We have all been there, what is the best inexpensive gift idea for coworkers in our office?  A gift can say a lot, especially when dealing with people that you spend every waking minute with between the hours of 9-5, Monday to Friday.  Your gift should look thoughtful, and classy, but should not break the bank.  In order to find inexpensive gift ideas for coworkers that don’t look cheap or unauthentic will require some thought.  Luckily, I have spent years perfecting this art and will gladly share with you my findings.


Segment The Market: As with anything in business, you have to know your market before you make buying decisions.  First, segment your coworkers into two groups, men and women.  The gifts given to each will differ obviously, but this will ease the burden of searching for their gifts.  Now that you have them split down the middle, segment them further into “close” and “not so close” groups.  Great, you’ve successfully segmented your co-workers.


Cheap Close Group Gift Ideas:  Your close group will be made up of people that you enjoy spending time with, and do so on a semi-regular basis at the least.  These people may be those that you eat lunch with, get coffee with in the morning etc.  Get a piece of paper and write down each of their names.  Once you have done this, I want you to write down three “likes” for each individual.  This is your road map.  If John in the corner loves TV, you may want to consider a DVD set of his favorite TV series.  These can typically be purchased for under $30.  If Julie loves getting her hair done, maybe a gift card to Ulta, $25 is the standard.  If Joe always talks about a great BYOB restaurant that he and his Wife love, get him a bottle of wine (Quality bottles can be had for $18-$25).  If Mike is a real boozehound and loves his Vodka, well, that’s an easy one.  Gift cards are always great ideas, as are liquor and wine products.  Craft beers have gone over well for friends of mine at the office as well.  Just take a look at your list of “likes” for each person and something should pop into your head.  I have found that Amazon.com Gift Cards work great in just about any situation.


Cheap Not-So-Close Gift Ideas:  For the holidays, it is really hard to go wrong with a semi-nice bottle of wine.  Almost everyone I know enjoys a bottle of wine with dinner from time to time, and this will certainly not go to waste.  For those that you are less close with, this comes off as a classy, well-intentioned gift, with a price tag that is very difficult to decipher.  Stay away from the big bottles, they scream “CHEAP” and stick with the standard 750ml size.  If you know about these people’s likes you can perform the same exercise as above to act as an idea generator.  However, I have found that a standard gift for all works best in these scenarios.  No need to personalize gifts for ten co-workers who you barely know.  Heck, in that case, you may be able to get away with getting them nothing at all.  It’s entirely up to you.