Easier Way to Shop for Gifts?

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What: An easier way to shop for gifts? Angela checks out the claims at

The Lowdown: Okay here’s the concept — shopping on the go, in the digital age. Simple right? But can’t we already do that? Hmmm.

Here’s the deal — features a slew of merchants (well, okay, it’s somewhere around 120), including restaurants, retailers, online stores, etc. The gifter (you) can purchase giftcards from said merchants (in amounts from $10-$100) and have the gift e-mailed directly to the giftee. Cards can be redeemed online or in store, and the recipient can actually change out the retailer if they’d prefer something else. So, quick and easy? Check.

And the merchants? Much to my (very pleasant surprise), they’re stores us Budget Fashionistas actually shop — consider this list: H&M, Macy’s, Banana Republic, Marshall’s, Old Navy, TJ Maxx, Express, and the list goes on. And then there are the restaurants: Cheesecake Factory, Starbuck’s, Maggiano’s, Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Outback Steakhouse (okay, maybe these aren’t the most fashionable New York eateries, but for those of us in middle America — jackpot). Also, you’ll find AMC Theaters (who doesn’t love the movies??),, CVS, Pottery Barn, Sephora, Cabella’s … you get the point. Something for everyone? Check.

So we’ve got quick and easy, and something for everyone. Downside? Doesn’t really seem to be one, but that being said, one thing shouts from the rooftops is that it’s available for your shopping convenience on all your social media and search sites — Facebook, MySpace, iGoogle, Bebo … but quite frankly, that’s not that big of a draw. We like that they are mobile sites coming soon, and Facebook could be handy (when you get those little birthday reminders, nice to shop immediately before you forget again that it’s your cousin’s birthday tomorrow), but other than that, it’s really not so hard to go directly to the website.

And also there’s always the possibility that your giftee will know (or assume) the gift was a last-minute, “I almost forgot” kind of present … but that being said, if a Starbuck’s gift card from my best friend showed up in my email, I sooo would not complain.

The Verdict: It’s a Yea — but one quick note. I hardly ever read the “terms” (I know, shame on me) but I did here — and they are scary long, complicated, and, well, almost worthy of having your lawyer review (because otherwise you’ll likely never know what they actually say). We’d suggest that if you’re concerned about privacy issues and internet commerce to begin with, you definitely look them over. And let us know if you can figure out exactly what they mean.

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