How to Buy for Someone Who’s Hard to Buy For – A Gift Survival Guide

By Ollie

This is a topic we get asked all the time (well, we think one person may have asked us once – but we just know it’s a common one). From what we gather, dads are more often than anyone to fall within this category – but let’s be honest, we’re all affected by it. So here are some of our ideas – get on ‘em and tell your mates.

Magazine subscriptions

If you know that they have at least one field of interest and they’re not the type to get into a full-on novel with hundreds of pages – this is a good option. It’s also becoming more likely to find great deals on 6 or 12 month subscriptions – so keep your eyes peeled for some killer deals out there!

Store or Company Gift Cards

So you know your Dad spends oodles of time under the bonnet of their car of or in their garage, but have no idea what they’re actually doing? Gift cards to Bunnings, Masters or Supercheap Auto ought to solve this. Know someone who loves music but probably already has all the albums you could get them? Credit through Ticketmaster or Ticketek could be just what they need. You get the idea.

Gifts for everyone!
Gifts for everyone!

Restaurant Gift Cards

If they’ve got a fondness for a specific restaurant or two – why not give them a night out at their favouite? Restaurant gift cards are the proverbial bees knees and you can buy them readily at good supermarkets and department stores. Find out more information here and bon appétit.

Food & drink

Similar to above but more of the ‘have it now’ variety. Good chocolates, champagne and wine are obvious choices. If you hang around long enough they may just share them with you as well. (We didn’t like saying that last part because when we read it again it sounded like a prime time TV ad selling frozen vegetables or something. But hey, we did it and it’s staying in now).

Personalised gifts

Right off the bat, we want to say that homes can certainly be overrun with personalised calendars, mugs, stationery, bumper stickers, jigsaw pieces… and so on. But having one or two of these really well thought out, emotive and personalised gifts can be a seriously great gift idea. Did this person go on a holiday and have a kickin’ time? Are they obsessed with their team sport that they play every week? ‘Yes’, you say? Then a photobook loaded with some fun & memorable times could be a definite winner – and most of the time you can find a great valued option on Catch or Scoopon. Our tip? Try to not dilute its effectiveness with anything less than excellent pics. If in doubt, leave them out!


How to check if you’ve done well

Beware of them repeating out loud the name of the product

“Oh, you got me a Singalong B-Side CD of Christmas carols with Darryn Lyons… how thoughtful”. You can see where we’re going with this. If they read out loud the name of the product it’s not good for you (thanks Jerry). They’re most likely trying to buy time and to get their head around the fact that you know very little about each other. Maybe you should have taken that camping trip together thirteen years ago after all?

Watch out for sweeping gift giving statements

If they start saying things such as “I don’t think we need to give gifts to each other anymore” it’s a giant red flag. It may not necessarily have all been your fault though. Maybe this year’s collection of the fake inflatable poo, a knitted something-a-rather and a cruddy iDevice (which has a unique ability to only work when you don’t need it to) that has put them in this changed state of mind. But the fact remains that you might not have helped.


Always keep the receipt

Capiche? This point is so important we even followed it directly with Mafia language.


Check that they don’t already own it or a very similar product

Although it’s nice (or not) to have a copy of Guy Sebastian’s album in the car, office, toilet, kennel, garage and houseboat – it may lead to people uncharacteristically murdering each other along with peak levels of global celibacy. So help yourself out by doing a bit of digging/prying first.


Well that’s it… Or is it?

Maybe there’s an absolutely, totally, fully sick, Corey Worthington-Inspired (that’s right, we went there) gift idea for that hard-to-buy-for person that we’ve totally missed? If so, chuck a comment our way!

Happy huntin’, stay safe.

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