As the founder, I couldn’t resist demonstrating our People Powered Gift shopping invention…. could I ?
The truth is, I almost did.
One night, (December 13th to be exact) I realized that procrastination was about to get the best of me once again. So I sat down, and in a period of about two hours researched and purchased all of my 2009 Christmas gifts. I was able to surprise eight people with something special from our labor of love software-as-a-service website CoolProducts.com. Granted I got a little carried away, like a kid in a candy store but I narrowed the selections down and clicked through to the merchant and placed each order online in record time. Then I was done. For the next two weeks, my conscience was clear and I didn’t have a shred of panic or remorse about my purchases for Christmas day. The process was a little clunky at first until I remembered I could save the products into My Favorites. I ended up with 210 personally selected products in My Favorites. Then I carefully reviewed them and sorted the best ones down on eight small pieces of paper. Then I tried to keep things somewhat equal since four of my target recipients where my children. On the final list, I had these products. For my wife: a Diane Artware Delft Blue Turtle Tureen with Ladle $63 QVC . My wife and I love having family and friend dinner gatherings and I hoped she would like this large serving container. She likes it, but it’s not microwavable. Also, my wife does an amazing job of periodically changing decor in our house so I thought she might like a Giraffes of the Savanna Sculptural Vase $65 Design Toscano. Truth is, I liked it. To play it safe I picked up a Susan Boyle “I Dreamed a Dream” CD $13 at Borders.com since Susan is also a native Scot. Total for the three: $141
For my Dad I bought a Kindle Reading Device $259 Amazon, and a neoprene Kindle Case $25 Amazon, and a digital book to load on the Kindle – Ulysses S. Grant $10 Amazon for a total of $294. I hoped he would enjoy holding something lighter than a 3-4 lb novel and might like receiving the New York Times or Wall Street Journal on a 10 ounce 8″x5″ devise.
For my Mom: Jack LaLanne’s Power Juicer $94 WalMart online only because she’s recovering from surgery and since Jack LaLanne’s in his 90s so juice must be healthy. I also got her a book (hardcover because it was not available on Kindle) Ayn Rand and the World She Made by Anne C. Heller$30 Amazon for a total of $124
For my oldest son I purchased a Rotary Cheese Grater $31, Sur la table (shown here), because he’s a gourmet cook. For my oldest daughter: a Travel Table Easel $68 Blick Art Materials, because she is a wonderful artist. For my youngest son: a Collapsible Snake Tong $38 from Reptile Supply, because he is an outdoorsman and for my youngest daughter: a Gabrielle at the Gate Jigsaw Puzzle $40 Victorian Trading Co. because her middle name is Gabrielle. Total for the four kids $177.
For the whole family a bought a new game: Civil Lore! The Game of American Culture $30 Uncommon Goods, because for my buck, time spent together is the best time. Since my youngest son had won a Wii in an engineering contest, and because I loved playing golf on the thing….it’s so realistic…I bought an attachment for it called the Wii Fit system $139 Amazon, and a Wii Shaun White Snowboarding game $43 Best Buy, a Wii skateboard/snowboard for the Fit Balance Board $35 Buy.com (shown above). This is an amazing product and very much like being there. Total for the family $247 and a grand total of $980 Gulp. Well, you can’t take it with you. My wife supplimented my surprise shopping spree with many equally thoughtful gifts, but all in all I was proud of myself for once.
I’m sure many folks bad equal or better results and I would love to hear about them, but this was remarkable for me. Even at this early stage of our website, I had my best shopping experience EVER last month. And it’s all thanks to the staff and participants at CoolProducts.com.
My goal in 2010 is to create a more efficient system so that our users and myself won’t have to write out little lists of paper or have to browse every single possible item like I did.
And by the way, all my products were delivered in record time, often just a few days later. How do they do that? Stay tuned.