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A Guide to Buying Really Good Birthday Presents

guide to buying birthday presents

Being able to buy good birthday presents is a valuable and important skill. If you’re one of those lucky people who find it easy to buy gifts, then good for you! You’ll already know how the right gift can brighten someone’s day.

If, like the rest of us, you find it challenging to pick out a great birthday gift, then fear not. Our guide will help you pick out something perfect every time. Gift buying is a skill, and just as with any other skill, you’ll do better when you have the right technique at your fingertips. 

Sitting comfortably? Then let’s get started. 

 Understanding the Importance of Choosing Good Birthday Presents

The first step to buying great birthday gifts is to understand that committing and putting some effort into the process is essential. 

Birthday gifts are a chance to show someone you value them and are prepared to put time and effort into cultivating your relationship with that person. Birthdays will always require a special gift, especially those for romantic partners, family members, and important friends. 

But gifts aren’t totally selfless either! According to the American Psychological Association, giving gifts activates the part of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, which creates a “warm glow” effect. 

As with many things, the more you put into the process, the more you get in return. This means that the time spent thinking about and organising a gift for a special person is well spent. 

 Considerations for Selecting Good Birthday Presents

A few broad areas to consider when buying the perfect gift are interests and hobbies, age and relationship, quality, and budget. You can go through these in your head quickly, or you might find it helpful to jot some ideas down on paper. 

 Interests and Hobbies 

The first thing to consider when getting a birthday gift is the person you are buying the gift for. It’s essential to consider the giftee’s interests, hobbies, and preferences. 

This does two important things:
1) They will likely enjoy the gift, and
2) It shows the giftee you’ve thought about them when putting the gift together. 

The best way to learn about a person’s interests is to actively listen to them. What do they speak about in conversation? What topics do they talk passionately about? You can also observe them. What do they spend their time doing? What topics are they drawn to when watching TV, reading, or browsing the internet? 

A couple of warnings here. First, remember that people’s interests change over time. Children, in particular, go through phases — what interests them at age nine might differ significantly from their interests at age 12. Ensure you’re buying for their current interests, not those they used to have.

Second, try to vary the gifts you buy. Even someone who loves dinosaurs probably doesn’t want all their birthday gifts to be dinosaur-themed, especially not year after year. 

If you’re buying a gift for a dog lover or a gift for a sports fan, you’re in luck! We have prints for sale they’re sure to love. 

 Age and Relationship

custom name letter photo collage

Next, consider the person’s age and your relationship with them. Some birthdays are “bigger” than others and deserve extra thought and consideration. Turning 18, for example, is more of a milestone moment (for most people) than turning 17. It can be a great time to buy a birthday gift that is more sentimental rather than practical. 

Also, consider your relationship to the giftee. As a general rule, the closer you are to the person, the more thought you should put into the gift. If you are a parent, grandparent, or partner to the giftee, you must put in more effort than you would if you were cousins! 

Budget and Quality 

It’s essential to get the budget right when buying a birthday present for someone. Spending too much, or more than you can afford, is best avoided as you might make the giftee feel guilty.

There’s no “right amount” to spend, and many people would appreciate something free, like a poem, more than a piece of jewellery. 

If you buy an object for someone, it should be good quality, though. It’s better to get a smaller gift of higher quality than a bigger gift of poorer quality. For example, a guitar player would prefer an excellent guitar strap to a rubbish guitar! 

Unique and Personalised Gift Ideas

the day you were born star map gift

If you’re still struggling to buy a good birthday gift for that special someone, here’s another piece of advice — unique and personalised gifts are more meaningful than generic ones.

Take one of our best-selling products, the Custom Star Map. Our Custom Star Maps show the night’s sky precisely as it looked from a specific location at one particular moment. Many people are fascinated by the stars and would love to know what the night sky looked like the day they were born. 

It’s not the most expensive gift in the world, but as it’s fully personalised, it’s totally unique to the giftee, and no one else will have one like it. Adding a custom message to the print can create a much more thoughtful gift than the average trinket. That’s why we have over 450 five-star reviews for this gift idea! 

Shop our full range of birthday gifts, and you’ll surely find something unique and meaningful for your special person. All of our posters are printed on museum-quality art paper for a high-quality look. FREE delivery on all orders worldwide!