They’ve got that. They’ve got that. They’ve got that.
What could they possibly need?
For me it’s my parents, my grandparents and my boss. I want to buy them presents for Christmas or their birthdays, but I have a hard time finding something that they could possibly want.
After all, they make more money than me and aren’t shy about buying things.
That’s why I was very interested to read a paper recently that gave me a very solid starting point for buying gifts for people who already have it all.
I’ll Give You 4-1 Odds
The psychologists in the paper look at what purchases or gifts made people happy. They were interested mostly in finding out if people enjoyed having experiences or things more and, mostly by accident, they shed some light on the old ‘what do you get the person who has everything’ question.
It turns out that, while most people are made happier by experiences than things, this is much more true of the people making the most money in the survey. For people making $150,000 a year or more 80% said that experiences made them happier than things.
This is not mom trying to not make you feel bad by saying that she just wants you to shovel the driveway, this is people saying how they felt about purchases that they had made for themselves as well.
That’s 4-1 odds that you shouldn’t be shopping at the mall, you should be making a card.
Why Give Experiences?
This is a bit of a theme at DuckDuckGift. It turns out that experience gifts literally make people happy after the fact, whereas gifts usually don’t.
Also gifts of experiences aren’t compared as much to other gifts the person receives – which might be all the more important if you are buying gifts for a boss or a wealthy client who might also be receiving other big-ticket presents.
The effect of experiences compared to physical gifts is so great that even just writing a card that goes with the gift and emphasizes the experience of having the gift makes the recipient like it more.
In the same paper that I was talking about above they found that a majority of people, 60%, preferred experiences to physical gifts – that’s worth knowing too, but the odds are most in your favor, 80%, when you are facing the toughest gift giving challenges which is even better.
But What Experiences Can I Give Them?
One of the best things about giving an experience gift is that you don’t have to worry about them already having it.
If you know that your recipient gets a massage every now and then you can give them another and make it memorable with a nice card or by going with them (if that is appropriate).
I’ve had people complain that they dont’ know how to come up with experiences to give someone, but I suspect that it’s just because people are not in the habit of giving experience gifts. Anything you could give as a physical gift can also be given as an experience.
Instead of a golf polo give a certificate for a golf swing analysis. Instead of a book give tickets to see one of their favorite authors give a talk. Instead of a new top give her a spa day.
I don’t know your recipient and you do so I will stop there, but hopefully this has gotten you thinking. Click any of the links up above to get more great ideas for giving experience gifts.