Why You Should Stop Giving Gifts that Cost Recipients More Money

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Framed or Unframed Art Print?“Should I gift a framed art print or unframed one?”

This was a rather tricky question one of our customers had for us recently.  In her view, choosing a frame is personal and she wanted to leave this part to her recipient.  So she asked for our opinion.

Normally, we don’t interfere with our customers’ decisions.  But this time, we had to.  Because, we believe receiving a partial gift has its own shortcomings.  In this post, I will address some of the common problems of incomplete gifts.

Problems in Receiving Partial Gifts

Painting FrameIncomplete gifts costs more time and money for the giftee. Take the example of unframed art prints. When you give unframed art prints as gifts, you are forcing the giftee to spend her time and money on getting this art print framed.  She has to take it to a professional framer to add a frame for the art print resulting in additional expenses.  Is this what you wanted when you thought about giving a gift?  I’m sure it wasn’t and that is the reason you should not gift unframed art prints.

Take another example, imagine you gifted a laptop to your nephew without any operating systems (OS). Obviously, it would cost more money and time for your nephew to install OS and other software before he can start using your gift. In short, whenever you give a partial gift, you are forcing your giftee to spend more time and money to make your gift complete.

An Holiday ExperiencePartial gifts lead to hidden expenses.  Take another example of an incomplete gift, travel vouchers.  They always come with hidden expenses that a giftee would not know at first.  Let’s see how.

A travel voucher takes care of airfare, accommodation etc. for your giftee. But, airfare and accommodation are not the only expense one needs to bear while traveling. There are other expenses like shopping, food, etc that will hit their pocket during this trip. A travel voucher doesn’t take care of any such expenses that come along their way when traveling. This means, travel vouchers take more away from the giftee than what it gives him or her.

This is also what happens when you receive lavish gifts from TV shows or lottery. There will be many hidden expenses.  For instance, if you won 2 Crore lottery price, almost 40% of it would go as taxes.  The condition is even worse, if it is some material (real estate / automotive) gift, then you have to pay the tax first in cash before registering the ownership.

Gift CardsPartial gifts can create unnecessary expense for the recipient.  Similar to travel vouchers, take the case of gift cards.  Gifts cards are the most popular last minute gift people buy today. But, again, is it actually a complete gift?  Let’s see.

Suppose you received a gift voucher worth Rs.1000. Will you be able to buy things worth Rs.1000?  Most probably, you won’t be able to. That is because retailers often put restrictions on the gift cards to encourage more spending. So you end up spending more.

A recent study on gift cards also reveals the same. According to stats, anyone who receives gift cards as gifts often spend more than 40% of the value of the gift card. ie, if you get a gift voucher worth Rs.100, you will most probably end up spending a total of Rs.140 to redeem its benefits.

The fact that you had to spend your time to take the gift voucher to the retailer, and then you had to spend more money from your pocket to redeem the gift voucher, proves that these gift vouchers are just another partial gift that you should stop giving.

Automotive GiftsIncomplete gifts cause ongoing expense. There are certain gifts that account for never-ending expense from the part of giftee. The gift you give keeps on draining their pocket with time.

An example for such a gift is automobiles. Giving a bike for someone who passed the exams or someone who got her first job, giving a car for newlywed couple etc. is quite common today. These gifts are expensive and these gifts definitely bring huge smiles on the face of recipient.

However, these automobiles require time and money for maintenance. One has to feed these automobiles with fuel to run. One has to pay the taxes and insurance to keep running these every year. That is, in order to keep a gift, the giftee has to spend her hard-earned money on a regular basis. And sometimes, these extra expenses can be troubling for the giftee.  So make sure, you don’t give a gift that require on going expenses.


A gift is supposed to be something given without any particular effort by the recipient.  But in every example we saw here, that is not the case. The recipient is forced to spend more money and time to create a useful gift.  So, should you give such gifts that cost recipients more money? Share your views and experience with us in comments.

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About Shyam

Shyam is the founder of OrangeCarton.com. Visit our store for a wide selection of wall art, paintings, stickers and other home decor products.

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