Technology

Online Holiday Shopping

Online gift shopping can feel impersonal and soulless. It’s also more convenient, and usually more wallet-friendly, than the offline alternatives. To get the best of both, avoid the big online retailers like Amazon and rely on smaller, quirkier outlets that are just like that little store you’ve been meaning to get to, but more affordable, and with a much wider range of giftable items.

Here are three online stores that are great for gift shopping.

Uncommon Goods

What is Uncommon Goods? This Brooklyn-based online marketplace sells handmade, recycled and upcycled gifts from across the globe, some of them exclusive to the site.
Why we like it Aside from the variety of cool gifts, the company is a B Corporation—a new form of corporation that meets standards for social and environmental responsibility and uses business for the greater good. Uncommon Goods donates a portion of each order to one of several nonprofits.
What you’ll find there All kinds of unexpected items for home and office— from a fourteenth-century beer stein to USB cufflinks—as well as toys and novelty items that could make perfect stocking stuffers. 

Three of our favorites:

The Holiday Scratopus was made by an Egyptian designer from organic Egyptian recycled cotton. Good for teething tots! $15 

Senior-Planet-Scraptopus

Love Letter Napkins are printed with the complete text of letters by four literary greats. $48

The Make Your Own Ukelele Kit is just that—a DIY project for older kids and even older adults who want to strum. $40

Senior-Planet-Make-a-Ukelele

Outgrow.me

What is Outgrow.me? To understand Outgrow Me, you first have to be familiar with sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo that facilitate crowdfunding for new projects. Basically, individuals pledge micro-donations to help get a project started; if enough dollars are pledged, the project is considered funded and the instigator is obliged to follow through. Outgrow.me is a site for projects that have been fully funded on Kickstarter or Indigogo and are now in production.
Why we love it Crowdfunding is an exciting new way for ideas to come to fruition, and it’s made possible entirely by the Internet—but until Outgrow.me came along, it was hard for projects to actually take off in the marketplace.
What you’ll find The site’s small range of products are all new inventions. Most are everyday-practical with a wow factor.

Three of our favorites:

The Chalktrail fixes chalk to a child’s bicycle (or an adult’s for that matter), turning the bike into mobile drawing tool. $19.95

Senior-Planet-Chalktrail

The Seize the Year Calendar invisions the year as an unbroken series of 52 weeks, replicating how most of us organize our time. Plus, it looks great. $29.95

The Trygger camera case adds a polarizing filter to the iPhone camera lens to enhance the light quality—and of course, it protects the phone, too. Great for iPhone photographers.

Senior-Planet-Trygger-iPhone-case

Etsy

What is Etsy? Imagine a gigantic craft fair with hundreds of thousands of sellers from across the country and all over the world. Overwhelming! Now imagine that craft fair occupying a digital space, where you can search by type of product (jewelry, clothing, tableware, iPad accessories, etc.) and subcategory (knitwear, T-shirts, earrings, tables), or by color, price, seller or location. That’s Etsy. It is the online hub for craftspeople who want to sell their work to individuals.
Why we love it Etsy started out in Dumbo, Brooklyn, as a way to help tiny businesses survive in a global economy.The site makes it easy for buyers to communicate with sellers by email and the system encourages friendly communication. Don’t be surprised if you get a little note in your package from the person who crafted the item you’re going to give.
What you’ll find Anything you can make by hand.

Three of our favorites:

Kids’ milk cow chair made from solid pine by a designer-dad. $50

Senior-Planet-Milk-Cow-Chair

Padded iPad Case made by Berties Closet, a group of family and friends. It can be customized for any model of iPad. $29.99

senior-planet-ipad-case

Shakespeare quote cup made from upcycled ceramics and painted with any one of several Shakesperean quotes. $10

Stay tuned for more gift-giving ideas as the holidays approach.

Do you have a favorite online store gifts? Please share it in the comments box below!

 

COMMENTS

One response to “Online Holiday Shopping

  1. The happiest two years of my life were while living in NYC in the 1990’s, at 30th and 3rd. That was before Starbucks, Dave Letterman, The View on tv, or Sr. Planet. I long to be back there. Congratulations to all of you who have been there consistently and may have been there on 9/11. I had less things: a house, car, but I had more entertainment and energy. E

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