful Gifts: Another great gift for minimalists are things that they can actually use. A multi-use tool, Ninja FOODIE Multi-Use Cooker, or a simple (but amazing!) insulated cup.
So there you have it! I hope that this deep dive into the reasons WHY people are hard to buy for will help you recognized your gifting challenge and use some fun strategies to counteract it.
Gift ideas don’t always come naturally to everyone, and I’m happy to share these gift strategies with you! I sure hope they help.
Looking for other great gift ideas? Check out these posts!