(MENAFN Press) (EMAILWIRE.COM, November 26, 2012 ) New York, NY --
Selecting a good gift can be difficult, as we often end up choosing gifts that do not reflect a person's personal taste.
"There were sets after sets of glass bowls and photo frames which we are never going to use. We appreciate the gesture, but I feel bad that all that effort has gone waste because they don't suit our taste and there is just too much of the same stuff," Shruti Agarwal, a public relations manager who recently got married, told IANS.
Shagun Mitra, after learning from her own experiences of getting presents that eventually ended up in the back of closets and storage rooms, a freelance writer, says that she now presents gift coupons to her friends and relatives on birthdays, anniversaries, festivals and other special occasions.
Mitra explained, "Unless you know someone well and know what they want, or what their choice is, it is very difficult to choose the right gift for them. You may have the best interest in mind and put in a lot of effort and money, but there is every chance that the sari you picked, or the set of glasses you bought, does not suit their taste, or they already have something similar.
Larger retail companies frequently offer gift vouchers of various denominations, ranging from Rs.500 to Rs.10,000.
For example, an employee of Shoppers Stop said, "The vouchers can be used for a fixed period, generally for a year from the day of purchase. If a gift voucher is of a particular denomination and the item you choose is more expensive, then you can pay that extra cash. It can also be partially redeemed.
Online shopping is also popular, so much so that the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) stated that by 2015, the online retail industry is likely to touch Rs.7,000 crore (Rs 70 million). Currently, it make about Rs.2,000 crore (Rs 20 million) and is growing at a fast rate of 35 percent annually. Rajashree Deka of Guwahati in Assam said, "Online shopping and gift vouchers have revolutionised shopping, especially in smaller towns where all brand outlets are not there. I mostly shop on Ebay and Flipkart.
However, some people argue that vouchers lack the personal touch of a hand-picked gift. But people like Ranjana Sarkar, a Delhi-based researcher, disagrees. For her wedding gift, her friends have pooled in to buy a hefty gift voucher of Rs.10,000 from a lifestyle store. Sarkar happily stated, "I am going to relocate to Mumbai after marriage and my husband and I will set up the house from scratch. This (voucher) is therefore a very thoughtful gift because we can use it to buy as per our needs, and remember them whenever we use the things.