Valentine’s Day is the day on which too many men shoot themselves in the foot, often with the guns that they’ve cluelessly bought their wives or girlfriends as gifts for Valentine’s Day.
For many men, buying a Valentine’s Day present is an exercise in futility, one that often ends in disappointment, apologies, and promises to do better next time (Sounds like my wedding night! But seriously, folks…). Luckily, the Internet exists, and it is full of enterprising men and women who want to help you find just the right gift for your girlfriend, fiancee, wife, or significant other. We’ve been kind enough to gather all these helpful sites together and present them to you in one place.
Gift Side Story
We describe Gift Side Story‘s mission as “trying to stop men from giving women presents they don’t want by choosing the gifts for them.”
In other words, it’s a gift recommendation site. You sign up (free), fill out a brief, easy questionnaire about your gal (Which one of these tops can you see her wearing? Does she like dogs or cats?) and then Gift Side Story offers you three present suggestions that it believes best fit her personality and tastes. Best of all: If you don’t like any of the gifts that Gift Side Story has chosen, simply browse elsewhere. You don’t owe any money! Free gift recommendations! And you might just discover something she’ll love! Yippee!
The folks at dating-scrapbookers TheIceBreak.com have a new subscription service called the Date in the Box: Every month, you and your significant other are sent a box filled with everything you need for a successful date. For $35, if you order before February 9th, you can get the special Valentine’s Day box, which is Romance-in-Europe-themed. That box includes, among other things, a recipe for a dinner for two, a romantic movie, romantic icebreaker questions, three keepsakes, and more items that European citizens may or may not enjoy and/or utilize.
The Gilt Groupe, and its various properties, offer luxury goods at non-luxury prices (in case you didn’t know), and Gilt.com has a rather attractive Valentine’s Day section up with a bevy of options, including Gifts for Men, Gifts for Women, Date Night In Your City, ingredients for sexy cooking, and a rather suggestive section called “Set the Mood.”
If you don’t want to buy your wife a pink pillow, however, Gilt has plenty of other options in its Gifts for the Women in Your Life section.
No, RedEnvelope.com has nothing to do with Netflix: Rather, Red Envelope is a popular online retailer for branded gifts, and its Valentine’s Day section is up and beautiful, including sections for “Gifts Under $50,” “Gourmet & Wine Gifts,” and “Flowers & Plants” (I’m planning on getting my gal a $17 Venus Fly Trap soaked in a sweet Moscato, so this is perfect).
For something a little more personal — and from a site that just might impress that special lady who thinks you’re a caveman — check out Etsy, a design community that churns out adorable knick-knacks and gift ideas.
You might recall Groupon’s last Valentine’s Day promotion, which featured a deal for $40 worth of FTD.com flowers for $20 and ended in a lot of embarrassed Romeos and Juliets flowerless on the most be-flowered day of the year.
Well, here’s some news: If you’re still with that loved one from a year ago (congratulations, first of all!), and you are one to forgive, forget, grant second chances, etc., then Groupon has a deal that is up your little alley. Groupon’s national Valentine’s Day deal is once again partnering with FTD.com to offer $40 worth of flowers or other FTD.com swag (the online boutique also sells chocolates, sweets, and jewelry) for $20.
Like every other deal, Groupon offers a promise on its Valentine’s Day promo: “If the experience using your Groupon ever lets you down, we’ll make it right or return your purchase. Simple as that.” Given last year’s reported fiasco, however, we will have to reiterate a phrase that applies to all of these companies: Buyer beware.
If you had never used the Internet before, and you wanted to go to a website to buy a gift, you just might type in “Gifts.com.” Lucky for you, first-timer — welcome to the Internet, by the way — Gifts.com has a pretty neat sorting engine where you can filter gifts for your guy or gal based on the occasion (including Valentine’s Day) and his or her age, Personality Type, Preferred Gift Category, And Price. So, for example, if I wanted to buy my 25-year-old hipster girlfriend a $100 article of clothing, Gifts.com suggests that I purchase this purple pleated “Eco-Chic” dress from sustainable retailer Gaiam. It’s cute, under-the-radar, and you would never catch someone like that mainstream dud Lana Del Rey wearing it — in other words, perfect! (according to Gifts.com, anyway).
Of course E-commerce behemoth Amazon has Valentine’s Day gift ideas: A good e-tailer never misses out on an opportunity to sell. The site now features a promotional Valentine’s Day section with “Gifts for Her,” “Gifts for Him,” “Gifts for Kids,” and “Gifts for Anyone” (my boss Bianca is going to love the Valentine’s Day Swiss army knife I just had sent to her apartment).