By Karla Bowsher | Dec, 2012
Maybe they already seem to have it all. Maybe they’re the minimalist who asks for nothing. Or perhaps they’re a new co-worker or awkward in-law you just don’t know that well.
Whatever the reason, there are shopping spots that are off the beaten path with gifts any recipient on your list is sure to remember. While most of these stores have plenty of expensive options, many also carry plenty of affordable ones as well.
- Brookstone: This online and mall-based store sells gadgets and gifts of every kind – from remote-controlled spy tanks to massagers of all shapes and sizes. Their products tend to be on the more expensive side, but last year, Brookstone’s best sales happened during the weeks leading up to the holidays.
Etsy: This online marketplace allows artists, crafters, and other creators to sell handmade items (and resell vintage items) directly to e-shoppers. From one-of-a-kind jewelry to hats for cats, Etsy offers almost too many handmade options to pick from. And if you really can’t decide, they now offer gift cards, which just about any woman would enjoy using.
- Old Time Candy Company: No matter how old your gift recipient is, this online store stocks the candy they’ll remember eating as a kid. It carries retro candy from every decade from the 1920s to the 1990s.
- Perpetual Kid: As its name implies, this online store is the perfect place to shop for children and for the grown-up with a loud inner child. Note that items in their sale category – like centipede ice cube trays and Family Guy pint glass sets – are currently up to 82 percent off.
- Quirky: This company helps would-be inventors turn their ideas into products with assistance from social media. The result is some ingeniously useful gift ideas, especially for people who enjoy technology or cooking.
- SimpleHuman: This company describes their products as “tools for efficient living.” Their focus on simplicity and functionality makes their website a great place to shop for the hyper-organized and anyone who recently moved into a new home.
- ThinkGeek: This online store is to geeks what Perpetual Kid is to grown-up children. And their On Sale section is always stocked up – currently with more than 500 items that are up to 75 percent off, like a stainless-steel Star Trek Enterprise pizza cutter and a vampire pacifier.
- The Ultimate Rose: If you’re not sure what to buy the wife or girlfriend this year but have a few hundred dollars to blow on six-foot-tall roses, this is your site.
- Uncommon Goods: “Unique gifts and creative design” is this online store’s motto and an accurate summary of its goods. If you’re stumped, check out their Gift Finder tool, which narrows your options down based on who you’re shopping for and how much you want to spend.
- Vat19: Perhaps you’ve seen this company’s TV commercials featuring their five-pound gummy bears. The self-described “purveyors of curiously awesome products” also offer flat-rate shipping, a “Sort by Recipient” feature, and dozens of options in the under-$10 and under-$20 ranges.