If you want to come up with some gifts that are out of the ordinary and fun this year, check out these websites for cool stuff, unique items, funny products, and interesting ideas.
Etsy is a website where artists personally sell their homemade goods. You can find all kinds of things on there, like jewelry, clothing, photography prints–and all kinds of other things that I can’t really list without getting too specific and verbose. The point is, it’s vast, it’s cool, you should check it out. A lot of stuff on there is the only one in existence or one of five or whatever, so it makes it a bit more special (I think) then buying a pair of earrings that there are tons of exact copies of floating around. Also, if you have a friend/daughter/whoever who’s stuck in the past, Etsy also has a great vintage section for all kinds of cute and cool vintage items. www.etsy.com
Zazzle is a website where you can customize all kinds of things–t-shirts, bags, mugs, stamps, shoes, stickers, hats, ties, aprons, office supplies, etc. It’s easy to do, and they do the actual work (which is great for people who aren’t great at crafty kinds of things like silkscreening), so you can trust that it’ll turn out as expected. Pretty cool website, really. You have a lot of freedom when it comes to the designing aspect–you can upload pictures (photographs, hand-drawn, whatever), add text, choose a font, choose the colors of the text and of the item, etc. It’s actually really fun to do, and I think a lot of people really appreciate things that are custom-made (I mean, how can you not?). Put an inside joke on some stickers, or a picture of something they love on a mug, or write a funny or inspirational quote on a t-shirt or poster. The possibilities are quite open. www.zazzle.com/
Shutterfly is similar to Zazzle in that you can custom-make stuff, but their focus is on your photographs and what they can be made into. They have options like calendars, stationery, and posters, but I think the coolest thing you can do is make a book with your photos. They offer a lot of choices for the books–you can control the layout of the photos, add and customize text, choose from a variety of styles and sizes, design the cover, and choose between hard or softcover. A book of personal photos can make a really good gift for someone who loves photo albums, or even just someone with nostalgic tendencies. As an added bonus, when you first sign up you get 50 free prints, so it can also be a cheap way to get pictures for a photo album or to fill a cool picture frame. www.shutterfly.com/
A really cool website, their tagline is “Stuff for Smart Masses.” They have all kinds of fun toys and gadgets for the inner geek in anybody. They also have shirts, books, edibles & caffeine, and a kid’s section. They also have a cool feature where you can “shop by interest”–they’ll give you recommendations for a specific price range, a specific type of person (ex. student, mom, techie, Japan fan, etc.) and specific interests (ex. Star Wars, iPhone, Zombies, iPod, etc.). All in all, they’ve got some pretty cool stuff that you won’t find everywhere. And you don’t have to be a geek to appreciate what this website has to offer, so check it out! www.thinkgeek.com/
5.) eBay’s weird stuff:
eBay has a category simply called “Weird Stuff” and it’s definitely weird. Among the things I found there just casually browsing are: a real raw potato shaped like a heart (naturally, not forced that way), a straight jacket, spy glasses, the “Only Officially Sanctioned Space Station Blueprint 1956,” a palm-sized Megalodon’s tooth, a hand-held UV black light flashlight, among many other things. So if you have a weird friend, an eccentric relative, or someone on your list who’s difficult to shop for, you know where you can go. Just be warned that if you’re easily offended you should avoid this particular section of the website, as it contains a lot of objects that are not to be enjoyed in polite company. http://everythingelse.shop.ebay.com/Weird-Stuff-/1466/i.html