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Shipping can decide whether or not your gift reaches its recipient in time. As the date is drawing closer, your options get more and more limited and at some point, sending a package is no longer a possibility. Moreover, shipping adds to the ecological footprint of your gift. We have prepared a list of digital presents that work as last minute gifts and have a small ecological footprint on top of that.

The Usual Suspects: Gift Card, Certificate, Voucher

Most online stores offer something to that degree. This includes iTunes for music, movies, and apps (now also via PayPal Digital Gifts), Google Play for apps, XBox Music, XBox Live for gaming, Steam for games, or Amazon for almost anything. A variety of stores also offer gift vouchers via Facebook. If it’s online and selling things, it most probably has a digital gift option.

PayPal Digital Gifts

If you know a little about your friend’s hobbies, the devices they own, or their online shopping habits, you can select a gift card from a matching online store and they will certainly appreciate it. My colleague Angela shared tips and tricks on how to best use the above online stores for gifting Save Yourself The Lines And Buy Great Digital Gifts With These Services Save Yourself The Lines And Buy Great Digital Gifts With These Services If a friend's big event has crept up on you, you may have just found yourself in the market for buying a last-minute digital gift, which you know will arrive in time for their celebrations.... Read More .

Be careful when purchasing a gift card for someone abroad or outside the US; not all gift cards work in all countries.

Premium Web Services

Like online stores, other online services offer pro memberships or subscriptions. Many people are somewhat reserved when it comes to investing in such services; it’s a luxury.

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What better gift could you make, than to improve your friend’s experience with their favorite web service. Find out which services they frequently use and surprise them with an upgrade. Should they already have a premium subscription, it only means you made a great choice and their expiry date will be extended. Below is a short list of options:

Online Storage & Backup

CrashPlan

Media Streaming

Audible

Other Premium Services

Amazon Prime

Our list of online subscriptions Top 5 Online Subscriptions You Can Give As Gifts Top 5 Online Subscriptions You Can Give As Gifts With the ever increasing digitization of society, online subscriptions have become a valid form of gift-giving and they're often more fulfilling than a physical gift of same worth. Read More contains even more ideas and details on the services suggested above.

Individual Digital Gifts

Gift cards and subscriptions can be boring and may seem uncreative. Here are options for those of you seeking for less generic alternatives to a physical gift.

Apps

You can gift an iOS app Apple Lets iOS Users Gift App Store Items From Their Mobile Devices Again [Updates] Apple Lets iOS Users Gift App Store Items From Their Mobile Devices Again [Updates] App Store addicts can once again leave their Christmas shopping until the last minute and purchase gifts for their friends straight from their iPhones and iPads using the mobile storefront. After Apple's iOS 6 update... Read More and thus make your present a little more personal. In the App store or on iTunes, navigate to the app you wish to gift, tap the Share icon in the top right, on the next screen tap the Gift icon, then sign in with your Apple ID, type the email address of the recipient, add a custom message, select a date and theme for the gift, and finally tap Buy and confirm your purchase.

Gift iOS App

Music

If your friend is into music and if you know what they like, you can probably find a great album for them on one of the many places that sell music. Several allow you to give music as a gift.

  • Amazon MP3 has a Give album OR song as gift button. Also double-check your friend’s Wish List.
  • iTunes has an option to gift albums, which works just like gifting an iOS app, see description above.
  • Bandcamp let’s you send songs or albums as a gift. Find free Bandcamp music downloads on Sound Sunday.

Bandcamp Gift

Audio & Electronic Books

Finally, everyone loves a good story or learning new things. Some people prefer reading, others have embraced audio books. Find out what camp your friend belongs to and what devices they own and you’ll soon be able to identify a compatible and individual gift.

  • Kobo lets you gift an ebook to anyone, anywhere in the world. You can even choose a delivery date.
  • Amazon Kindle eBooks sport a Give as a Gift purchase button, as do Amazon Audible audio books.
  • At the Barnes&Noble online store you can also Buy As Gift whichever audio or ebook your friend may desire.

Give The Gift Of Consideration

Whatever you decide to give as a gift, be considerate. Don’t gift just because you have to or to entertain yourself. Make your gift personal, meaningful, and useful for the recipient.

What were the best gifts you have ever received and why did they create a lasting memory? Please share and you might inspire others looking for the perfect gift idea.

  1. Patsy Thomas
    May 12, 2016 at 11:27 am

    When you have to gift someone and looking for online shopping then I always looks for voucher as who don't like to save money.

  2. dragonmouth
    December 10, 2013 at 12:51 am

    According to Barron's, over $2 billion worth of gift cards annualy are never redeemed. That is awful lot of wasted money.

  3. dragonmouth
    December 9, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    For various reasons over $2 billion worth of gift cards go unreedemed every year in the United States. Sounds like a lot of wasted money.

  4. likefunbutnot
    December 8, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Amazon's App Store also allows app gifting, albeit not easily; you have to go to the gift cards section and then choose eGift an item.

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