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Subject: What's a reasonable amount to spend on a gift for a friend? rss

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Seth Brown
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Imagine you were, for some reason, not buying a board game, but getting some other gift (maybe a book, or some other non-food good) for a friend for the winter holidays or a birthday or some such. What would you consider a reasonable amount to spend? Please check all that apply.

Poll
What do you consider an appropriate amount to spend on a birthday/holiday gift for a friend?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Less than $10
12.2% 6
$10-15
18.4% 9
$15-20
36.7% 18
$20-25
49.0% 24
$25-30
24.5% 12
$30-40
8.2% 4
$40-50
10.2% 5
More than $50
14.3% 7
Voters 49
This poll is now closed.   49 answers
Poll created by Osirus
Closes: Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:00 am


I'm posting this here, because I realize asking my local friends might be sort of tacky.
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Steven Heinrich
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It also makes a difference just how good a friend they really are.
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heinrichsteven wrote:
It also makes a difference just how good a friend they really are.


and what your finances are like - $15 may be a lot for someone, and $50 may be nothing to someone else - and where you live, the Midwest or Manhattan.
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SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
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indigopotter wrote:
heinrichsteven wrote:
It also makes a difference just how good a friend they really are.


and what your finances are like - $15 may be a lot for someone, and $50 may be nothing to someone else - and where you live, the Midwest or Manhattan.


and whether or not buying an expensive gift increases your chance of having sex with them.
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For me, it depends.
A casual aquaintence may get a $5 gift card to Dunkin' Donuts.

That guy who helped me bury that hooker I accidently strangled was driving a new Mercedes last Christmas.
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Michael Barlow
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upwards of $25, and never a gift card. Nothing says, "I don't know you well enough to know what you like," than a gift card. In fact, if you don't know someone well enough to know what they'd like and appreciate, you shouldn't be buying them gifts.
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Mystery McMysteryface
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Reprint wrote:
upwards of $25, and never a gift card. Nothing says, "I don't know you well enough to know what you like," than a gift card. In fact, if you don't know someone well enough to know what they'd like and appreciate, you shouldn't be buying them gifts.


I LOVE gift cards!!! I never get offended if I get one!!!!
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Jim Rice
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Depends. If I don't know them then I go by price, 20-30$ being the average. If I know them then I don't tend to regard price too much. I'm not saying price is no object, I'm just saying that cheap or expensive, I tend to go on the thought of "this is something they will really like.." rather than "I can only spend X$ on a gift"
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EgorjLileli wrote:
Reprint wrote:
upwards of $25, and never a gift card. Nothing says, "I don't know you well enough to know what you like," than a gift card. In fact, if you don't know someone well enough to know what they'd like and appreciate, you shouldn't be buying them gifts.


I LOVE gift cards!!! I never get offended if I get one!!!!


Agreed! From anyone but Sam, I would rather have a gift card than a "gift" item that collects dust, or some bath basket or something.
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Seth Brown
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Everyone's comments make sense (especially the one about burying corpses). I totally realize that amounts vary based on your personal finances and how good a friend you are buying for, but I'm just trying to get a general read on how much people are willing to spend on gifts. Especially if one is considering buying a book for a friend.

Thanks to everyone for their feedback!
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the one and only
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To be honest, I mostly go in with just giving money. The last occasions were with the definite request to give money for a new camera or whatever.
Friends I know very well get some obscure books, which I think they would like and I also would like. I certainly wouldn't give away something I wouldn't like myself. Most of the time I was right with that decision.
As most of my friends are hunters and gatherers it's very hard to find an items they don't already have. So DVDs are a strict NO, as are comics or CDs. A bottle of single malt Scotch Whiskey at about 25 - 30 € is mostly welcomed.
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Jorge Montero
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I think you'd be better off by asking for percentage of daily income: It's still applicable to whatever you were looking for, and fixes the problem of not really knowing if the people that answered the poll are average, wealthy, or piss poor because they spend everything they have on cardboard.

A not very close friend, but still in the friend category, would get a gift between a quarter and a half a day of my salary.

Closer friends have received gifts worth a day or two, if the gift seemed very well suited.

I also look at what they'd consider an acceptable gift. Giving someone a gift that is so expensive that they'd have a lot of trouble matching themselves if they wished is not good form unless you are close enough to consider each other family, so that they understand you are not trying to flaunt your wealth.

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Larry Welborn
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It really depends on your income level.

For me a close friend gets more than $50

A casual friend would get something in the 20-30 dollar range.
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Mystery McMysteryface
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Larry Welborn wrote:
It really depends on your income level.

For me a close friend gets more than $50

A casual friend would get something in the 20-30 dollar range.


Gee Larry, are you in the market for a new casual friend?
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Everett Warren
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Larry Welborn wrote:
It really depends on your income level.

For me a close friend gets more than $50

A casual friend would get something in the 20-30 dollar range.


Larry, ol buddy ol pal, remember back when we were kids? Best friends, I'd say.

Of course, just overlook the fact that we've never met...
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I love a gift card from someone, especially if it's from someone that knows I like games, yarn, etc, but they don't know anything about games/yarn etc.
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Personally, I do $20-30 for close friends. But if I find the PERFECT gift that costs less or more, I'd definitely consider it
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SubtlyArtistic wrote:
Personally, I do $20-30 for close friends. But if I find the PERFECT gift that costs less or more, I'd definitely consider it


I like to keep my eyes open, and find a $40 gift on sale for $10.
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Wow, I can't believe some of the responses here.
Percentage of daily income? Income levels?
wtf... shake

This issue is very simple. A good friend's friendship obviously is not dependent on gift-giving. Throughout the year, friends will spend time and money together, usually without a second thought, so what's the big deal about holidays and birthdays?
For a good friend, a holiday gift should only be a token, nothing expensive and below $10. It's essentially a meaningless gift, money wise, because the friendship is not influenced by it (which is what that says anyway).

As for other friends, like teenagers perhaps who expect to get gifts, I think gift cards are great. It says that you thought about the person, but you want them to be able to choose their own gift. Nothing wrong with that and, as others have pointed out, it's better than buying something unwanted.

Needless to say, I don't participate in Secret Santa
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Bela's dead and Vampira won't talk
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I frankly find the question a little weird, unless there's some sort of established paradigm that keeps people from being guilty ("We won't get each other Christmas presents that cost over $50, or else I'll feel guilty for underspending.")

On consecutive years I've bought a good friend a ~$150 gift and an $8 gift. I'm fairly sure she appreciated the $8 gift more.

Gifts, in my opinion, and especially between close friends, should be meaningful things the recipient will enjoy or appreciate, not monetary obligations with dollar amounts attached.
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Kate Callen
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zorazen wrote:
I love a gift card from someone, especially if it's from someone that knows I like games, yarn, etc, but they don't know anything about games/yarn etc.


Exactly. A gift card to a yarn shop/game shop/specialist shop for their hobby is not in the same category as a generic gift card for the local superstore. There is a place for the latter as well, but the former definitely shows more thought (and probably effort).
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Richard Pakpreo
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I say whatever you feel like. I generally buy things that I think would the person would like and I feel is appropriate. This generally falls into small, gag, gifts. I like to make people laugh or give cooking things. It's generally what I do.
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