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WiseGifter: No More Useless Stuff!

How many times have you received a gift from someone, only to stash it away, with no intention of ever using it? Think about all of those gifts that we don’t need, don’t want or simply receive just because certain occasions demand that gifts, any kind of gifts, be exchanged or given. In the end, what’s the point of accumulating more stuff, year after year, that will spend its existence rotting away in a box pushed into the back corner of a closet?

It seems a bit silly.

Well, does it always have to be this way?

Fellow bloggers Bessie and Kyle over at OnOurOwnPath.com don’t think so. In fact, they firmly believe that the gifts we receive should not help us accumulate stuff we’ll never use, but should help us achieve what we really want and what will truly make us happy – our dreams.

I happen to agree, as would most people I’d imagine. And instead of just sucking it up, slapping a fake smile on their faces and accepting yet another book on towel origami for their birthdays, Bessie and Kyle decided to change the formula of gift-giving altogether.

Enter WiseGifter.com, a very cool and inspirational tool that not only helps save you some closet space, but even more importantly, helps bring you closer to accomplishing your life goals.

Consider it a wedding registry, but instead of a wedding, your personalized Gift List will focus on whatever you’re trying to achieve at any given point in your life. After creating a quick and completely free account, you can then add as many items as you want, along with their value, to your list. You can list absolutely anything. For example, my Gift List is focused on my upcoming trip to the Middle East and therefore includes my first night’s accommodation in Istanbul, a meal at a recommended restaurant in Aleppo, Syria and a traditional Turkish bath at a hamam.  You can also always check out the sample Gift Lists on the WiseGifter site, which list such items as tango lessons, a plate of fresh empanadas in Buenos Aires, car parts, yoga classes and even a kayak trip, in order to help get your creative juices flowing.

Setting up your account takes about one minute and you’ll be instantly provided with your own personalized Gift List page and link that you can share with family and friends. You can also add photos and descriptions to each item on your Gift List and you can even break up more expensive items into smaller increments, turning that $300 flight to Costa Rica into 10 separate $30 gifts that others can give you.

Here’s a snapshot of my Gift List as an example…

The more creative you make your Gift List, chances are the more inclined your family and friends will be to help you achieve your goals. When someone wants to give you a gift, they simply visit your Gift List and read through the items that are still available. They then choose a gift, transfer the money via Paypal through the WiseGifter site and just like that, a gift will be checked off of your list.

Who should use WiseGifter?

Anyone can use it. It doesn’t matter if you’re about to start a one year round-the-world adventure, if you’re trying to start your own business or if your goal is to fix your car. Whatever would make you the happiest or whatever you need most, that’s what you put on your list and that’s what others will contribute towards when it comes time to give you a gift. As a result, wasteful gift-giving and the accumulation of useless stuff is eliminated!

And what I believe to be the most rewarding aspect of WiseGifter is it’s ability to inspire and motivate others to live a fuller life. Once you sign up and invite friends and family to check out your Gift List, they will hopefully begin to realize that they, too, can achieve their life goals, just as you’re setting out to do. Perhaps they’ll create their own Gift List, using it to inspire even more people as well. The potential for creating a massive wave of positive change is infinite with this project, which is the main reason I’m participating in and interested in spreading the word about WiseGifter.

Of course, you may wonder how Kyle and Bessie earn money with this site if setting up an account is completely free. Basically, they take a small 4% fee of the gifts that are sent your way in order to maintain the website and allow them to reap some benefit from all of their hard work. This fee is actually about half of what similar sites charge, and Bessie personally assured me that they’re more interested in helping others achieve their goals than they are in earning huge profits.

And after meeting the two of them a couple of weeks ago in NYC, I am convinced that their motives are nothing but genuine. These are two wonderful, inspiring people who are clearly passionate about this project. If you want an indication of what these two are all about before you check out WiseGifter, have a look at their excellent blog, OnOurOwnPath.com, where they write about every aspect of their “global life” (which has involved 900+ straight days of traveling so far).

WiseGifter.com: Less Stuff. More Life.


I’d love to hear from anyone that gives it a try or even just your thoughts about this project…

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21 Responses to WiseGifter: No More Useless Stuff!

  1. Liz says:

    That is very useful! That would make my life much easier! I am terrible at trying to figure out what I should buy for my beloved ones! =) I guess I will spread the word! Thanks!

    • Earl says:

      Thanks for helping promote WiseGifter to those you know! I have no doubt that you’ll find it useful and hopefully you’ll get your family and friends involved as well!

  2. Andi says:

    And all this time I’ve just been selling my unwanted gifts on Ebay…this is much easier and wiser!!! :)

    I love this concept. I will definitely check out the site. Hope you get everything on your list!
    .-= Andi´s last blog ..Love- Kayaking in Vernazza =-.

    • Earl says:

      Hey Andi – It is such a simple solution that takes care of the unwanted gift problem quite quickly! I shall look forward to seeing your list…make sure you share it when it’s done!

  3. Dina says:

    Maybe if I used something like this, or the wedding registry, I and Ryan don’t have to store 4-5 sets of casserole dish! (And Ryan happens not to like casserole either)
    I like my presents to be surprises, sometimes people around me know me better than myself, and I’m curious what people around me think what I want. But yeah, how many photo frames and photo books do we need :)
    I might like this kind of sites better for giving others present instead for making my own list.
    (I need ONE of those towel origami book, I don’t have that yet! haha)
    .-= Dina´s last blog ..New Zealand’s South Island- Our two week road trip itinerary =-.

    • Earl says:

      Hey Dina – Now I know what to get you for your birthday – Towel Origami here we come! And you can still receive surprises using WiseGifter…just create an item that is a “Mystery Gift” where people send a certain amount of money and then tell you what to use it for during your travels!

  4. I think this is a great idea as well. I often try to just ask for money when friends/family ask me what I want. This is a great way to add value to that money and for the giver to know what will be bought. It’s kind of like support instead of just chunks of money. I’m going to check this out!
    .-= Migration Mark´s last blog ..15 Ways To Have a Blast in Buenos Aires =-.

    • Earl says:

      I’m glad you like the idea as well Mark! And you’re right, it instantly turns a monetary gift into something of much more value. I had started telling people not to get me anything at all as I felt awkward always suggesting money for so many years…but now it’s not just money, it’s an actual gift, and a meaningful one at that.

  5. Shannon OD says:

    I immediately loved this idea that Bessie and Kyle mentioned in NYC and it so closely aligns with my philosophy of giving experiences rather than gifts! I look forward to setting up my own account now :-)

    • Earl says:

      Hey Shannon – I knew you’d like this idea as well and I’m looking forward to seeing how your Gift List turns out!

  6. I will have to check this out! My husband and I have been struggling with this issue as we have almost everything we need, and we want less stuff. We are regularly going through our possessions to see if we can get rid of anything else. We started giving each other “experiences” on gift-giving occasions instead of presents, so this sounds awesome. :)
    .-= Jennifer Barry´s last blog ..7 Link Challenge =-.

    • Earl says:

      Hey Jennifer! I love your idea of giving ‘experiences’ instead of stuff and WiseGifter definitely seems like a great way to get everyone you know involved with that idea. That’s exactly the potential I see in this project. I own very little, yet enough, stuff myself and so almost any physical gift is of no use to me. I would much prefer that people contribute towards my life experiences instead and that’s why I’m so enthusiastic about this idea!

  7. T-roy says:

    Earl… where is the link to your gift wish list???? I mean you wrote this nice long post about it but didn’t let us readers decided if we wanted to try and donate something to you man! jajaja

    Anyways, got all hooked up with it and like it. One question though: how does it split up one item into little bits. Like $200 for airfare but want to make it at like $20 per person. Can you make separate groups. Example: One folder for stuff in Colombia, one folder for Ecuador, one for Peru exc exc?
    .-= T-roy´s last blog ..Faces of Cuba- 008 =-.

    • Earl says:

      Hey T-roy – Well, I actually had a link to my Gift List in my first draft but took it out for that very reason! I didn’t want it to seem like I was writing this in the hopes of landing some gifts (which wasn’t my goal at all)!

      As for splitting up a more expensive item…if it is a $200 airfare, just make the price of the gift $20 and increase the quantity to 10. Then the gift will be broken up into smaller ones. I don’t believe you can make separate folders at this point, although I do think that’s a great idea and I’ll certainly pass it along to Bessie and Kyle. For now, I think you’d just need to make the title of your list more general, such as “South America Travels” so that it encompasses everything you want to list.

  8. Wow, that actually does look pretty cool! I’ll have to check that out. Nice find, Earl.
    .-= Andy Hayes | Sharing Travel Experiences´s last blog ..The Real Ibiza =-.

  9. Bessie says:

    Thanks for the great write-up! I’d love to see a large movement away from stuff-based gifts and towards less consumption and helping people move towards great experiences.

    We have people using the site for everything from going to volunteer in Nicaragua to children signing-up for things like softball leagues and piano lessons. Glad to add you to the list of helping your dream of going to the Middle East!

    Besos!

  10. rose says:

    That sounds interesting – I always go around making “wishlists” on the sites I like in the hopes that someone will ask me what I want for X-mas, but it never works out… then again, I never actually go out and tell anybody about them :) I suppose if a site like this one became common it would be an easy thing to send people there for ideas – that would be great! How else will people ever find out I prefer to receive fancy hiking socks than bath bubbles?!

    • Earl says:

      Hey Rose – I think that’s a common problem that few people ever share their wishlists with anyone. And that sort of defeats the purpose! But WiseGifter provides one central place that anyone can access quite easily so that they always know what you need. It looks like no more bath bubbles for you indeed!

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