Survival Guide:
Out of Time? 9 Last-Minute Gift Shopping Tips

Buying someone a gift at the last minute is always a complicated business.

The mounting pressure to get the perfect gift and have it given or delivered in time can take a significant mental toll on anyone for obvious reasons.

The stress, anxiety, fear and sometimes even sheer panic are some of the possible side effects of such sensitive circumstances, in which taking the wrong step can end up in very unpleasant consequences.

So how do you avoid a potential gift-giving blunder and what can you actually do in practical terms to get out of this mess safely?
The following quick tips will (hopefully) help you get through this perilous minefield in one piece.

  1. Keep Calm

    Panic, anxiety or banging your head against the wall in anger or frustration will not get you far.
    This is the time to take a deep breath, think rationally and develop a successful common-sense game plan that will help you buy thoughtful gifts for your family, friends or loved ones – even at the last second.
  2. Assess the Situation

    Get a clear understanding of how much time you have at your disposal.
    There are different ‘last-minute’ gift shopping situations and each one may require an entirely different approach or strategy for handling that unique type of scenario.
  3. Have a Few Days to a Week?

    Great news! You have lots of time to buy a great gift either in person at local shops or online.
    If you can’t give the gift in person, you can have it shipped through the U.S. mail or one of the major courier companies like FedEx or UPS.

    If necessary use the expedited shipping option to ensure your gift will arrive to the recipient in time.
  4. Need The Gift Delivered Today?

    Sending a nice flower bouquet or a gift basket are your two options for tangible presents, which get hand-delivered by a local florist in the recipient’s area.

    The major online services in this field provide nationwide coverage.
    However, orders with same-day delivery must be placed before the vendor’s cutoff time, so make sure you did not miss this deadline before submitting one – otherwise, your order will not be delivered until the following business day.
  5. Need The Gift Delivered Within Minutes or Hours?

    When you need an instant solution, use the advantages of the 21st century and the World Wide Web and consider sending a digital gift.
    Such e-gifts are delivered to the recipient electronically by email, which means this is the best last-minute gift option when you need a quick fix and no other alternatives are available.

    The internet offers a huge variety of fabulous e-gift options to choose from and many are printable.
    Due to the vast selection, it’s not that hard to find great gifts that would please both you and the receiver.

    Do not be afraid to be creative, innovative and think outside the box.
  6. Focus

    Avoid distractions, interruptions or getting sidetracked by anything else.
    You have a challenging mission to accomplish and you need to complete it in time, so prioritize and focus on this single task.
  7. Avoid the “Perfect Gift” Trap!

    Always remember the potential worst-case scenario: not giving anything and disappointing the people you care about and care about you.
    Set a time limit for exploring different options and when this timeframe runs out, stop searching and buy the best thing you’ve found up to that point.

    Do not be afraid to compromise or settle for a gift that doesn’t thrill you.
    An OK gift given in perfect timing is always much better than no gift or a superb one that arrives too late, so avoid the desperate and unproductive hunt for the perfect gift.

    You don’t have time for that.
  8. Add a Personal Touch

    Nothing beats the written word and a carefully crafted personal message can easily turn a supposedly average gift into a memorable experience.
    A custom message that comes from your heart with your gift allows you to be creative, personal, funny or witty and express how you truly feel in your own words.
  9. Compensate with a High Gift Value

    Sometimes it’s not easy to come up with an amazing gift idea at the last second.
    Yep, the extreme time constraints you’re up against, do not come without a hefty price tag.

    In such cases, try to spend a little extra than you initially planned.
    It shows the recipients you were not cheap and that you really care about them.

    People appreciate that.