Finding gift ideas for the impossible-to-shop-for person

Shopping for holiday gifts would be a lot more fun – and so much easier – if you knew exactly what you wanted to get for everyone. But there’s a good chance your list includes an impossible-to-shop-for friend or family member.

If you’ve struggled in the past to find the perfect gift for this person, you may have resorted to giving gift cards they applied to their everyday shopping, or asking them to give you a wish list.

Tackle those impossible-to-shop-for people on your list with a new approach to finding good – and unexpected – gift ideas with the following tips:

* Head to the public library and browse through magazines that cater to his special hobbies. Pay close attention to ads and products in the articles. If you see something you don’t think he has already, make a mental note to scope out his house or work area the next time you’re visiting, just to make sure. Or chat with someone else who shares his hobby and would know if you’ve discovered the perfect gift that he’ll use and appreciate.

* Go online and visit shopping sites like CouponHeaven.com, which features hundreds of niche stores. For example, CouponHeaven.com allows you to sort shopping opportunities by stores and categories, and you can browse the latest specials. You can also find great ideas from coupon codes and discounts posted for sites like Barnes and Noble for the book lover, Gardener’s Supply for the green thumb and even Joann Fabric for the crafty person.

* Take her out for a window-shopping experience, disguised as a walk through the mall for exercise, or as a trip to purchase gift ideas for other people on your list. Pay close attention to anything she takes a second look at – whether it’s clothing, beauty items, household items or even exercise equipment. Make mental notes on those items, and either schedule a trip back to the store to purchase the item she was interested in, or head home and look the store up on CouponHeaven.com to see if any coupon codes or discounts are available for that store or item. Since she’s already invested an interest in the item, you’ll know it will be enjoyed and used after she unwraps it during the holiday season.

* If the person on your hard-to-shop-for list lives far away, preventing you from looking around his house or taking him window-shopping, then start investigating his life. Call his friends and family and interview them. Check out his postings on social networking sites to see if he’s mentioned any interests you could follow up on. Paying attention is key to finding the perfect gift, so make notes whenever you can.

Don’t delay in trying these holiday gift idea finding tips, because the earlier in the year you start, the more ideas will be presented to you. And if you come across several gifts that could work, write those ideas down, so you’re prepared for next year’s holiday season.

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