We all have that person in our lives that we struggle with purchasing gifts for.  Our brother who doesn’t like stuff, our mother who owns everything she could possibly want and our friend who insist that you not buy anything.  Even my brother, who doesn’t like stuff secretly wants a gift.  Don’t know what to get them? 

Here are some sneaky ways to find out what they really want!  Okay, okay not all of the ways are all that sneaky, but it just sounds fun that way. Doesn’t it?  You WILL be closer to finding the right gift after reading this, you may even have an idea for one!  Let’s get started.

Solve a Problem

Your friend, Jenna, mentions in casual conversation how she would like to stop drinking pop in the afternoon at work.  She enjoys the 3pm caffeine rush, but there isn’t any way to get coffee at work at that time and would prefer a healthier more natural option to caffeinate.  She doesn’t really know what to do so, Jenna may just stick to the soda. 

Something should go off in your mind!  Coffee is pretty easily accessible everywhere else, why not at Jenna’s office?  Can you get her a small brewer for her work space?  Can you get her a single serve coffee brew buddy?  How about a gift card to the coffee place next door (if there is one)? Consider getting her an ice brewer?   Don’t forget to add a bag of her favorite coffee or coffee she hasn’t tried before.

Do you see what we just did there?  Have a real conversation with your family and friends.  They will tell you what is happening in their day to day lives and you can be super helpful when it comes to solving their problem and getting them a perfect gift! 

Take note when they talk about something

This is the follow up to solving a problem, most of the time it is easier than that!  All you have to do is have a real conversation.  I know sometimes it is hard in the world of technology, when hanging out means that you are all surfing your phones! 

Once you’re having this conversation, your brain should be making note every time you hear “I was looking for this, but I couldn’t find it”.  Or “I was hoping to buy this for my recently redone living room”.  Even “I love that scarf, where did you get it”? 

Hello!?!?!! Write it down, put it in google docs.  Something!  When you show up three months later with it as a gift, your sister-in-law will be thankful for the awesome gift!

Replace something they loved, but is worn out

Most of these tips are about being observant.  I promise you will only have to be observant for a few minutes before you start to take note of what would be a great gift. Being observant doesn’t make you only a good gift giver, it makes you a great partner, friend, and daughter/son.

Everyone is always really surprised when you take the time to get them a new replacement for their favorite t-shirt, drill, gloves, coffee cup etc.  Let’s face it, things get warn out. For the most part people struggle with replacing loved items, because they already own it.  So what there is a hole in the armpit or a crack in the side?

I’m sure I’ve shared this before, but my dad always requests that I buy him a new wallet every few years.  Once his is beat up.  I’ve been buying him wallets since the 7th grade.  It is still an excellent gift for him, because he doesn’t like to own a lot of stuff and he doesn’t enjoy spending money on himself.  It’s useful and I like to think I’m pretty good at picking them out!  The element of surprise isn’t always there, but you can always get him one solid gift I know he’ll like.

Take the time, look around.  I’m sure there is something that you can think of that needs to be updated or replaced.

Check their Amazon wish list

A large part of the population shops on Amazon.  You might get lucky when you do a list search and find a list for that person!  Be careful to make sure it seems like something they would really want. I have a lot of things saved on my list as ideas for other people, although I love gift giving more than the average person!

This is probably one of the easiest ways to find what they really have wished for!  I purchased a coffee mug for my brother, off of his list and he recognized it right away.  To me it was still and awesome gift because it was something he genuinely wanted.  Plus, I added a gift card to his favorite coffee place! 

Now’s the time go take a look.  Go under lists on the top bar and click under “your friends”.  See if you can’t look them up!


If you don’t have any ideas and are stumped you can always ask.  Or better yet, ask their significant other.  If you have an idea you aren’t sure of if they would like it, you can always bounce it off of their other half and feel it out. 

Truthfully, you don’t always need to be sneaky.  Sometimes getting them the thing they haven’t been able to purchase for themselves is all they ever really wanted!

Think outside the box

Gift giving isn’t always about physical items.  You can always gift an act of labor or a treat to an event.  Do both of you love sports?  Get them a ticket to a game.  Both of you love food?  Treat them to dinner.  Sometimes an adventure together with a friend or a family member is better than gift could ever be!

I promise you will only have to be observant for a few minutes before you start to take note of what would be a great gift. 

At some point you will stop dead in your tracks while out shopping and will think “oh that would be a great gift for Billy”!  What I recommend you do is take a quick picture of it with your phone.  This helps you save the idea for later, even if you forget about it. 

How do I know I have picked the right gift?

Are you excited about it?  Does your gut say it is the right one?  Then yes, you have chosen the right gift.  At this point you have put more thought into gift giving than the average person, so your gift will be a one step ahead of what everyone else does!  You might not have noticed, but you have become a thoughtful person!   High-five!   

I will say that even I fail sometimes at picking out a great gift, mostly educational gifts for kids. You learn and move on.  Dust yourself off and try again!

In conclusion, discovering ideas of how to find the perfect gift are easier than you think.  Have some real life conversations with your friends and family.  Discover their amazon list (if they have one), solve one of their problems, take note when they want something, replace something that was loved and beat up, or just ask.  Never beat yourself up if you haven’t found the perfect gift, likely your gift was still very thoughtful. 

PS - This one is for the guys reading: If your lady just asks for flowers and an evening with you… that is all she wants! Don’t stress about the gift.  Okay, maybe bring it to the next level and pick up her favorite chocolates. If you really want to make it special have flowers delivered to work.  If you can only afford grocery store flowers, that is okay too, just go to the store with the good flowers!   

Take Action Plan:

Have an active conversation with your friends and family, about anything!

Look for ways to solve their problems, renew old things, or spend time with them

If you are out of ideas you can always ask or look up their wish list

Follow your gut while choosing the right gift, it’s usually right.

Happy gifting everyone!

Do you have any other ways that you discover great gifts for the people in your life? What are some of the best gifts you’ve ever given? 




11/29/2016 9:11am

Thanks for sharing such a unique topic and it is true that it is not too easy to find someone's gift in such a way that it is exactly according to his or her choice. Because, it takes time to know some person.

04/05/2017 11:29pm

Before, I was having a hard time giving someone a gift or a surprise gift. Like, you have to make sure that the shoes you're going to buy will fit, so you have to ask her size. So, what I did was pretty clever and witty. When we're sitting on the park, I am looking at my feet then said, "my feet looks bigger than yours. I'm a 10, what's your size?". The moment she answered that, I'm saved. Then I can give her my surprise gift, without her knowing what the gift is and getting the information hideously. Kinda funny for a story, right?

01/14/2017 9:43am

This one becomes a big problem especially during Christmas season! I also experienced that with my boss. I think he has every material thing already and I had a hard time finding one for him. Truly, these tips would help me for this year's gift giving season. A casual conversation where you'll talk about what that person wants would be the greatest key to avoid this problem! I'll take note of that.


I think that it's not hard at all. Just ask what does person need now. That's all!


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