Gift giving has really gotten a whole lot easier thanks to social media and online shopping. I am continually amazed at how I can just go online and find something that I want to get for someone with such ease. Not only that, but I can get it to them with decently fast shipping for not a whole lot of money.
But, if you are anything like me, you tend to wait till the last minute, and then you are scrambling to get something for someone. In that case, you’ll have go to the store and probably pay more than you would have if you’d planned ahead online.
What has been interesting as of late is how social media has played into the purchasing of products. Kickstarter launched — for many of us — the idea of many people contributing to something in order for a product to get funded. The app I have been using the past few days, called Aggregift, takes this model and applies it to gift giving. It is actually a pretty cool idea and one that I think could possibly take off. I know for me, it is a lot more meaningful if a lot of people chipped in and got me one gift that I know I can use, versus getting a handful of gifts that just sit around and collect dust. So let’s see how it works in real life.
Sending a Gift
When you first sign up for Aggregift, you have to decide who you are going to get a gift for. Since you have to connect your Facebook account in order to use the app, it is able to give you suggestions based off of your friends from the social network. You can also start a gift for any other friends you have on Facebook. Unfortunately, at this point, you can only give something to a Facebook friend. I wasn’t the most pleased to see this, although I can see why they decided to do this. I do hope that in the future this can get fixed and you can just manually add a friend instead of having to connect to Facebook.
Once you figure out someone that you are going to send a gift to, you then need to choose something that you want to send to them. Aggregift is connected to Amazon, so you have to find your gift there. Again, I am not too fond of only being locked into Amazon, but I can live with this because they do have a wide selection of things to purchase. When you find the item that you want, you can paste in the URL from Amazon and Aggregift is able to recognize what it is.
After you have found the perfect gift for that special someone, you now need to decide how much you want to contribute to the price of it. You can pay for your portion with a credit card or through PayPal. When you are done, you can now share the gift with others on Facebook, Twitter, or email.
Getting Others To Help
The whole goal of Aggregift is that you and your friends would help you contribute toward a gift for someone. So when you share it on your social networks, others can choose to contribute as well. There is a dedicated page on the site that says how much has been contributed, who has contributed, and how much time is left to help out. You can also write a message to the recipient on the page where they will have access to it as well. The one nice thing is that they won’t know how much each person has contributed, they will just know who has helped out.
Once a gift is created, there are 72 hours to be able contribute toward the price of it. When this time is over, whatever funds that were collected gets put into an Amazon gift card that gets electronically sent to the recipient and they can use it toward the purchase of the price of the item that was gifted to them.
The Good and The Bad
I have to say, I really like the concept and the design of Aggregift. They do a really good job of making it very intuitive to start a gift for someone and to be able to get others to help. I think it is a great idea to do something like this because I personally think people would love to contribute toward a gift versus having to buy one. There are many times where I have no idea what to get for someone, but in a case like this I don’t have to worry about that. I know that the gift that was chosen is something they are going to like and that I can help pitch in for it.
Now the bad, and it almost stopped me from using the app altogether, to be perfectly honest. They need to figure something out about being locked into just Facebook. I get why they do it, the integration is nice, and I still think they should have it as an option. But, they absolutely need to find a way to let others use the app and make an account manually. Just because someone doesn’t use Facebook, doesn’t mean they won’t use Aggregift. Although I am a Facebook user, it just doesn’t make sense to me when developers lock people into a box by having them use a social media account to log in and use the app.
Now that I got that off my chest, when I take a step back, Aggregift is, in my opinion, a genius idea. We have seen how well crowd funding has done with the likes of Kickstarter and similar sites. So it almost makes sense that something like this would work and would actually take off. Open up the app to all and look into partnering with other companies than just Amazon, and I think you will have a very solid app.
I know for me, I would much rather prefer this type of gift giving for friends, than shooting in the dark and guessing what they would like as a gift. I also know that as a recipient I think it would be pretty cool that ten of my friends all pitched in to get me a sweet gift. What do you guys think? Does this type of gift giving appeal to you?
Get a gift for a friend by letting others contribute to the price of it by using Aggregift.8
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