In 2014 I discovered the Reddit Gift Exchange and became a little obsessed. I’ve taken part in four exchanges: snacks, bath & shower, make up and secret Santa 2014. Each exchange has had its ups and downs, so I thought I’d post a little guide to help anyone navigate the way through their first exchange.
What is a Reddit Gift Exchange?
Essentially it’s themed secret Santa. You sign up to an exchange and receive a random match to buy for, whilst someone completely different receives your details to send you an anonymous gift.
You’ll have access to your match’s address and a survey completed by them to give you some ideas of what to gift them. You’ll also be able to see their Reddit Gifts profile which sometimes links to their social media profiles depending on how much information your match wants to give you.
Don’t you just love free stuff?
Honestly, if you’re doing it just to receive a gift and not thinking about the other half of the deal (buying a gift for someone else), then you really shouldn’t sign up. As tacky as it sounds, it’s about the giving too and you should make a concerned effort to find your match something worth while. The suggested spend is £20 and you can request a match from your own country to cut down on shipping costs.
Will you get scammed?
There’s a small chance that your gifter will send a gift late or not at all. In this case the user will be banned and you can sign up for a rematch. The moderators genuinely work really hard to resolve issues, but some errors will occur.
If you don’t receive a gift, a new volunteer will receive your details. You won’t need to buy them a gift, but they will send you one.
Random errors do occur. I was once temporarily banned due to a misunderstanding in my first ever exchange. My giftee received an unsigned parcel and assumed it came from me (it actually came from an extremely late previous exchange). Due to the contents of the parcel, she was disappointed and reported me thinking I’d sent her the parcel as a joke. I was devastated as I’d actually put so much effort into my first exchange.
Whilst the issue was solved within a few days, when I tried to sign up to my next exchange I was told on matching day that I couldn’t be paired up with someone due to my ban still being in effect, as a mod had forgotten to take it off!
This hasn’t put me off joining in though and I’ve had no other issues since then.
What if you don’t know what to buy?
This happened to me in my most recent exchange. My giftee didn’t link any of his social media profiles and didn’t give any clues in his exchange survey. Here’s a few of my personal favourites from his answers:
If you could travel somewhere right now, where would you go?
What are you most passionate about?
What are your favorite movies?
I’m fine with CGI filled movies but comedy is good too.
What am I supposed to do with that?! I actually ended up getting him a selection of cool little things from IWOOT.com and he turned out to be a decent lad.
If you’re completely stuck, try to add a subtheme. These can really help you to find something special. Ask unrelated questions that you can link back to your gift, for example in the bath&shower exchange I asked my match what her favourite film was, How to Train Your Dragon, which resulted in a ‘How to tame your inner dragon‘ spa box.
Here’s a few examples of what I’ve received so far. I’ve never received a ‘bad’ gift and I don’t think I ever will. The fact that someone takes the time to send you something is amazing enough, we should even be thankful of a hand written note as long as your match has made the effort!
I’ve been particularly blessed by my matches as they’ve gone to great lengths to find things that I absolutely love! You can see full details and thank you notes on my profile.
The worst part of Reddit Gifts?
When people don’t say thank you, it’s absolutely heartbreaking. Especially when you think the person will really enjoy your gift and you’ve got them something awesome.
As mentioned before, I was booted from the make up exchange, but after resolving the issue I signed up to be a rematcher. This meant that I wouldn’t recieve a gift, but I could send something to someone who had been duped by their previous match.
Since she’d been messed around I thought I’d get something extra special, a limited edition Urban Decay palette would certainly suffice? I matched her favourite colours and brands, so what’s not to love?
No thank you, no image upload, nothing. Well, actually, she did mark the gift as received, but still – what a blow! I’m not looking for a fanfare, but a sign that they liked the gift is always appreciated.
- If it’s going to be late, tell them. The best thing to do is to keep in contact throughout the gifting process.
- Search their username. Whilst they may not have their social media profiles linked, they may use the same usernames. This could be risky as you may get the wrong person, so try to find an obvious link.
- Ask for clues. You can contact them anonymously.
- When you receive your gift, make a real effort to say thanks and upload lots of photos.
- Go in with an open mind!
Signing up is completely free, so if this sounds like your thing visit the website for notifications of upcoming exchanges!