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Virtual and Online Gifts Ideas

If a loved one’s birthday or your anniversary is fast approaching this article will present you with some suggestions of virtual gift ideas!



Online Gift Cards and Vouchers

Gift cards and vouchers are an excellent solution to avoid making any mistakes and offering an unwanted gift. Most of the larger online retailers offer this service. Other specialised sites offer vouchers and prepaid cards that you can redeem in store and online. The procedure is simple:

Enter the website or the online store of your choice, this may be a specific clothing brand, a large store like Amazon , or even an online streaming service like Netflix. On their respective websites, look for the Gift Card section. You will be able to choose the amount of money that you want to put on the gift card.



After paying using your personal bank details, you will receive an email with the details of the purchase and the gift voucher. Alternatively, you can then forward the gift card yourself to the person, or you can have the website send it directly to them. Some online stores, such as Amazon, even allow you to send a physical card by post (however this can take several days if you want your gift to arrive immediately). Regardless of whether or not you send a physical or virtual card, don’t forget that you can always add a personalised message that arrives with your gift.



It may also be a good idea to speak to any local stores, hairdressers, restaurants or even bars, that are currently closed during the Coronavirus quarantine, and see if it is possible to buy a voucher to use with them once they reopen. This can give local businesses a much needed financial boost during these difficult times. The only consideration with this is that unfortunately some businesses may be so heavily impacted by the lockdown that they can no longer afford to reopen.

Subscriptions to Magazines and Newspapers

Another possible option is offering a subscription to a newspaper or magazine. Such as Vogue, The Economist or Time Magazine. These subscriptions can be to a digital only version of the publication, or in a traditional paper format sent to your home. Have a think about what the person likes to read, there are many options to choose from and you should be able to find something suitable. here are some of the best magazine and newspaper subscriptions.


Streaming Platforms, Video Games and Music

Buying new video games, music and films frequently can quickly become an expensive hobby. Fortunately, there are a number of online services that offer monthly or annual subscriptions and allow users to have unlimited access to this content. Here are a few options.

For Music Lovers

If the person that you are offering a gift for loves music, then why not offer a music streaming subscription, such as Spotify or Deezer.


For Film Fans

Or what about TV series and films, have a look [here article on best streaming services] at the best streaming sites. Alternatively, if they love independent cinema, then you could surprise them with access to the MUBI Film Initiative.

For Gamers

And if they like video games, you can purchase them games or a subscription to one of these online game stores. You could also offer an Xbox Game Pass, which gives users access to hundreds of games!


For Book Worms

Ebooks

If your loved one enjoys reading, then you can give them a book. Previously, the most obvious option would have been to buy it online and receive a paper copy, however it is now possible to send an ebook. If you know that the person already has an ebook reader then buying a book in the appropriate formate (.mobi or .epub) is quite simple. If they don not already have an ebook reader, such as a Kindle, then you can send them an ebook that they can read from their PC or mobile device.


Virtual Libraries

If you want to send more than one book, you can. It is possible to send your loved one an entire virtual library. All you have to do is buy them a monthly or annual subscription to a digital reading platform, for example Amazon Prime Reading, Nubico or 24Symbols. Purchasing one of these subscriptions would allow the person to access the entire virtual library from their PC, ebook, or mobile device. The number of books available depends on the service that you sign them up for.

Audiobooks

Not only can you send ebooks, but you can also send audiobooks. There are many people who prefer listening to a narrated story, or a podcast whilst they are doing another activity, like playing sports, cooking or even just relaxing. One of the best audiobook platforms is Audible - you can offer individual audiobooks, or an unlimited subscription.


Handmade Gifts

Homemade gifts are some of the most valued gifts because of the personal touch that they require. Whilst it may be difficult to physically make something creative for someone with limited access to arts supplies, you can produce something ‘handmade’ online. Here are a few ideas:

  • A carefully curated Spotify or YouTube playlist
  • A video compilation with a selection of shared images and memories
  • Compose your own music using an app like FL Studio

Photo Credit: Unsplash
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This document, titled « Virtual and Online Gift Ideas », is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (ccm.net).

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