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.