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Old 12-04-2019, 11:44 AM
Rilchiam is offline
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Do you care how much a gift costs?


If it's a gift to you from someone else, do you speculate about how much it cost them, either in and of itself or relative to what they gave other people? When you're getting gifts for other people, are you compelled to go right up to or beyond your spending limit? Or is it enough to give or receive something worthwhile, even if it's not top-of-the-line, or it is but it was purchased at a deep discount?

I'm not counting gifts that appear to have been purchased last-minute, with no thought put into them, or both. What I'm wondering about is the compulsion some people have to spend $$$ for the sake of it. Which makes me wonder, is it their hangup, or do they know going in that someone is going to pull out a jeweler's loupe, figuratively speaking, and denounce them if the gift is not worthy?
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:07 PM
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Not really, I've looked up some brands that I'm not familiar with so I have an understanding of the basic quality (price may not equal quality but it's the easiest metric). I've only done this when I was really excited about the gift.
I don't compare gift prices because sometimes you find something for someone you know they will just love and it's worth the extra money. It doesn't mean you have to go back and make everything equal. You can give homemade jam and your friend can give $100 jewelry, if you really care about each other then everyone walks away happier.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:11 PM
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I'm not big on receiving gifts. If I want something, I'll buy it for myself.


I dislike waste - so it bothers me if someone spends a lot on something I don't want or won't use. And I dislike it if they give me something cheap that I will just throw out. W/ my kids, I have much more $ than them and am at a different stage in my life. I prefer that they not spend big $ on me. In fact, what I prefer from them is their time - a visit, call, text...

My preference for gifts is food/drink - which will be consumed. If given wine, I might research it to see if it is something I'd be willing to serve to others.

If someone gives me a thoughtful gift, that I will enjoy having and will use, the price - cheap or pricey - is pretty much immaterial.

I no longer participate in "Secret Santa" exchanges. But when I did, I recall being disappointed at some gifts that seemed to be WAY under the limit.
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Last edited by Dinsdale; 12-04-2019 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:47 PM
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I donít focus on it unless itís something wildly inappropriate. Showing up for a second date with expensive jewellery would be awkward, showing up with a book that was mentioned during the first date is quite acceptable.
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Last edited by dalej42; 12-04-2019 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:02 PM
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I care about the costs associated with the gift.

The postage from the U.S. to Europe.
The customs fees I have to pay to get my gift, if the customs department determines that I should pay customs.

These costs are often more than the value of the gift. I'd rather get nothing.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:04 PM
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I care somewhat.

Generally speaking, I don't care at all. I am big on providing lists, since most of my interests are of the hobby variety, where one copy of the book/movie/toy is awesome but the second copy is pointless, so I straight up tell people what to get me. My wish list deliberately includes tons of relatively inexpensive items since I don't want to make unreasonable demands, and I really do want those items anyway. If I get an item off my list I'll be happy, no matter how expensive it is.

However.

My siblings tend to have lots of kids - five or six each. If they send me lists for them and all their kids and everything on their lists is $25 or more, that leaves me spending upwards of $200 on the family. (That's each sibling's family.) If I do that and they respond with a single $20 gift from their whole family then I end up feeling rather badly done by - even if that $20 item was on my list. I'll enjoy the item, but still feel rather used.

Of course, I could just blow of the lists they send me, or go through the lists desperately looking for the cheapest crappiest thing. But that's not how I want to be - I want to give good gifts, that will be appreciated. So yes, I'm sort of digging this grave myself. I know I'm going to be spending more than everybody else, and that's my choice.

But I gotta say I'm sort of glad my elder sister and I had a gift-based falling out and no longer exchange gifts. We spend exactly the same amount on each other (zero!), and my wallet breathes a sigh of relief.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:04 PM
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Not at all!
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:13 PM
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If it's shitty or something I don't want, it bothers me if it costs a lot. I'd rather get a cheap gift if it'll be something I don't want.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:36 PM
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I always feel like other people spend a lot more on gifts than I do. I don't know if that's real, or if it's just that everyone exaggerates on the internet. We don't do gifts in my extended family--my mom doesn't like them, and the family is huge (I am one of 6; my mom is one of 12 and there's lots of generations of descendants). But I admit, when people talk about spending $50-100 per person in their family for gifts, or several hundred for a gift for a significant other, it seems bizarre to me. We've just never done that in my family.
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
I always feel like other people spend a lot more on gifts than I do. I don't know if that's real, or if it's just that everyone exaggerates on the internet. We don't do gifts in my extended family--my mom doesn't like them, and the family is huge (I am one of 6; my mom is one of 12 and there's lots of generations of descendants). But I admit, when people talk about spending $50-100 per person in their family for gifts, or several hundred for a gift for a significant other, it seems bizarre to me. We've just never done that in my family.
In my family we tend to spend more on gifts, but a big part of the reason why is because we could have a family reunion in a mid-size sedan Ö
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:19 PM
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Nope. Don't care how much it cost, where you got it, or anything else. Just that you thought of me is as important as anything you give.
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:51 PM
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I don't care what it costs- but I do care what it's worth. I don't have a problem with a gift that normally goes for $25 that either I or someone else got on sale for-half price or even less. But gifts with a normal price of $5 or $10 are only acceptable to me in certain situations- a gift from a niece or nephew , some sort of organized gift exchange with a $5 limit, as a stocking stuffer , perhaps a manager giving each of their direct reports a $5 tub of popcorn or a gift bought outside of any gift-giving occasion seemed like something the participant would like . I did have a problem with the sister-in-law who bought her husband's family gifts from the dollar store - it wasn't because they only cost her a couple of dollars , it was because of the reasons those items were in the dollar store (low quality, unattractive colors/patterns) and the fact that I always sort of felt she was buying my kids gifts so I would feel obligated to buy her kids (nicer) gifts. Eventually we just stopped giving their kids gifts and the whole exchange ended.
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Old 12-04-2019, 05:22 PM
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Not at all. I'd much rather have a cheap gift that I want than an expensive one that I don't care much about.
I'm fine with used books I want and thrift store puzzles. The rest of my family feels the same way.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
I care somewhat.

Generally speaking, I don't care at all. I am big on providing lists, since most of my interests are of the hobby variety, where one copy of the book/movie/toy is awesome but the second copy is pointless, so I straight up tell people what to get me. ...
I truly appreciate your sentiment. But from THIS gift giver's POV, that sorta transforms the giver into an errand-runner - something I don't derive a ton of joy from, whether in stores or on-line. I figure if someone's wants are so specific (which I respect), then I'll just give them cash and they can buy it themself.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:40 AM
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Generally, no - but there are exceptions. When my ex-husband would spend more on his sister than he would on me - by a factor of five or six - that would bother me.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:54 AM
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I think it depends.

My wife is doing some kind of holiday wine pyramid exchange where you are supposed to send of a bottle of wine to someone above you in the pyramid and then up to 36 people below you will send you a bottle of wine. I told her to just buy the best wine we know of for the bottom of the price range. It is still very high in value and one of the best white wines I've ever had but she's concerned that if she joins the win club it will be a dollar less than the minimum price for the pyramid. I'm more focused on how this is a stupid idea that we shouldn't waste money on while still ensuring people are happy with the product.

On the other hand my wife's family is large enough that we just draw one adult's name out of a hat and buy presents for them. I tend to spend about $200 on the person which is typically over whatever spending limit is decided on. I'm pretty sure there is cheating going on by the person drawing names since the guys tend to get the the guys and the girls the girls since the girls seem confused by what the guys want and say we're hard to shop for. I don't have any trouble buying for the other guys and last year we got my father in law a 3D printer for his machine shop. The price didn't matter I just wanted to get him something he'd like and use, which is where i think the women struggle.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:02 AM
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Most of the time the only people who give me stuff are family and they tend to only give me stuff I've asked for, so I already know what it costs.

I have looked up stuff that was not explicitly a "gift," but that I've otherwise received for free. For example, a place my wife was working at was giving away some outdoor furniture from a property they had just bought. I rented a van, drove over there and brought it home. The home it had come from was very nice, in the most expensive part of town in the area, so out of curiosity I looked up the set, and it turns out it retails for over $2500.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
I truly appreciate your sentiment. But from THIS gift giver's POV, that sorta transforms the giver into an errand-runner - something I don't derive a ton of joy from, whether in stores or on-line. I figure if someone's wants are so specific (which I respect), then I'll just give them cash and they can buy it themself.
The tiff I mentioned regarding my older sister is that she was/is offended by the concept of lists, seeing them as us ordering her around. She would ignore any list sent to her, preferring to just buy things that she sees around which catch her attention and make her think of us. This consistently resulted in her giving everyone unwanted crap. As in, when a gift from her was about to be opened everybody would start smirking and making mocking comments, enough to piss off my mom, who seemed to privately agree with the sentiments but didn't like the mockery. (My sister was unaware of all this because she lived out of state and was mailing things.)

She similarly refused to send lists out, which put me in the position of buying gifts for people I saw -at best- once a year. Including children, whose tastes can change faster than that.

I was the one that precipitated the tiff, because I personally find it insulting to be given random crap when I send a list out clarifying my preferences. That indicates that the person doesn't care about my wants and preferences; that they don't care about who I am as a person. I actually do have a friend who occasionally gives me things not on the list, but his gifts always show close attention to who I am as a person. That's okay. Random crap, not so much. So at some point I sent a letter clarifying my stance and asking her to stop ignoring the lists: words were exchanged, feelings were hurt - and in the end we resolved to not exchange gifts anymore. Bliss! I'm asking her for nothing and she's finally paying attention to what I want!

It kind of sucks for her kids though. I give pretty good gifts, if I do say so myself, but they are excluded from that bounty.

As for just giving cash, I would say don't bother. Cash (and gift cards) indicate that you don't give a crap about finding out my interests, when I make it really easy to find out my interests. And given that the whole point of gifts (in my opinion) is to show people that you care about them, that defeats the purpose.

Still, you do things your way. Everybody's different, and I gather my trait of being offended by random crap from people who should know better is pretty uncommon.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:05 PM
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The amount only really matters to me in two circumstances:

1) They spent lots of money on something I do not like at all
2) I clearly spent WAY more money on them than they did on me

Under 1), I generally tell them that I'm going to return it and get something else. This has generally worked out well. People want you to use the gift they give you.

Under 2), this is generally pettiness on my part and I'm doing my best to get over myself.

I'm old enough now that I generally just buy what I need when I need it so I've told my extended family that I don't need gifts from them anymore. Just give me a call over the holidays or send me a card and I'm happy. Generally, this has been reciprocated. I can't speak for them, but I'm far happier to not have to try to guess what my 16 year-old niece who I see once a year wants for Christmas. And she doesn't have to guess what her idiot uncle might want.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by romansperson View Post
In my family we tend to spend more on gifts, but a big part of the reason why is because we could have a family reunion in a mid-size sedan Ö
I'm in the same boat. I do generally spend between $50 and $100 per person on gifts, but I'm only buying gifts for three people. No kids to buy gifts for; don't exchange with extended family.

Regarding the OP's question, I don't feel obligated to spend a certain arbitrary amount. But I do feel like I have to get each person something worth approximately the same amount. Once I've bought one person something worth, say, $75, then I feel like I have to get everyone else something worth about that much. Otherwise I'll feel like I'm short changing someone. And I want to avoid a situation like phreesh mentions where someone feels hurt because it's obvious I spent less on them than everyone else.

I do go by how much it's worth, though, not how much it actually cost. If something normally retails for $75, but I paid $49.99 for it on Black Friday, as far as the recipient knows they received a $75 gift.
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Old Yesterday, 11:41 AM
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Regarding the OP's question, I don't feel obligated to spend a certain arbitrary amount. But I do feel like I have to get each person something worth approximately the same amount. Once I've bought one person something worth, say, $75, then I feel like I have to get everyone else something worth about that much. Otherwise I'll feel like I'm short changing someone. And I want to avoid a situation like phreesh mentions where someone feels hurt because it's obvious I spent less on them than everyone else.
But is it shortchanging someone if you get them something they really appreciate? In my friend group, what matters most is showing how well you know someone, and often the rarity of an item. For instance, a friend of mine loves this film called Diva. Of course she owns the film itself, but when I gave her one of the original posters, I think people across the street could hear her squealing. I don't remember what I spent on the poster, or what I spent on other people that year. I got her something she loved, that's all.
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Old Today, 07:55 PM
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I personally couldn’t care less about the cost of a gift to measure generosity that’s given to me but it does bug me if my lovely wife spends too much. She’s also a master at remembering who gave what for a wedding in case we have to reciprocate.
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