If the idea of organising gifts this holiday season is somewhat overwhelming, it might be worth checking out some new ways to make it easier.
Giftster is a web app designed to make family gift-giving a breeze, with personal wishlists and a way to reserve the gifts you’re buying. No more worries about not getting the kids what they want — and no more hassles with doubled-up presents!
With Giftster, it’s best if all family members of a gift-buying age get their own account. That way they can create their own wishlists and reserve gifts to buy for others. It is posible to manage lists on behalf of others though, as you’ll see later.
Sign-up can be done using an email account or Facebook account. If you use a Facebook account, this will add in a factor of difficulty when it comes to using the mobile app. So, I recommend you sign up with an email address from the start. If you didn’t, you can still get a password sent to you here.
Giftster is designed for sharing with family and close friends. Ideally, you want to be able to nominate this as the system your immediate family all use for the holiday period, or for an upcoming birthday, or even for saying sorry with a gift, then ensure everyone gets an account and joins the family group.
Create your family group by clicking on “My Groups”, choosing a name and then inviting members via email. If you want to join an existing group, search for the person who made it, then request to join the group. Once in a group, members of that group can see all of the other people’s lists and gift preferences.
If you can’t get everyone in your family to join, Gifster still works well as a personal wishlist, as it allows you to showcase items from around the web alongside a more general list of things you want.
About Giftster Lists
For any given list, it can be viewed in “Edit Mode” or “Shop Mode”. By default, the lists you create will be viewed in “Edit Mode” by yourself and in “Shop Mode” by anyone who didn’t create the list, that is, the rest of your family.
This means other people can reserve items to buy for you from the list without you having any idea what you’re getting from them. The reservation system means that you won’t accidentally buy the same thing or similar things as another person does.
The lists you make will always be editable under “My Lists”, while lists of others will always show up under “Browse And Reserve Gifts”.
Your lists can be set to “Shared” in order to share your lists with a group of people, or to share a link to your list with anyone. This is perfect for most people sharing Christmas or birthday lists with family.
You could also make your list public if you wish, meaning it would be searchable within Giftster. This is the perfect option for wedding registries or baby showers.
Change the privacy of your list at any time by clicking on your list and choosing the privacy icon.
Managing Lists For Others
With little kids and older folk, you might find they are unable to create and manage their own accounts. With this in mind, Giftster suggests that you can create a list on someone else’s behalf.
All you need to do is to give the list name some identifying feature of the person who it is for, then add gift ideas for them yourself. But, because you’re the creator of the list, you can’t see the list in “Shop Mode”.
Another approach is that you can create accounts for each child or older person, then hand them over for use when they are able to use it.
Adding Items To Lists
To add items to your list, use the “Add To Giftster” bookmarklet. Items can be added manually by going to the list and choosing “Add Item”, letting you write a description of what you want instead of (or as well as) adding a link to the item. You can also use the mobile website on your phone or tablet to add items.
Setting Gift Preferences
In the “My Lists” section, below the list of your lists, you’ll see an option to set your gift preferences. This is where you can list your shoe size, clothes sizes, hobbies, what not to get, the address for posting things to you, etc. It’s very useful for your friends and family if you fill this out.
In the Events section, it’s worth adding your birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, your wedding date, your graduation date, the due date of your baby or whatever else people might be thinking of buying you a present for. It’s possible to set events as recurring if need be.
Your Shopping List
Once you’ve browsed your family’s lists and made a few reservations, it will be time for you to shop. Check out your Shopping List to see all the items you’ve reserved and all the items you’ve marked as purchased.
If you set your birthday date in settings, Giftster will remind you to update your lists four weeks before your birthday. It will then remind your group members three weeks before your birthday, giving your relatives a bit of time to find you a good gift.
The Giftster site has a mobile-friendly version available for use on tablets and smartphones, making it versatile and usable for anyone anywhere. If you are still searching for gift ideas, look into our geek’s holiday gift guide by James, or Tina’s list of digital gifts if you don’t want to queue up.
Check out Giftster and get your family started today, just in time for Christmas!