Gift registry is an account you have to open with a store or a shopping website in which you have to give a list of gifts you want to receive so that it is easier for your relatives, colleagues or friends to buy a gift for you. The account also keeps a track of the gifts that have already been purchased and strikes them off the list so that many people do not end up buying the same gift.
Though initially use for big occasions like wedding, baby showers or child birth, gift registries these days are used for birthdays, Christmas, Graduation, Retirement and other occasions too. Wedding or bridal gift registry was first introduced in 1924 by Chicago based departmental store Marshall Fields. The first electronic gift registry was set up in 1993 by Target.
A person has to open an account with a departmental store or a shopping website in which he gives the list of the gifts he wants to receive. He may include the products available with the store or provide links or names of the shops or stores from where the gifts can be purchased if the gifts are not available with the store he has setup an account with. Then he informs his relatives, friends and colleagues about the gift registry who can log into the website and buy gifts of their choice from the list and according to their budget. After a gift has been purchased, the gift registry will strike down the item from the list so that there is no duplication.
The gift registry will then place an order of the gift with a particular store and get it delivered to its recipient. If the particular gift is not available in the store, the gift registry would issue a cheque to the recipient so that he can buy it himself. If you believe cash is the best one can give, some websites also have the option of cash vouchers wherein the gift registry would send a cheque to the recipient.
If you have a gift registry with a departmental store, it is likely that the gift list has to be made on the basis of the things available in the store. On the other hand, if you create a gift registry with a shopping website you can choose any gift from any store or a website.
Most of these websites have different stores as their members which make it easier and faster to select the gifts and get them ordered. However, it is not necessary that you have to add gifts from the member stores only. You can even select stores or websites even if they are not the members of the gift registry.
As gift registry works on the first come first serve basis, some websites also provide you the option to make a partial contribution as per your budget towards an expensive gift if all the gifts within your budget have already been purchased.
This works better in case you want to give an expensive gift in a group as all the members of the group can contribute according to their budget. Most of these websites earn their money from the commissions they take from the departmental stores or shops from where the gifts are bought. Some of them also charge transaction fee on the cash vouchers.
a) Gift registry will save time and effort by making it easier for your relatives, colleagues and friends to select a gift for you. They will no longer need to deliberate on what gift to buy for you. Also, they will not have to scout for the perfect gift by visiting different shops. They can select the gift according to their budget by logging in on to the gift registry site.
b) Since your relatives, friends and colleagues will select the gift from your list, there is no scope of duplication or unwanted gifts as the gift registry would keep track of the gifts already purchased and strike it off from the list.
c) You will get all the things you need from the store you want and in the quantities specified by you.
Be it birthday, wedding or baby shower, set up a gift registry and have a blast receiving gifts you have been wanting for long!