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Top 5 Bad Gift Ideas

By Edited Jun 10, 2016 10 18

A lot of us  grew up on the saying that "it is the thought that counts" and sometimes that still stands  true. It depends on what that thought was and just how well intentioned and personalized it was. If used unwisely then that "thoughtful" present becomes a bad gift.

Here is a simple top 5 list of bad gift ideas that you should avoid on your next present shopping excusrsion.


Bad Gift Ideas #1 -Personal Hygiene Products

Now, on occasion you will find those who enjoy a good pamper yourself bathroom kit - bath salts, lotions, body washes etc. However, bars of soap, personal hygiene self help books and things of that nature make for really bad gift ideas. Unless, of course, the gift is intended to be mean or plays on an inside joke that the "gift receiver" is in on.


Bad Gift Ideas #2 - Weight Loss Products

Weight loss products can be a really tricky area - though they can be helpful there can be far too much to take into consideration such as: does this person feel they have a weight issue, are they comfortable with discussing weight loss, will a gift idea of this nature cause their self esteem to suffer.

Some weight loss gifts don't always fall into the bad gift ideas category for instance: memberships to programs such as Weight Watchers etc., a scale or eating right book they've been talking about wanting -  however, the good intentions of these gifts are only going to count  if it is public knowledge that they'd  like to join a program or buy a book but can not afford it. If it doesn't fall into the above category then the gift goes from "helpful" to "hurtful". 

Bad Gift Ideas #3 - Books For Dummies

A lot of people want (and could stand to gain) additional knowledge on a lot of topics but no need for the negative spin. For Dummies books are great if you are buying them for yourself but go for "Easy Guides" or "How to's" when buying books for someone you love on topics they want to learn.

Bad Gift Ideas #4 - Used Gift Cards

A gift should make a person feel that you went out of your way to get something special just for them. A gift card that shows obvious signs of use, while it may save a $1 or $2 on activation, appears a bit lazy and less "personal". Of course if the gift cards are for kids then they are less likely to care about the condition of the car. 

Bad Gift Ideas #5 - Gifts You Want

So you've been dying for a new espresso machine or the latest subscription to vogue - that doesn't mean your loved one shares the same desire. So don't run out and grab that espresso machine for your non-coffee drinking friend in hopes that they will pass it back to you. Instead get them something that they want and perhaps they may just return the favor the next time gift giving rolls around.



Aug 27, 2011 6:50am
Oh I am definitely guilty of buying books for dummies for people. Great article!
Aug 28, 2011 3:09am
Pre loved cards can be very special. When my husband began to find it very difficult to go shopping or even to write on a card we decided that for the next year we would select a special card for Valentines Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Bithdays and Christmas. We were able to exchange those cards, unsigned, with great ceremony and love for several years. The cards may have been old but they were special.

I suppose this was the exception that proved the rule. You are right, I'd turn up my nose if antone gave me an old card.
Aug 28, 2011 5:10am
Personal hygiene products should not be given as gifts since some people would think the negative way....
Aug 28, 2011 10:05pm
Good points! I will remember them when shopping. Thanks for sharing
Sep 2, 2011 9:22am
very nice article. thanks for sharing
Sep 2, 2011 5:28pm
I agree with you, a weight loss program present wouldn't be very appropriate.
Sep 2, 2011 7:02pm
lol @ personal hygiene products. ha ha ha ha!
Sep 2, 2011 11:35pm
my favorite personal hygiene gift....at a friends house for christmas, my friend's mom was telling everyone how she read this article about how you shouldn't wear antipersperant because it can cause cancer. So we are all opening our presents and in the gift bag of her future son in law...a gigantic stick of anti-persperant :)
Sep 3, 2011 9:31am
The other problem with number five is the overwhleming temptation to keep it for yourself. Somewhere in the wrapping up, that urge to give them something else rubbish and keep the shiny new toy for yourself, will catch up with you!
Sep 9, 2011 2:30am
I am consistently guilty of buying gifts for others that are actually gifts that I want. I've done this since I was a child, even going so far as to pick out barbie dolls for my male cousins. Whoops.
Sep 25, 2011 4:01pm
This is pretty funny. All of these ideas are indeed very bad gift ideas. I would be so offended if someone gave me a weight loss product without me asking for one.
Dec 16, 2011 7:04pm
Hilarious article. I can only imagine what I would say if I received one of these gifts.
Dec 7, 2012 5:46am
Very funny and very true. Unfortunately I have been guilt of some of in the past.
Jan 29, 2013 9:17pm
agreed to you i must say instead of that do not offer any gift just convey verbal wish :)
Jun 11, 2013 7:37pm
Solid ideas and amusing article
Jul 9, 2013 1:34am
I think personal hygiene products should be offered as gift only when you know the receiver preferences. Otherwise you better stick to flowers and candies.
Oct 2, 2013 8:56pm
The weight loss would be the worst on e even if they really need it.
Jan 29, 2014 1:19am
Books for dummies is a good idea(ish). Weight loss products .... Oh dear
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