Skip online gift wrapping if buying gifts on the Interwebs

Friday, December 28th, 2012 By

Wrapped gift

You might want to skip online gift wrapping, because the shipping container will include a receipt that will give away the contents. Photo Credit: Sotakeit/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

Many people probably bought gifts online recently and some probably also opted for optional online gift wrapping, where the retailer wraps it before shipping. On paper it’s a good idea, but in reality it’s waste of money, namely because the included shipping receipt discloses what the gift is.

Online gift wrapping includes the receipt

This might look a little Johnny-Come-A-Lately but believe it or not, there are 364 days of the year that aren’t Christmas, so gift-giving is something that happens year-round. Every single one of those 364 days is someone’s birthday. On top of that, there are high school and college graduations and then there  are some folks who get married and a good number who have babies.

Not necessarily always in that order, either.

Anyhow, there are a number of times during the year when a person might have to shop for a gift and online shopping is darn convenient. Some might have noticed that while online shopping, retailers will gift wrap said parcel before shipping it to the recipient, for a fee. It’s a nice touch, but kind of pointless.

Namely because the box includes the receipt.

Whole point of wrapping is a surprise

The entire point of gift wrapping in the first place is that the item is supposed to be a surprise. That’s why you take the good time and trouble to wrap the damn thing – the idea is that when it’s opened, the recipient goes “OMG, that’s so awesome! Exactly what I wanted!”

‘Tis better to give and all that. It is nice to see a loved one light up like a Christmas tree.

However, what most people don’t know is that despite the online gift wrapping, say, if someone spent a little money on JC Penney’s website on a nice pair of slippers and paid the extra for the wrapping, is that the box that UPS, FedEx, or whomever ships, has a printout from the retailer, which they put in at their packaging and mailing center, that contains the name of the purchaser and the item they bought.

In other words, it tells who bought it and what it is, completely defeating the purpose of the wrapping.

Small waste, but a waste nonetheless

It won’t break the bank, but depending on the number of gifts, online gift wrapping fees can add up. For instance, Amazon.com, according to its website, charges between $3.99 to $5.99 per item, depending on the item. JC Penneys asserts $5 for a gift bag, $6 for a package. Target charges $5.99.

Walmart doesn’t make it easy to find online, but according to a 2007 Today article, it was $3.88 for most items. Since that Today article quotes the same price for Amazon and JC Penney that both retailers currently advertise, it could be assumed to be the same today.

Granted, if these gifts are for the dear little kiddies, it won’t matter to them and one can just stick it under the tree for them and they won’t notice. That said, for everyone else…pocket the $5 and just send it unwrapped. They’ll still love getting something.

Sources

Today

Amazon

JC Penney

Target: http://www.target.com/HelpContent?help=/sites/html/TargetOnline/help/gifts_and_registries_and_giftcards/gifts_and_registries_and_giftcards.html

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