Present-buying can be a daunting business. Whether it’s for a family wedding, a best friend’s birthday or treats for someone else’s children, really interesting and unusual gifts are often hard to come by.
If you’re working to a tight budget, the situation can seem particularly hopeless. But never fear. Here are five online shopping sites that will have all the family ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’!
Probably the best-known of our five picks, NotOnTheHighStreet.com specialises in showcasing unique, non-mass-produced products, many of which are not available elsewhere. That means you don’t have to worry about someone else turning up with the same gift from John Lewis!
Within each category you can search by price, pinpointing items that are within your budget. And there is a big section of the site dedicated to items for babies and children.
In addition, many of the items sold on NotOnTheHighStreet.com can be personalised, making them perfect for a special birthday or anniversary.
Etsy bills itself as ‘the world’s handmade marketplace’. The site is actually based in the US, but with many Etsy sellers coming from the UK, you can easily avoid paying international postage fees.
As the tagline suggest, Etsy specialises in showcasing handmade items, from art and accessories to clothing and homeware.
It’s a great place to pick up affordable and unusual gifts from up-and-coming designers. And if you’re buying for a vintage enthusiast, Etsy’s vintage section is also well worth a look.
Handmade marketplace Folksy is similar to Etsy, but is based in the UK. Because of this, it is more focused on items by British designers, and there are some real gems to be found.
Folksy is also the newer of the two sites, and many of its sellers are just starting out in business. This means you can often find beautifully-made items at lower prices than you’d normally pay, as sellers try to build their brands and attract customers.
The featured sellers section is a good introduction to what Folksy has to offer.
4. The Vintage Wedding List
The people behind The Vintage Wedding List set up the site in response to the many requests they received for unusual and personal wedding presents. A very welcome departure from the usual department store lists!
You can buy individual items from the site, too, so items don’t just have to be for weddings. And you can search by price (with many items under £10) so there’s something to suit every budget.
5. Wicked Uncle
Our last choice – Wicked Uncle – specialises in cool and unusual gifts for kids. It’s a particular godsend for people who don’t have children themselves, and so don’t quite know what kids really want!
There’s a really easy way of searching for items: You click on an age group within either ‘boys’ or ‘girls’, and you’re immediately presented with a host of possible options.
And with lots of choices under £5, it’s a great site for stocking fillers as well as bigger presents. Definitely one to flag up to any family and friends lacking inspiration!