With the Gift-Giving season around the corner, a lot of people are thinking about how they can save a few dollars this year and still give meaningful special gifts to their loved ones. Here are a few ways to let creativity and thoughtfulness rule supreme instead of the almighty dollar.
1. Be willing to go small! If you know someone that is a bit of a fashionista and is looking for some designer labels under the tree, see if there is a way to light up her eyes, and still save money.
When I was a young woman, living in San Francisco, I was completely obsessed with Tiffany’s on Union Square. I would spend my lunch hours gazing at the beautiful jewelry. I had stacks of catalogs and knew all the pieces by heart.
Every payday, I would find some way to walk out of that store with one of their iconic baby blue bags. I bought some of the lesser-priced silver items. I bought perfume. I bought pens and key chains and one wine glass at a time, just so the salesperson would box it up for me and give me that blue box wrapped in a white satin ribbon, and placed inside of a blue bag. It was the presentation perhaps, but I was hooked! Everyone who knew me during that season of my life knew my obsession, and so my little collection of tiny blue boxes enshrined upon a shelf continued to grow over time.
During my Tiffany era, I had a friend who was a poor-starving mural artist. He was funny, witty, clever, and completely broke. But, he wanted to put something under my tree in a blue box from Tiffany’s if it was the last thing he did. He got creative. He spoke to a salesgirl and told her that it didn’t need to be silver, or gold, or a jewel of any kind, it had to be in a box and it had to cost less than… and he gave her a dollar amount.
On Christmas morning, I was overjoyed to find a Tiffany Blue box lavished with white ribbon, and inside, a deck of official Tiffany playing cards. It was a double-deck, beautifully placed into a collector box lined with Tiffany Blue felt that I still have to this day. I play double solitaire with my kids with those cards. I will never forget how special it made me feel that my friend found a way to buy me something from Tiffany’s for Christmas!
Check with the manufacturer that is your girl’s hearts desire, and find out if they have hair clips, pencils, lapel pins or any kind of stocking stuffer with the Designer Label on it. Oh Socks! An actual pair of socks or stockings from the designer could be a wonderful gift. Wrap that up with as much love and devotion as you know how to muster, and see if you don’t score big points for effort!
2. Trickery – Become very good at appearing broke! For my first holiday season as a married woman, my husband and I promised not to spend money on us. We didn’t make a lot of money, and we wanted to focus on the children. I had become an instant mother to teenagers, and we wanted the gifts to be for them.
So I was not at all prepared to see the biggest gift in the room wrapped up for me. He had stowed my gift at the neighbor’s house, and didn’t bring it over until Christmas morning.
I love Paris. I think I always have. My husband had found a Victorian styled, handmade lamp with Paris postcards in the fabric, and crystal dangly beads hanging all around the edge of the lampshade. It was on a ridiculously tall and delicate lamp base that gave it the appearance of a tall and wispy woman, bedecked with everything mystical and romantic about Paris. I cried. It is my favorite thing in the whole house, because it was presented to me with such fanfare, and of course, because it was from the man who made me his love for life.
3. Whatever you do to save a buck – make sure you don’t fall prey to tricksters on the Internet! There are all sorts of FAKE websites pretending to sell genuine articles at ridiculous discounts. Know how to see if something is just too good to be true. High fashion comes at a price. Trying to find a knock-off of a truly good thing can get you exposed to Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft.
Know how to spot a fake retailer. Authorized retailers are scanned, tested and certified daily by McAfee SECURE®, or one of the other popular security providers such as VeriSign or Trust-Guard. This means all your information is transmitted and encrypted without risk using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Technology.
Counterfeiters do not invest in security measures, because they do not value your confidential information. However, many fake sites do display security icons, which are fake. To determine if a security icon is fake, attempt to click on it.
Buyer Beware: All legitimate security icons can be clicked so that you can verify the legitimacy of the service. If you cannot click the security icon, there is a strong chance that this site sells counterfeit products. If they are counterfeiters, know that your identity and your credit card information are at high risk.
This holiday season, be safe, be creative and have a great time making memories, providing your loved ones with stories they can tell for years – out of the inventive ways you found to provide a gift. Use your imagination and watch your gift-giving prowess soar.
Liesl Garner is a Fashion Marketing writer working with Fleece Footwear, an authorized reseller of UGG Boots. As authorized retailers, we are constantly working to educate the public about the dangers of dealing with Fake UGG retailers, who sell inferior, counterfeit products at best, and defraud customers of their credit card information at worst.