At Christmas, with a large family, Ross’ family and Grace’s birthday coming up, I find that I am forever making lists and emailing them to myself about what to buy, who I have bought for and what everyone would like.
When I was asked to take at look at the new service from Gift Circle, I was a little sceptical at first. After all, I already have a list on Amazon and in my email! But, I am pleased to say, that after looking through the site to see what it was all about and giving it a trial run, I was impressed with what I found.
It is free to sign up and easy to create your account.
Once you are registered, you can create as many different types of lists as you like. For example, I created a list for Grace’s Birthday which is literally the week after Christmas. When you want to add items to it, you simply select a category and a whole host of different websites which sell that type of product appear underneath, making it easy for you to go over to the website and select the item, find the price and copy and paste the URL onto the list. You can also add the price and a small description underneath the list to help the buyer.
What I really like though is that you can tick a box to confirm that it is a list for children. That way you can advise your circles exactly what your child would like without having to know who purchased what. As soon as you see that someone has confirmed that they are buying that item, then it is no longer an option for anyone else.
To set up your circles you can invite people via email by using a template which you write or you can find them via your Facebook account. For example, I am in the process of setting up a Family list which includes all 6 of Grace’s Aunts and Uncles and both sets of Grandparents. That way it is much easier and quicker to let everyone know what she has her eye on!
The notifications page is to show any pending friend requests from other people, a shopping list showing the gifts you are thinking of buying and your most recently updated friends lists – so you will know if a new item has been added.
The Shopping section is where you can view items in store and keep them on your list whilst you decide what to buy. You can either click ‘bought’ if you have purchased the gift that you have under consideration or ‘release’ if you decide not to. Keeping a gift on your shopping list prevents someone else buying while you decide. However, what I found most useful on this page was the budget section. You can set a limit so you can keep an eye on your spending.
Overall, I found this a really useful service. Gift Circle makes it easy to organise gifts for all types of occasions. I think, aside from Christmas and birthdays, it would be really useful as a Wedding gift list. Friends and family can all swap their wish lists which makes it much easier to buy the gifts they really want rather than getting stuck for ideas. You can also keep track of what you are buying for who (something I do get in a muddle with!) and how much you’re spending – which is very important at this time of the year!
Please note that Gift Circle provided me with some vouchers to put their site to the test. All words and opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.