How to Buy Gifts for Quirky People

We all have a friend or family member that we struggle to buy gifts for, no matter the occasion. Maybe it’s your teenage son or daughter who’ve grown into somebody you’re not used to, or an old aunt that nobody talks to except at Christmas. If you’re not sure how to buy gifts for quirky people in your family or friend group, these quick tips might give you some ideas.



Avoid stereotypes

Some people are ‘quirky’ because they want to stand out and be different, so falling into the trap of stereotypical gifts can end up being the exact opposite of what they really want. If you don’t know their feelings on a certain subject, hobby or time, don’t buy it for them.


For example, if you know that the recipient likes longer boots, it’s not hard to find a suitable pair from sites like Donaghys. However, the same person might not like trainers or slip-on shoes, even if they’re surrounded by similar people that wear them every day.


Think about what you associate them with

If there’s a defining personality trait or object you associate with a certain person, thinking about how this could translate into gift form – for example, if you know they’re obsessed with their dogs, personalized food bowls or doggie jackets might be the perfect present for them. On the other hand, if they spend a lot of time tinkering with their car or computer, choose a gift that helps them do so without insulting their skills: instead of getting a car lover a set of basic tools, buy something that they’re less likely to have, like a trolley jack or car creeper.


Ignore their bad qualities, focus on their good ones

You might have a family member that’s known for their negative qualities, but you shouldn’t make this the focus of their gift – they might feel insulted or misunderstood. For example, sending an overweight relative a box of exercise gear won’t go down well, especially if they’re already aware of their weight issues.


Instead, try to skirt around these issues altogether. Said overweight family member might also be an avid musician or painter in their spare time, and would probably love a gift that links to their main hobby. If you don’t know their hobbies, just ask: most people would love a chance to talk about their interests, and they might even accidentally drop hints towards a certain specific product or item they don’t own yet.


Think about what they’d want, not what you’d want

A lot of people buy gifts that they find interesting, rather than thinking about what the recipient will actually want. You might think a certain clothing design, pattern or color is gaudy or tacky, but the fact that it exists means that there’s people who want to wear it, probably including the giftee.


Don’t assume that something you’re impressed by will impress the other person, either. They’ve had different life experiences and hold different opinions towards certain things, so you may end up getting them present that completely fails to impress them.


Embrace their sense of style

Some people are seen as quirky thanks to their dress sense, but chances are they’re wearing those clothes because they like that style or pattern. A gift that matches what they normally wear can be an instant success: brands like Irregular Choice shoes produce all kinds of unique patterns that can fit into very specific outfits, so spend some time looking around for styles that perfectly match.


This can work for the way they decorate their home, too. Some people have very niche design preferences that only specific products will match, but it’s very likely that some of said products will turn up either online or in a local store.


Ask them

This is one of the easiest ways to make sure you’re getting them a good gift. Just ask. Very few people would be offended by you asking what they’d want, especially since it guarantees they’ll get a good gift. If you want to be more secretive, ask their family or friends for ideas. If they give a vague answer, they might not know what they want, but it’ll still give you a starting point to tracking down a present they’d like.