GiftStarter applies crowdfunding concept to group gifting

Discussion
Nov 06, 2015

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.

During the holiday season or for large occasions such as weddings, consumers often frantically scramble to find and purchase appropriate gifts for friends and family members. Gift purchasing can be expensive for individual consumers, especially during these occasions.

GiftStarter, a Seattle startup, has launched a crowdfunded gifting platform designed to enable buyers to combine individual budgets to give better gifts to their loved ones. Users can launch a gift campaign on GiftStarter, search from more than four million products on the site, then invite family and friends to pitch in through the platform.

GiftStarter also offers a Gift Concierge service that works like a personal shopping assistant to carefully help curate a list of gift ideas.

The payment parsing platform breaks the gift up into pieces in a visual mosaic illustrating how much each contributor will pay. Each person can pitch in as little or as much money as they wish, and GiftStarter eliminates the need to collect money or chase people down for cash.

[Image: GiftStarter]

The average amount spent on a GiftStarter gift is $381. The site charges an eight percent service fee split, among the contributors to any GiftStarter campaign.

In a joint interview with Investorideas.com, co-founding mom entrepreneurs, Arry Yu and Christie Gettler, said every participant in the gift gets to include a personal photo and a personal message with their contribution.

"GiftStarter helps those who want to participate participate in a way that is appropriate for their personal situation," the founders said. "At the end of the day, it’s about the community coming together to give an amazing gift."

GiftStarter primarily offers major and minor brands, although $250 gift cards from several retailers are available. Nordstrom is one of the few retailers selling its private label Nordstrom Collection on the site.

GiftStarter’s competitors include Shareagift and eBay’s Group Gifts, although some similar crowdfunded gift giving sites, including Givted, Gift Gather and Aggregift, are no longer operating.

Do you see GiftStarter, and crowdfunded gift giving overall, offering much appeal to consumers? Should retailers look to sell through these aggregate sites or come up with their own proprietary crowdfunding gift tools?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"GiftStarter adds a community angle in the mix but I’m not sure how well this will play out. By the way, in the "what is GiftStarter" video, it’s puzzling to me the degree to which the music overwhelms the spoken word."
"COOL! I don’t want to give someone a gift they don’t want. My wife, mom and kids always ask me, "What do you want for Christmas?" I know they really want to get me something I want. But what if it’s too expensive?"
"Not sure if this idea has legs in the long term. Most families already pool their funds together on their own without paying an external party a fee. Also, retailers, including a car company, have already done this."

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3 Comments on "GiftStarter applies crowdfunding concept to group gifting"


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Mohamed Amer
Guest
Mohamed Amer
6 years 6 months ago

The underlying assumption here is that bigger is better. Instead of multiple small gifts, you get one BIG gift and that is assumed to make the recipient that much happier and more fulfilled. In this view, gifting is no longer about the thought but the size and monetary value of the gift.

I have doubts about this model and the value it is suppose to create. GiftStarter adds a community angle in the mix but I’m not sure how well this will play out.

By the way, in the “what is GiftStarter” video, it’s puzzling to me the degree to which the music overwhelms the spoken word.

Shep Hyken
Guest
6 years 6 months ago

COOL!

I don’t want to give someone a gift they don’t want. My wife, mom and kids always ask me, “What do you want for Christmas?” I know they really want to get me something I want. But what if it’s too expensive? Now there is a simple way for them to contribute. I like the idea. The traditionalists will argue it is cold and impersonal. Get over it. It’s 2015. Parents text their kids to come to the dinner table — and the kids are upstairs!

We register for wedding gifts, why not gifts in general? And someone helping to pay for a gift that I really want is better than having them spend money on something I didn’t want or won’t use. Promoted properly, this will catch on.

Ralph Jacobson
Guest
6 years 6 months ago

Not sure if this idea has legs in the long term. Most families already pool their funds together on their own without paying an external party a fee. Also, retailers, including a car company, have already done this.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"GiftStarter adds a community angle in the mix but I’m not sure how well this will play out. By the way, in the "what is GiftStarter" video, it’s puzzling to me the degree to which the music overwhelms the spoken word."
"COOL! I don’t want to give someone a gift they don’t want. My wife, mom and kids always ask me, "What do you want for Christmas?" I know they really want to get me something I want. But what if it’s too expensive?"
"Not sure if this idea has legs in the long term. Most families already pool their funds together on their own without paying an external party a fee. Also, retailers, including a car company, have already done this."

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