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Entries in Gifts (12)

Saturday
Dec152012

Gift Guide: 5 Fun, Funky Gifts for the Pop Culture Lover in Your Life

Fab.com(NEW YORK) -- Sure, you could get your Spielberg-loving grandparent the Jaws DVD, or give the Gaga-phile in your life a box set. But why not gift them with something they probably wouldn’t find on their own?

Marilyn iPhone Case by Incase - Celebrate two icons in a snap. This iPhone 4 Snap Case features a stunning collage of Marilyn Monroe portraits by pop art pioneer Andy Warhol. Head to Fab.com for other Marilyn themed products, like Mac Book sleeves and a tote bag. ($39.95, Fab)

Movie Posters by Claudia Varosio - Artist Claudia Varosio’s commemorates films like Jaws, Anchorman, and E.T. in these original, whimsical prints. All posters are printed by a professional print service on premium archival lustre paper that’s both water- and fade-resistant. ($44, Fab)

Celebrity-Curated Beauty Products via Birchbox - For the holidays, Birchbox launched a celebrity-curated shop to benefit Art of Elysium, a non-profit that encourages actors to spend time with children battling medical conditions. The organization’s supporters hand picked beauty, grooming, and lifestyle products that you can buy. Get Jamie-Lynn Sigler’s favorite shine spray, “True Blood” star Kristin Bauer van Straten’s go-to face wash, or this gorgeous flatiron that Rumer Willis uses on her locks. (amika flatiron, $125, Birchbox)

Icons: Celeb Snaps From Famed Fashion Photogs - This book is a must for the coffee table of any fashion photography fan. Markus Klinko and Indrani have been snapping celebrities like Beyonce, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, David Bowie, and Naomi Campbell for nearly 20 years. Icons features 250 of their stunning photographs along with anecdotes from their shoots. ($16.50, Amazon)

Red Carpet Worthy Bling by BaubleBar - Maybe you can’t afford the gems celebrities rock on the red carpet (most of the time, they can’t either — those Fred Leighton stunners are usually borrowed). Get the next best thing at BaubleBar, where designers craft stunning pieces of jewelry that won’t burn a hole in your wallet. This Gold Swing Necklace comes with a set of matching bangles, and at the price BaubleBar’s selling it for, you can pick up another gift set (or two) for yourself.  ($84, BaubleBar)

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec042012

Holiday Gifts: Building Sets for Girls Take Off

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- One of the hot holiday trends for toys this year is construction sets for girls.

Lego Friends, for example, is a line of pastel construction toys and it’s been a hit so far.

“We were very skeptical to begin with,” says Stephanie Oppenheim of the ratings and testing site, toyportfolio.com.  Most building sets for girls involve shopping malls or beauty shops, but this line is different, she says.

“What it did was wonderful: it had girls interested in building,” Oppenheim says. 

Meanwhile, for the first time in its history, Mattel has introduced a Barbie line of construction sets.

“That underscores a huge shift in the marketplace,” declares Tuesday’s New York Times.  “Fathers are doing more of the family shopping just as girls are being encouraged more than ever by hyper vigilant parents to play with toys (as boys already do) that develop math and science skills early on.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov212012

Forget the Kiddie Tablets, Kids Want iPads for Christmas

Tooga/The Image Bank(NEW YORK) -- They don’t want a Leapfrog LeapPad 2, Nabi 7 or any other of the new tablets for kids. Nope, the kids want iPads.

According to a Nielsen survey, kids are asking for Apple devices more than any other tech item this holiday season. “American kids aged 6-12 are generally more interested in the latest iOS offerings than other consumer electronics and gaming devices,” Nielsen reported on its site.

Forty-eight percent of the children surveyed want the regular iPad and 36 percent want the iPad Mini. And when they don’t want the iPad many of them are asking or the iPod Touch or iPhone. Beyond the iDevices, kids between the ages of six and 12 are asking for the new Nintendo Wii U, a new computer, Kinect for XBox 360, and other types of tablets.

And the itch for the iPad doesn’t vary much by age. Twenty-one percent of consumers 13 and older also are itching to get the iPad this holiday season, though 18 percent said they would like a tablet other than the iPad.

The demand of the iPad is also predicted to push along another popular gift this year — apps. According to a survey conducted by PBS KIDS, 58 percent of parents plan to purchase “downloadable gifts,” including apps, games, e-books, etc. for their kids. Parents plan to either preload apps and games onto the devices they give their kids or buy gift cards to the Apple App Store or the Google Play store.

And it’s that simple: it’s those apps and games that are pushing iPads to the top of those lists.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep272012

Facebook Gifts: Give Your Friend a Real Teddy Bear or Cupcake

Facebook(MENLO PARK, Calif.) -- Forget virtual goods, Facebook wants you to start buying real goods or gifts on its social network. On Thursday the company launched Facebook Gifts, a service that lets you send real gifts to your Facebook friends. Similar to Treater, which ABC News covered last month, Facebook has teamed up with such retailers as Starbucks, 1-800-Flowers, Gund and Magnolia Bakery to make it easy to buy and send gifts to your friends through the site.

“Today people use Facebook to talk about and share sentiments about important life moments -- a birthday, a baby, an anniversary. And we think this is a great extension of how people can celebrate those moments on Facebook,” Lee Linden, the product manager of Facebook Gifts, told ABC News. “We built an end-to-end gifting service; you never have to leave Facebook to send a gift.”

The gift feature will now appear underneath a friend’s birthday on the site. Click the “Give a gift” link and it will prompt you to pick a gift and then pay. You can send the gift privately or publicly. It will post it to your friend’s Timeline. Once it’s been sent your friend will receive a message and they can input their physical address if it is a physical item that has to be sent via postal mail. Gift cards, like the ones offered by Starbucks, can be sent digitally. Facebook has teamed up with over 100 retailers and will be adding more in the weeks to come.

The service will also add to Facebook’s revenue stream and turn the company into an e-commerce site of sorts. “We partner with companies, curate the companies’ gifts, and we put their product in front of people on Facebook.  As part of that we take a percentage of each transaction,” Linden said.

Facebook went public in May and has since been criticized by analysts for its poor performance. It offered the stock at $38 on May 18, but the stock quickly fell about 50 percent. On Monday it dropped another nine percent, and closed Thursday at $20.32.

On Sept. 11 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted the performance of the stock had been disappointing and promised sweeping changes to the company’s mobile app, which does not show advertising effectively enough for many sponsors. The Gifts service launches with mobile integration. “Today you can send a gift from Android and Desktop. You will be able to send a gift from iOS in a few weeks,” Linden said.

Facebook Gifts will begin rolling out Thursday in the U.S.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan252012

Tiffany & Co. ‘Drops a Hint’ to Men Everywhere

Chris Weeks/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Sometimes even the most romantic of men need a hint when it comes to buying the perfect gift for their lady love.

And sometimes even the most low-maintenance of women are tempted to give the man in their life that little nudge to ensure they don’t suffer the pity of unwrapping a blender, lawn mower or new dish towel on Valentine’s Day.

Now, Tiffany & Co. has made it easier for everyone.

Introducing the “Drop a Hint” button now appearing on the famed jeweler’s website, just in time for Feb. 14.

See a beautiful pair of sapphire earrings you know you’ll look fabulous in?  Spot an emerald-cut diamond ring you know you can’t live without?

Just slide your mouse to the right of the screen, click the “Drop a Hint” button -- conveniently marked by a red heart -- and, voila, the link to your item of desire is marked.

A right click on the heart allows you to either bookmark the link to your screen, and not be angry when your husband or boyfriend snoops on your computer, copy the link so that you can easily, and oh-so-subtly, drop it in an email to your gift giver of choice.

A left click of your mouse simplifies the hint dropping even more.  Up pops a screen that asks you to enter your “True Love’s” name and email, along with your own, so that Tiffany’s can send this personalized postcard:

“Dear _____: As you may know, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, but do not fret. A little bird told us that this will be a smashing success with ____.

Of course, if you have other ideas for Valentine’s Day, this is just a hint.”


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec262011

Holiday Gift Return Policies at Nation’s Biggest Retailers

Rayes/Photodisc(NEW YORK) -- Christmas has come and gone, but holiday shopping has not. The National Retail Federation estimates that holiday gift returns will total a record $46.3 billion this year, up 4 percent from last year and 10 percent from two years ago.

Read and click below to see the return and price-matching policies of the nation’s biggest retailers to save time, money and headaches when returning your holiday gifts.

Return Policies:


Price-Matching Policies:

Wal-Mart’s temporary, holiday price-matching policy will give customers a store gift card for the difference of any eligible product purchased from Nov. 1 to Dec. 25 that is found at another store for a lower price.

Staples:  “If you find a lower price anywhere else on a new identical item, just show us the lower price when you buy the item at Staples and we will match the price, or within 14 days of your Staples purchase and we will give you the difference,” according to the website.

Target:  Customers have within seven days of purchase to make a claim. Target.com, the online entity of the company, is excluded from price matching.

“If you find an item in a competitor’s printed ad that is priced lower than it is at your Target store, we will match the price. The competitor’s ad must be local and current, and the product must be the identical item, brand name, quantity and model number,” according to the company’s website.

Sears:  “If you find a lower price on an identical branded item with the same features (in Consumer Electronics identical brand and model number) currently available for sale at another local competitor retail store, Sears will match that price plus, give you 10% of the difference. Just bring in the original advertisement to a sales associate at the time of, or within 14 days after, your purchase,” according to Sears.com.

Best Buy:  “Best Buy will match the price if you find a lower price on an identical available product at a local retail competitor’s store, a local Best Buy retail store or BestBuy.com. Simply let us know when you are making your purchase or during the return and exchange period. Perfect Match Promise products have an extended 60-day price match period,” according to the company’s website.

Amazon:  “With the exception of TVs, Amazon.com doesn’t price-match with other retailers (including those who sell their items on our website). We do, however, consistently work toward maintaining competitive prices on everything we carry,” according to Amazon.com.

Home Depot:  “If you find a current lower price on an identical, in-stock item from any local retailer, we will match the price and beat it by 10%. Excludes special orders, bid pricing, volume discounts, open-box merchandise, labor and installation, sales tax, rebate and free offers, typographical errors and online purchases,” according to the company’s website.

Lowe’s:  If you find a lower everyday price on an identical item at a local retail competitor, just bring us the competitor’s current ad and we’ll beat their price by 10%. If a competitor is offering a percent off discount, we’ll reduce our current price by the same percentage discount that the competitor is offering,” according to the Lowe’s Website.

**Make sure to check the company’s website to read the fine print and review other requirements for price matching. Price matching varies for in-store purchases and online purchases.


Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec232011

Shopping for Tech Lovers? Tips to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

PRNewsFoto/Microsoft Corp.(NEW YORK) -- Christmas is just days away. If you’re still shopping and you’ve got tech lovers on your list, you may be feeling overwhelmed about some of your purchases. If you are thinking about buying a tablet like the iPad, some of those fancy headphones like Beats by Dr. Dre, or a gaming system like the Xbox, ABC News technology contributor Becky Worley offers this advice to avoid buyer’s remorse:

You may want to wait before you buy, especially when you consider that a new version of the hot “it” products could be released just after the holidays.

Tablets: 
Apple is expected to sell 13 million iPad 2s this season.  Are they fun?  Yes. Are they a great gift? Yes. Are they about to be replaced with the iPad 3? Yes.

The iPad 3 is expected to be thinner and lighter, and have an eye-popping, high-resolution screen. Better camera, and maybe, just maybe, come in a bunch of different colors. It’s expected to be released sometime in spring 2012.

So what about the year’s other hot tablet, the Kindle Fire? It enjoyed a blazing debut, but user complaints have poured cold water on the tablet’s sales. They say the screen’s too small and that the controls and touch screen aren’t as responsive as they need to be. Even worse, there are rumors that there will be two new models coming out this spring.

Gaming Systems:  No groundbreaking new products were introduced this year, so the hottest item on the market is still the Kinect for Xbox 360.  There are no major changes expected in this console, so you should feel totally confident buying an Xbox or the Kinect add-on.

But you should know that the Nintendo Wii is getting a big upgrade in 2012. It will have a tablet-based touch screen controller and a whole new style of game play.

Headphones:  What’s all this noise about headphones for $200 or $300?

Teens have become connoisseurs of headphones the way previous generations fawned over muscle cars and The Beatles. So now Beats by Dr. Dre cost $300 and your kid wants them. What do you do? Don’t sweat it. There are cheaper alternatives out there.

Skullcandy has lots of fashionable choices for under $30, including Rasta-flavored uprock models. Sennheiser and Koss are other options. Both have models for under $25.

Don’t be confused, though. If your teen wants a specific set of headphones and he or she’s already articulated exactly which pair, you’ve either got to pony up the money or manage expectations. Headphones are the new designer jeans.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec222011

One Quarter of Americans Have Yet to Start Holiday Gift Shopping

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(YONKERS, N.Y.) -- The percentage of last minute shoppers is on the rise compared to last year, according to a new Consumer Reports survey.

As of Dec. 19, 25 percent of adults had not yet begun to shop -- that’s up from 17 percent for the same time period in 2010.

The number one reason cited for not getting started was a lack of money, followed by the belief that they still have plenty of time.  Approximately one-third of respondents are simply procrastinators.  One in four of those who are not finished holiday shopping will be hitting the stores on Christmas Eve.

Although a majority of respondents said they always finish their holiday shopping on time, four in 10 do not, forcing them to explain the lack of a gift to persons on their list.  Some of the common steps they’ve done or said include:

-- Promised a future gift or gave an “IOU” - 41 percent.
-- Did nothing - 31 percent.
-- Gave a homemade gift certificate, such as a night of babysitting - 17 percent.
-- Lied and said something like, “It’s in the mail” or “I forgot it at home” - 17 percent.
-- Gave the person a re-gifted item - 12 percent.
-- Avoided the person to save on their gift - 12 percent.

The Consumer Reports survey involved 1,011 U.S. adults.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec152011

Luxury Goods Show Strong Sales

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Retail sales overall haven't been too hot this holiday season, but one sector is on fire: luxury. At Tiffany, Burberry, and Neiman Marcus, cash registers are ringing. From Houston to Boston, sales of life's necessities may be flat, but minks are flying out the door.

"When we look at luxury sales on a national level," says Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, a retail consulting and investment banking firm in New York City, "we see they're doing just fantastic. Saks and Neiman's, they're terrific. Coach is fine, Nordstrom is fine. Bulgari and Tiffany, tremendous."

Retailers catering to the middle class are hurting, however. "Best Buy is off, Sears is off. Target? Not so good. But if you're selling luxury, you're golden," he said.

Davidowitz views the contrast as proof that, "our society continues to be bifurcated," with the rich doing fine and everybody else hurting. "The top 10 percent represent 35 percent of spending. A lot of that is driven by the capital markets, which have been very strong lately. The rich have a disproportionate percentage of their assets invested there. People are making a lot of money on their investments."

Tax firm Deloitte, in its annual holiday survey of U.S. households, finds that those with an income level over $100,000 feel more upbeat about the economy's prospects than do those below. They intend to spend 3 percent more this holiday than they did last year, in contrast to lower-income households, who said they expected to spend 12 percent less.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec132011

6 Tips for Holiday Gift Card Giving

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Americans are expected to spend $27.8 billion on gift cards this holiday season. And whether you give or receive them, there are things you should know to get the most out of your gift card.

Gerri Willis from Fox Business Network appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America to answer questions and share tips about gift cards.

  • Watch out for fees. There are two types of gift card fees: shipping charges and service charges. Thirty percent of retailer gift cards can charge for shipping, so before you order a gift card, check to see if you’ll be charged for that. Service charges can include inactivity fees, purchase fees or monthly fees. Check on the gift card’s packaging or the company’s website for the fine print about fees. Starting in January, fees must be clearly disclosed on the card or its packaging.
  • Trade in cards you aren’t using for ones you will. Twenty-five percent of consumers have cards left over from last year’s holiday season. To unlock their value, trade in an old card at cardpool.com or plasticjungle.com or cardavenue.com. You can buy, sell or trade cards there, though you may not get the full value.
  • Get the rewards. Some vendors will give you more points for buying gift cards than redeeming points for cash. For example, Citibank's rewards program required 8,000 thank you points to get $50 cash back, but you only need 5,000 thank you points for a $50 gift card.
  • Go e-card. If what you really want is ease of purchase, think about buying your card online. Fifty-one percent of gift cards can be bought electronically. Plus, if you leave the card at home, you can still access the benefits through email.
  • Get the right card to the right person. If your family members purchase many gift cards, you might think about coming up with a gift card wish list. That way, you won’t be sighing over the Talbot’s card in your wallet and wishing it was from Anthropologie.
  • Be frugal. A Consumer Reports study shows that two-thirds of people using a gift card end up spending more than the face value of the card. Who doesn’t, right?  But in a recession or economic pullback, it makes sense to hold the line. It’s a gift after all, not an excuse for binging.


Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio