Should we just buy gifts from a wish list?  It’s no secret that most people receive unwanted gifts all the time.  Remember those brown, thick wool socks your grandma bought you for Christmas and you never wore? Or that palm tree print tie your aunt Marge got you for your birthday that’s now resting in a dark corner of your closet? We appreciate all these gifts given from the heart.   Also, we simply express appreciation as a polite thing to do.  What if we could reduce some of this waste and increase joy and satisfaction.

Most people don’t realize that at some point they give gifts others don’t really need.  Who needs another jumper that doesn’t fit? Of course, grandma just wanted to make you happy.  Gift-givers assume unsolicited gifts are more thoughtful. According to a study by Francesca Gino and Francis J. Flynn from Harvard and Stanford Universities, gift-givers believe that both solicited and unsolicited gifts will be equally appreciated.  Their research tells us otherwise.

Is it better to be creative or buy off a wish list?

Gift-givers perceive that buying gifts people ask for might not be considered thoughtful. This makes sense, since putting time and effort into the perfect gift is a sign of commitment to the relationship.  We think of new creative ideas, observe our loved one and buy the perfect gift for them. As a result, your gift is a seemingly appropriate item for spouse, family or friends.  However, research tells us that though we spend a lot of time and money trying to find the perfect gift, these may sadly be less appreciated.

According to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, approximately 50% of Americans return at least one unwanted gift every year. For example, it might be that you need to return that Chinese floor vase that is taller than your toddler!  Sure, you spent that year teaching English in China, but your memories are the only thing you have space for in your house.

It is thoughtful to buy from a wish list

A Wish List Social Experiment 

Turns out being original might not cause the reaction you were hoping for and sweep your sweetheart off her feet! In their study, Francesca Gino and Francis J. Flynn investigate the role of explicitness in gift-giving. In their study, each recipient created a wish list with 10 items they desire most with the name of the product, a picture, and the price. Next, givers were asked to either give a gift from the wish list or come up with their own idea. The conclusion from this social experiment was that receivers were far more satisfied with gifts from their wish list. Interestingly, receivers perceived you to be more attentive and thoughtful, when one shopped from their list.

The WishSlate app

We’re modernizing this stressful, time-consuming process to make recipients happier with what they get.  Many people find it rude to ask for things explicitly.  Therefore, they don’t maintain a wish list of things they want for themselves. Some keep crude notes, save browser bookmarks, take pictures of interesting items – maintaining all this in different places. The creators of WishSlate are working to increase convenience and satisfaction in gifting. WishSlate helps people find gifts, keep wish lists, share them with loved ones & lots more.   Learn more about our app.

SIGN UP for our mailing listWe’ll update you on our blogs and the WishSlate gift app. WishSlate is a mobile app to manage your gifting network, track occasions, and find great gifts.


You can use our app to find gift ideas from wish lists of your family and friends.  To get you started with your own wish list, here are some ideas for you Trendy Gifts for 2020,  Top Tech Gifts for 2019, Best beauty products or Top subscription gifts.

Reference to the above Study by Stanford and Harvard on how receivers like explicitness in gift-giving.

Learn more about WISHSLATE app

Make and Share Wish Lists

Share, Shop and Gift.

How does it work?


Gift mom what she wants on her birthday


Be the first to know about new APP features, deals and more.