With holiday gift catalogs arriving in your mailbox daily, it’s only a matter of time before relatives start asking about gift ideas for you and the kids. No doubt you’ve already started dreaming about the toys, trinkets and baubles you and they would love to unwrap this holiday season. Maybe you’ve even circled or flagged items in a catalog — but how do you get these ideas onto the shopping lists of your relatives so you don't end up with another reindeer sweater from your Aunt Edna?
Wish lists have become an easy and increasingly accepted (and preferred) way to share with friends and loved ones the stuff you really want. Amazon Wish List and Toys R Us are both fantastic sites with mobile counterparts, so you can create or review a list and then easily check it from the store. But many people are working off wish lists from a variety of stores and sites. We’ve compiled a list of the best websites to help you easily assemble, share and track your family wish lists.
WantsThis is a terrific wish list that makes it quick and easy to create and update your list with the option to drop in URLs of products you’d like. We tested out different gifts, and it did a great job of pulling in a product shot, name and price for the item that we added to our list.
If you’re just surfing around on the Web, a WantsThis toolbar add-on for almost all web browsers enables you to easily add products directly to your WantsThis wish list. My favorite feature is price notification, which searches the web for better deals than the site where you found the product and alerts you when an item goes on sale. WantsThis has social sharing tools that notify you when family or friends add items to their list, and you can also choose to share your lists through Facebook and Twitter.
BoxedUp does a fairly good job at adding products to your wishlist, and shows you the lowest price available based on what other BoxedUp members have found. Product images aren’t pulled into to the item descriptions very well, so you wind up having a lot of items that you have to click through to the retailer website to see—a deterrent to friends and family who want to quickly scroll through your list to see what they might want to buy you.
BoxedUp does a better job than most of socializing the wish list and shopping experience; you see what other people want or already have, sparking ideas for you. Youl need to be careful though, the products included are a compilation of US and UK products, so finding a gift idea that excites you could lead to disappointment if it's only available overseas.
TallWish has some gift planning features not found on other wish list sites: a calendar where you can store important dates like birthdays and anniversaries, and a bulletin board to post information about an upcoming family event. I like how family members can see what items have been purchased for other family members, but the person who owns the wish list won’t know if it’s been purchased until they open the gift.
A simple list that’s best for people who aren’t looking for something fully integrated and interactive. With WishListr you have to manually enter in the name and URLs of the products you want to add to your list; however, simple drag and drop functionality helps you organize your lists easily and then share them out to your friends. It has a simple interface and beautiful background templates to personalize your wish list with a seasonal flare . . . which is nice for tweens or adults who’ve outgrown the sugar-coated kiddie templates.