So many kinds of gifters, so many bad gifts. From the Desperate Gifter to the Overconfident Gifter, it’s something we can all relate to. Here’s our catalog of gifters gone wrong.

We’re not afraid to admit that we’ve given our share of bad gifts. Who hasn’t? But when it comes to gifting pitfalls, it’s not only about the gift itself falling short. More than anything, it’s about the mindset of the gifter. Have you completely forgotten about a gift until the day of? Then you’ve probably been a Desperate gifter at some point. Is there someone you’ve known for years that you get the same gift for over and over? Then you might fit the bill for the Nostalgic gifter.

Here at dearduck, we’re committed to taking the guesswork out of gifting so that everyone can give and receive perfect presents. That means we’re built to overcome the limitations of the most common gifting mindsets by having the right data, the right products and the right amount of time (hello, calendar reminders!).

Let’s delve into the types and see if anything sounds familiar?!?!


The Over-Confident gifter: This person is joyful and sure in his knowledge of you to the point of cockiness, but alas his knowledge is wrong, flawed, or missing a crucial element. Case in point:

“You love coffee so here are some amazing beans from Hawaii that you’ll love!!!” But. You have a Keurig. Ruh roh. The Over-Confident gifter might run with one piece of info about you without pausing to consider how it fits into a larger picture. He’ll build the gift up in advance to incredible heights and then most likely won’t even notice when it doesn’t hit the mark. Awkward much?

Most likely to see them: Striding purposefully towards extremely specific items in duty-free stores and super-specialty stores (think coffee).

The Desperate Gifter:  For those who are forgetful about gifts, the final hours before a big celebration can be a scramble to find something, anything. Around the dearduck office, there’s a known Desperate Gifter (she’s not proud). Typical story: Having forgotten to get anything for a good friend’s birthday, this Desperate Gifter was reduced to buying something at whatever businesses happened to be along the route to the celebration. She ran into a chocolate shop, frantically grabbed a box and then proceeded to hand it over to the birthday boy, without even knowing if he liked chocolates, or if the chocolates she got were any good. (It still makes her cringe just thinking about it.) Many desperate gifters don’t learn from their past shenanigans and believe that simply purchasing a gift, any gift, is enough.

Most likely to see them: Frantically grabbing things at drugstores, gas stations, and strip malls near gas stations.

The Guessing Gifter: Getting a great gift requires a certain amount of information-gathering. What’s her shoe size? Favorite color? Food allergies? But the Guessing Gifter neglects to get the stats and must resort to  a general, vague recollection, as in, “I think I remember her liking that blue scarf I wore, so I’m going to get her something blue.” Alas, guessing can result in gifting gone bad. Everyone has super-specific likes and dislikes, and guessing is like throwing spaghetti at a wall to see if it sticks. So what someone may like on you, she wouldn’t necessarily choose for herself.

Most likely to see them: Strolling the aisles for hours in super stores, toy stores and department stores with multiple items, before the final decision is made, right at check-out.

The Nostalgic Gifter: The Nostalgic Gifter knows she got it just right with a certain gift awhile ago and she does not deviate, even if you have moved on and your tastes have changed.  So: “You love the Calvin Klein fragrance Eternity and here it is again!” The same gift keeps coming back year after year, which can start to feel like a bad dream if you’re on the receiving end. The Nostalgic gifter, like almost every single gifter, has only beautiful intentions, but she’s stuck in the past and set on repeat.

Most likely to see them at: The same store as last year, and the year before that, etc.

Let us do the heavy lifting by getting to know the people in your circle and curating great gifts around their idiosyncratic preferences.

Download the dearduck app, now in beta, so you can always find perfect presents.

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