>> Apr 10, 2013
In general terms, shopping online for gifts is a pretty naff experience. Unless you know what you want in advance, or have been given a list of things that the recipient wants, then you’re essentially flailing around in the cybernetic dark. Often, we end up buying the first thing that looks even remotely useful or likely to please, regardless of whether it’s really something that will make the recipient happy.
OK, so what this discussion is really uncovering isn’t that buying gifts online for someone is an out and out naff experience, but that buying gifts when you have no idea what you’re looking for is less than pleasing. To be fair, this experience is displeasing whether you have it online or not – though at least when you go out shopping in the real world for a gift you have yet to discover, you’ve got the advantage of being able to wander and browse through things you can see, smell, pick up and touch.
The internet is a great place to shop when you know what you are looking for. It is at this point that the availability of items from a number of different suppliers, all of whom are competing on price, becomes genuinely helpful. From vases to vajazzles, you can buy or book most things at the optimum price online.
In some cases, it helps to start by looking in shops – and using a smartphone or similarly connected device to get a better idea of whether the price you see in the shop is the best one you can get. You can even use the information you discover to see if the shop will match the prices you find – allowing you to get the most out of your shopping experience and still take what you want home on the day that you want it.
Some things can’t be bought in the real world, or at least not in the same way that they are purchased online. You can’t make a photo book, for example, unless you use a website that allows you to do so – or at least you can’t print a professional quality photo book without assistance, which amounts to roughly the same thing.
The difference between a photo book and a photo album is one of class/. Tis doesn’t necessarily mean that the album is always a bad thing to do – in certain situations, having printed pictures hand stuck into an album can lend a real quirky homemade feel to a gift, and can be ideal for the recipient.
In other cases, though – and a wedding album is right up there here – the professional print quality and binding of a photo book can be entirely appropriate to the gift.
Shopping around online is a different kettle of fish to shopping around on the high street. You need to understand the services you could be getting in order to comprehend the services you are being offered. In essence, this means that you need to have a decent comprehension of how the photo book works.
A photo book is made using professional publishing software, which uploads your images into predesigned book formats. Some sites may give you more freedom over editing and rearranging than others. Therefore, depending on the reason for making the photo book in the first place, you may wish to specific different sites.