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Buy Yourself a Christmas Gift AND Be Surprised

Monday, November 21st, 2011

It’s the holidays again, and let’s be honest — although its a season of giving, we all give a little to ourselves. In fact, the National Retail Federation recently reported that of the $704 dollars each shopper will spend on average this holiday, $130 of it will be on themselves. The dilemma with self-gifting, however, is missing out on the surprise. No anticipation. No acute listening while shaking and rattling. No guessing. And no tearing open the unknown. When I was younger, my sister used to buy herself a gift, actually wrap it, place it under the tree and open it on Christmas morning.Guess what big Sis; now you can get yourself a gift AND be surprised. The change has come about in the last couple months and just in time for the holidays.

Many retail entrepreneurs have capitalized on that self-gifting mindset by enabling shoppers to put their trust in e-retailers to curate and assemble packages of products that surprise shoppers upon arrival. Since opening in the summer, London based Not Another Bill has individually tailored packages of jewelry, contemporary artwork (in the form of tote bags, posters, and buttons) and flea market amusements based on a member’s profile. Shoppers sign up and answer a series of interest related questions. Not Another Bill then sources products from a variety of places, packages them up and sends the mto your door. You don’t know what you’re getting until you open the box. Similarly, in October, Ohhdeedoh.com began offering cheerful thematic boxes of age-appropriate baby gifts for parents or as gifts to loved ones. Again, the recipients didn’t know what they’d receive until the parcel arrived. The Loose Button and Eco-Emi started surprising shoppers by delivering environmentally friendly snacks and household cleaners a few months back. Another e-retailer, His Black Box has already captured 500+ subscribers to its men’s monthly grooming bundle that includes travel-sized samples. And just in time for the holidays, Panty by Post started a monthly lingerie delivery service. Many of the e-retailers’ websites state they will wrap the December deliveries and guarantee them to your door before Santa’s big day.

So for my sister, and all you self-gifters who still want the surprise, these mystery product parcels may be just the treat you want under your tree this holiday season.

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