Birthday Registry Etiquette
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Is a Birthday Registry Tacky?

Gift registries have so many benefits but a question that comes up often is how to share a registry without it feeling tacky or inappropriate. If you do choose to use a gift registry for a birthday or other important life event how can you do so appropriately without looking selfish or greedy?

Here are the most frequently asked questions on gift registry etiquette.

Q: Should you list your gift registry on an invitation?

If someone asks you directly what you or your child needs you could mention you keep a wishlist year-round. I’ve found it to be less offputting when you have the chance to explain the many benefits of using a registry.

Benefits to using a gift registry:

  • Reduced gift anxiety – I don’t know about you, but opening gifts (even gifts for my daughter) brings me anxiety. I feel the pressure to make the gift giver feel appreciated, even if the gift isn’t something we needed. Sometimes my face can tell-all, whether I want it to or not. And I certainly don’t want to make the gift giver feel like I didn’t love their gift. Using a registry is a way for both the giver and receiver to give and get gifts they love.
  • No duplicate gifts. No gift giver wants to be responsible for adding another to-do list item to someone’s busy schedule. Returning gifts is a hassle and a registry can help alleviate it.
  • Sharing clothing sizes and what not to get (allergies and other sensitivities). Giftster offers a gift preference profile that helps gift givers succeed at choosing a gift that the recipient will love but will also fit and not cause them any harm.
  • Less gift waste – It’s a $14 billion problem believe it or not!

Q: Is it ok to still give a gift not listed on the registry?

Of course! The spirit of giving is not meant to be stifled by a registry. A wish list can simply act as a guide to provide the gift giver with a few ideas.

Q: How do I make a respectful birthday gift registry?

  1. Add a variety of items at various price points.
    Not everyone can afford an expensive gift. And no one wants to be embarrassed because their gift wasn’t as expensive as someone else’s. Birthday parties shouldn’t cause anyone financial strain or embarrassment.
  2. Include some ideas that don’t cost anything.
    Some heartfelt ideas include baked goods, jams, salsa or other made-from-scratch foods, handmade crafts, child care or pet care, household chore coupons, recipe cards with their favorites, or even some tech help.
  3. Include items from both online and local stores. Some people enjoy shopping in-person or locally when possible. Others might prefer to buy online. 

Q: Is there a way to make gift-giving even easier and more fun?

Giftster takes the traditional gift registry one step further, making the whole process of gift-giving entirely different (and in my opinion a lot more fun!). My favorite part of Giftster is groups. I have a group for friends and two family groups, one for each side.

You can see each other’s lists year-round. To avoid duplicates, you can mark gifts you plan to buy reserved or purchased once you’ve bought them. It’s a way to maintain the surprise of giving a gift and leaves the awkwardness of asking for specific gifts in the past. You can choose which lists your groups see and create lists for your kids and pets all under your own account. And the best part, it’s free!

Giving and receiving gifts can be done without feeling selfish or embarrassed that you didn’t get the right thing.

Happy gifting!