Thursday, April 28, 2011

You Can Always Do Better Than Cash

When life throws a social challenge my way, I always like to think back to the lessons that Seinfeld has taught me to get through those less-than-comfortable situations. One thing that I've learned is, while giving cash may be the "economically efficient" gift, it may not result in the best of reactions from the gift recipient. By nature, cash is cold and impersonal, detracting from why we give gifts in the first place: demonstrating we know our friend or family member well enough to find something they'll love! Check out the video below, and let us know your thoughts on giving cash as a gift:

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why Present Bee is Solving the Gifting Challenge

Since we've been just a baby bee, Present Bee has been striving to help you give better gifts with more validation from your social network. Our mission began when we uncovered two things about gifting:
  1. Giving the perfect gift is something that can be something that many of us struggle with on a regular basis
  2. Gift giving is an inherently social process
We've heard from countless folks over and over just how much they would appreciate an easy and efficient way to give the perfect gift. Gift giving, although an expression of affection, carries with it a high level of risk (will they like it?) and required energy (where and how will I find it?). People search endlessly for the perfect gift ideas, only to find that the recipient already has that item, doesn't like that color, or thinks that it went out of style last season.

That's why Present Bee allows you access to targeted and fresh gift ideas for anyone in your social network selected to match declared information on their Facebook Profile that's available nowhere else on the Internet.

The second aspect of what we do is bringing the social nature of gift giving online. We asked 100 people  about the steps they take when they give a gift. Check out the results below:

From one glance at the bar chart, you can see that a majority of respondents (over 80%, in fact!) already use their social network in one way or another to ask for gifting advice. And this makes perfect sense, too. When our Mom's birthday is coming up, it's only natural to talk to our Dad for hints about what she really wants!

It's data like this that explains why Present Bee provides you with a shared space where you can ask any mutual friend or family member for gift suggestions or validation on potential gifts using our commenting (and voting to follow soon!) mechanisms. We want to make it effortless to talk to those who know your gift recipient better than Present Bee ever can when a gifting occasion comes around. 

The combination of our intelligent gift recommendations with the ability to reach out to your social circle equips you with all the tools you need to make sure you are the gifting champion we know you can be.

So remember us next time you need to find a gift!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Present Bee Sponsors Northwestern Hackathon!

Present Bee is proud to be sponsoring the upcoming coding Hackathon at NU. Chicago-based coders will have 24 hours to build something cool for the opportunity to win up to $4,000 in prizes. For more details or to sign up, Click Here!
Present Bee along with the other sponsors of the NU Hackathon

Friday, March 25, 2011

Think Outside the Registry: Top 5 Creative Wedding Gifts of 2011

Yes, it's easiest to look up that couple's registry at Macy's or Bloomingdale's and claim a pair of candlesticks or a serving tray. Maybe this is the route to take if you're being dragged against your will to your obnoxious co-workers' wedding. But as we established earlier, registries and wishlists suck all of the fun out of gift giving! Trust us, it pays to be creative. With wedding season in full swing, it's time to take a look at the Top 5 Creative Wedding Gifts of 2011 to help you think outside the registry:

1) Start Their Cellar Wine Sampler: A warm home often includes a collection of delicious wines for entertaining guests, romantic nights in, or even for after a hard day's work. This collection of 24 bottles of wine is a combination of French, California and Italian wines that recommends as a basis for a well stocked wine cellar. 

Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Greatest Trips

2) Journey of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Greatest Trips: From National Geographic, this hardcover book is perfect to sit atop any coffee table. Fill your newlyweds' minds with thoughts of shared adventures to some of the worlds' most beautiful and pristine locations. Typical trip choices are usually described in one or two pages with color photographs and maps taking up at least half of the space. An entry contains brief advice on when to go, how long the trips last, how far ahead to plan, special packing advice, and Web sites for more information. If you feel the need to spend more money on the wedding gift, bundle with other coffee table books. 

3) Gourmet Spices Set: No matter the couple, chances are they will be cooking many of their meals together. MySpiceSage has a collection of gourmet spices gift sets that can be tailored to the unique tastes of any recipient. Spice Gift sets include "Decadent Desert," "Taste of Asia," "Baker's Bevy," "Grilling Gems" and many more. Spices are reasonably priced and can be purchased in various quantities.

UniFlame WAD820SP 34-Inch Slate & Marble Firepit with Copper Accents

4) UniFlame Outdoor Firepit: Spring is now upon us, meaning that we can again enjoy the great outdoors. This outdoor firepit, made from slate and marble, is a classy addition to any patio or deck. Easy to assemble, and perfect for late-night lounging!

Romantic Gourmet Picnic For Two Wedding Time Capsule Gift Set

5) Wedding Time Capsule with Gourmet Picnic: Send the lucky newlyweds a romantic gourmet feast for two, cleverly contained in a keepsake wedding time capsule - perfect for preserving this special time forever! Once the premium Lobster pate, decadent Belgian Truffles, handmade Almond Toffee, Camembert Cheese Spread, Sesame Crackers and Apple Cider are toasted with, savored and shared, your newlyweds fill the Wedding Time Capsule with memorabilia from the day and year of their marriage. This timeless keepsake is then sealed and not opened until a special anniversary many years in the future.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Give the Most Important Gift of All

Some of the devistation from the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan

Amidst the hustle and bustle of life in the 21st Century, many of us are guilty of taking the basic necessities for granted. 

But, every once in a while, an unexpected occurrence sneaks up that provides us with a sobering perspective on just how fragile life can be. This past week has proven to be one of those occurrences. Six days after a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami following short after, Japan is still in a state of national crisis. Already, 13,000 have been reported dead or missing and several hundred thousand have been left homeless. Without access to food, fresh water, or shelter, large percentages of the Japanese population are desperately attempting to survive and flee the country. As if this was not catastrophic enough, dangerous radiation continues to pour from nuclear reactors that have begun to overheat and melt down providing additional peril for Japanese civilians. 

This week, make a difference by giving to victims of this tragedy. There are many organizations who are providing relief efforts in Japan as we speak. A donation to one of these organizations can and will save lives. Here are just a few:

American Red CrossDonations to the American Red Cross can be allocated for the International Disaster Relief Fund, which then deploys to the region to help.

GlobalGivingEstablished a fund to disburse donations to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami.

Convoy of HopeDisaster Response team established connection with in-country partners who have been impacted by the damage and are identifying the needs and areas where Convoy of Hope may be of the greatest assistance.

At its core, a gift is an offering that is intended to improve the life of the recipient in some way. By donating, you are giving a complete stranger the most important gift of all: hope for the future and faith in humanity. Together, we can unite and be there for those who need us more than ever!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How to Accept a Terrible Gift

I got a kick out of this one. Howcast tells you the best ways to get through those awkward moments just after receiving a less-than-perfect gift. We should all start working on our million dollar smiles and acting skills. Check it out:

How to Accept a Terrible Gift