“Is this item going to be a gift?”
When presented with this option at an online checkout, how confident do you feel ticking ‘yes’ and having it sent directly to the person you’re buying for?
Generally, it seems the answer differs quite significantly person to person – some people are happy doing so, other people would prefer to incur an extra expense to make sure the details are right. It seems we’re right to be a little cautious too – as you don’t have to ask far to find a bad experience.
When gift wrap services go wrong
I’ll be clear from the outset, I’m not bringing this up to critique and company’s ability to wrap a present, I’m talking about the full set of adjustments a company says it’s going to make when sending an item as a gift, including:
A slip that lets the recipient know who the gift is from
A packing slip that doesn’t display prices
A personalised gift message
Optional gift wrap
On the surface, these seem like reasonable adjustments that would see a nice gift sent to a person you care about – but the reality is often different.
What actually happens?
To look at what actually occurs when you send a gift wrap item I spoke to a few friends, colleagues and family members. These are some of the experiences they told me about:
“I ordered an expensive bottle of perfume from a high-end boutique in central London. They made a big song and a dance about how nicely they could wrap it – and, being useless at wrapping myself, I said yes.
They left the price on the bottom of the item then wrapped it up. It was for a special occasion and have a big price tag and barcode on the bottom really spoiled the effect.”
“The company was supposed to write a personalised note that would be included with the gift. I didn’t expect calligraphy, but I expected it to be typed in a nice typeface on a little card – like you’d get with a bunch of flowers.
What I actually got was an A4 piece of paper with a handwritten note quickly jotted on by someone who wrote like an 8-year-old. When my other half opened it she laughed, thinking it was a joke!”
“I got my brother a gift from a big online shopping site. They put an order confirmation in with the
gift – which was beautifully gift wrapped by the way – but the order confirmation also noted all the stationary I’d also bought when I picked a gift for him.
He’s a got a good sense of humour so he just asked me if I enjoyed my stationary, but it could have very easily looked like I’d stuck a last-minute gift in with some work shopping!”
“We sent my Dad a bottle of whiskey from a company that did gift wrapping at no additional cost. We sent it in plenty of time and told him he was safe to unbox it and put it under the tree.
The company had included a note that said it was a difficult shape to wrap so therefore hadn’t – so he unwrapped his Christmas present a couple of weeks early. I was really disappointed.”
No big deal?
You might read these things and think that they’re nothing to moan about – after all, the person’s got a gift in each case.
But actually, there is something to moan about. Each time, if the person had known what the actual service would entail, they’d have had it posted directly to themselves, taken the price off, written a nice card or wrapped it up themselves – before sending it on.
Details matter to people, especially when loved ones are involved – and it’s this kind of small but noticeable detail that’s often missed when a computer spits out a picking note and someone hundreds of miles away is given the responsibility of handling your present in the way you want.
Getting it right
If convenience is your thing, then ticking that ‘this is a gift’ box and hoping for the best might be a good option for you.
Then again, if you want to get it 100% right, AtoZ can help.
We offer a delivery service that sees us pick up a beautifully wrapped present and card from you, securely bag it before your eyes – then address it and whisk it away to be delivered anywhere in the UK the very next day. Ideal for a quickly approaching Mother’s Day.
Oh, and it’s a flat rate too, £9.95. And you don’t have to step outside your office or house.
If you want to get it right for a special occasion then give us a call, if you’re in a Kent postcode you can call us at Bromley on 01689 873 771, or if you’re in a London or Surrey postcode you can get in touch with us at our Croydon depot on 0208 667 1234.