With the biggest gift-giving season of the year just past, you may not be ready to think about new ways to give gifts. But another year means a whole new year of birthdays and other occasions. Now you can use your favorite social networks and other free online services to find and give great gifts for your friends. They will be able to preview your gifts immediately, and even choose where they want them delivered. There's even one service that allow you to chip in on group gifts.
Amazon.com Friends and Family Gifting
Amazon’s new "Friends and Family Gifting" services enables users to find gift ideas by relationship, price, personality and more. You can also organize your gift lists and receive alerts for your friends’ birthday and other special events. If you’re up for sharing, you can do so via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or email.
eBay Group Gifts
Buying gifts as a group can be a bit of a hassle. eBay Group Gifts takes away the inconvenience of having to chase down friends for their share of the expense. Once you choose the gift (on Ebay), you invite friends, family or co-workers, indicating how much they owe (you can invite them via Facebook or email). No person will be charged until everyone has chipped in. Once the funds for the gift have been met, the gift fund will be sent to your PayPal account. You can then buy the gift just like you would when you regularly check out on eBay. There are no charges when contributing either via credit/debit card or PayPal.
Last fall, Facebook presented a beta version of its new gifts service, and it has now been rolled out to all Facebook users in the U.S. The service will allow you to buy a physical gift via a Facebook and have it delivered to the recipient's door. To get started, you either click on the Birthday reminder on your newsfeed or go to your friend's timeline and click on the "Gifts" icon next to the comment box. You can then choose from a variety of gifts under $50, such as socks, cupcakes, teddy bears, and Starbucks gift cards. You can pay immediately or wait until your friend has accepted the gift. Once your friend has previewed it and specified a delivery address, he or she will receive it in the mail. If you want, you can give an anonymous gift.
Giftivo is a gift recommendation engine that uses Facebook to suggest gifts for your friends. First, you log in with your Facebook account. Then you select one of your friends and the engine uses an algorithm to recommend gifts based on his or her interests and other information from their profile. You then purchase the actual gifts through providers such as Amazon.com.