The holiday hunt is on and these Web apps will help you find the perfect gifts

web app gift guide

The month of December is a haze of coupons, flash deals, and wish lists – and somewhere in the flurry, you’re supposed to pick a meaningful gift for everyone near and dear to you. Thankfully you don’t have to go it alone, and there are a handful of Web apps that can help you find the right gift for everyone on your list.

If you’ve racked your brain and perused every buying guide only to come up empty, you’re in luck. Gift curation sites let you share a few details before offering a myriad of suggestions. So stop aimlessly clicking through Amazon and try these alternatives.

gift finderGift Finder boasts trendy gifts aplenty for every personality type. The site has everything from geeky accessories to every food-of-the-month club subscription you could imagine. Its Gift Finder application asks for three quick details (recipient, occasion, and price range) and then lays out your options. From there, you can further personalize your search, getting more specific about the price, the gender of the your gift recipient, and even their personality. A few items are even flagged as “last minute” options, which means they include speedy delivery. 



This site has a similar setup, with three quick questions before you can look at the gifting options. Enter the recipient, how you want to shop (by personality, occasion, price, etc) and a qualifier and you’re on your way. From there, you can add more distinction to your search. There are some repetition in the gift ideas though, so be forewarned.

uncommon goods

Uncommon Goods Gift Finder

From unique housewares to funky toys, Uncommon Goods is a great destination for off-the-wall items – and its gift finder tool doesn’t disappoint. You can get unnecessarily specific with your search; For example, the site offers the ability to find gifts for business associates for a housewarming. It’s that specific. You can also easily choose gifts that are handmade, and read buyer reviews before making the purchase.

wantful book


While the aforementioned sites are quick and easy, they don’t necessarily provide a rich experience for the user (if that’s not what you’re looking for, then by all means continue on your way). Wantful takes gift shopping up a notch with a site that’s both fun for buyers and leads to great gifts for recipients. You choose “create a gift” and answer some questions about who you’re buying for, revealing their personal tastes and style. You can even select your favorites and have them bound and mailed to the person in question so they can pick and choose. Our only warning: gifts are on the higher-end, trendy side so be prepared to spend the dollars.



Instead of starting from information you provide, GiveEmThis is a Facebook application that takes the social graph to learn what your recipient wants. You can add their Twitter handle, gender, and age to complete the analysis, then you’ll be presented with items they apparently want. This search engine app basically takes into account the type of things your recipient likes, talks about, and comments on. While you’re sure to get some products that make no sense (i.e., I have to imagine the only reason an L.A. Lakers jersey showed up is due to how often I talk about hating them – yeah, I’d love a Lakers jersey for Christmas … so I could burn it), there will be some valuable ideas in there.


Find Me A Gift

The best thing about Find Me A Gift is how thorough you can be. Does your recipient smoke? What’s his occupation? Favorite drink? While there are plenty of good ideas to sift through, we’d suggest using it as inspiration. It’s a U.K. site, so unless you’re living across the pond you might want to order from a site a little closer to home.   

etsy facebookEtsy Gift Finder

The Etsy gift finder tool isn’t terribly sophisticated, but you know that what you’re getting is one of a kind. The site helps you sort through its massive inventory by who you’re shopping for and personality type. If the suggestions aren’t enough, you can also try Etsy’s Treasury. The Treasury is a series of curated gift lists made by users, which include “Gifts for Her!,” “The Perfect Gifts!,” and “Last Minute Gift Guide for your Sister.” Hope that’s specific enough.

yoursurprise gifts


No new territory here: YourSurprise asks you to fill out all the same information about your recipient and the occasion in order to surface suggestions. However, the site also includes a handy qualifier by taking into consideration the delivery time – something pretty crucial to ordering presents online. There’s nothing much worse than finding the perfect gift only to realize there’s no way it will get here in time. Consider your problem solved.

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