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  • November 22, 2017, 08:21:30 PM

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Author Topic: Blueprint Registry "group gift" feature  (Read 1242 times)

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gellchom

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Blueprint Registry "group gift" feature
« on: June 26, 2017, 02:47:52 PM »
I received a shower invitation and found the couple's registry on line.  It's at a site called Blueprint Registry; I hadn't heard of it before.

What I like about it is that it lists items from all the stores together; you only need to consult one list (although I've seen that elsewhere too). 

What I didn't like (not hate, just didn't like so much), is the "group gifts" feature.  Some of the higher priced items are marked "Group Gift."  That's fine; I suppose they don't want to look greedy, like they are expecting people to buy them pricey things, and they want to make it easy to contribute toward a gift without having to get a group together yourself.  But to me, that doesn't feel like a "group gift."  If I want to go in on a gift, I want it to be with someone I know and probably who knows the HC/family the same way I do.  Otherwise, why not just send a check and let them spend it toward the item themselves?  There's no difference, when you come down to it.  It doesn't feel like "This knife set is from your mom's two best friends, the Smiths and the Joneses," as much as "The Smiths have given you half a knife set, and your fiancee's aunt also gave you half of a knife set."  It also makes it impossible to get the gift to give in person, like at a shower, unless your group snags all the "shares" at once, and even then, I don't know whether you can pick up the gift at the store or have it shipped to yourself rather than to the HC.

But the thing I especially disliked about the way this feature works is that it sets the amount you must contribute -- e.g., there's a KitchenAid mixer listed, and the price is something like $93 -- I guess a third or a quarter of the total cost.  I suppose you can buy more than one "share" if that's about what you'd like to spend, but it still controls the increments,  and it can be inconvenient for the givers if a group wants to contribute unequal amounts to a group gift (which happens a lot -- like two unequally financially situated siblings; or my friend Cece and I who often go in together on gifts and other things, so one of us may be catching up if the other one spent more last time for some reason).

There were a few other features of the site that are clearly intended to make things more streamlined, like search by price range and a few others, and maybe they do.  But somehow the overall feel to me is just a little too efficient, KWIM?  You really feel a little too shepherded through -- the way it takes over the group gift process is just the most vivid example.

Of course a registry is all about making it easy to buy gifts.  But it is important to maintain the feel that the HC aren't super focused on getting gifts at all, let alone on making sure they get exactly the gifts they choose.  And somehow the complexity and detail of this site make it seem more commercial than a simple list does, and it makes the gift feel less personal.

Maybe as we see more and more things like this, it will seem less surprising, and I wouldn't say it's rude or offensive or even tacky now.  Maybe just a tiny bit off-putting.  By next year, it probably won't; although I don't think I will ever like the way that they have the group gift feature.

lmyrs

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Re: Blueprint Registry "group gift" feature
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2017, 03:45:21 PM »
Meh. It seems to me that if you want to get a group together to buy a big gift, there would be nothing stopping you when using this feature. One person could just buy the whole thing and then collect money in whatever increments they want from the participants. Just like it works now

Twik

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Re: Blueprint Registry "group gift" feature
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2017, 04:07:45 PM »
You wouldn't even technically have to buy it from the site, if you wanted, say, 7 people to be in a group and the site mandates quarter-shares.
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Harriet Jones

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Re: Blueprint Registry "group gift" feature
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2017, 04:39:00 PM »
Technically, you don't have to buy through the Blueprint site, right?  If you know that the couple wants X item from Y store, you can just go to the store or its website and purchase from there.

Maybe it's too efficient and cold, I dunno.  It sounds better than visiting several stores/sites. 

TurtleDove

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Re: Blueprint Registry "group gift" feature
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2017, 05:41:15 PM »
If the registry is helpful to (general) you, fantastic. If not, ignore it. I would not attend the wedding of a person I believed to be only after gifts, and it surprises me when I hear of people who apparently would. I don't know that the "polite fictions" of "we have no idea people might give us gifts for our wedding" are any more polite than making it easier for people to give what will be most appreciated. A lot of the dance of subtly asking the mother of the bride where she is registered comes across to me as an unnecessary waste of time for life as I know it. I really don't need to spend additional time tracking down information.

katycoo

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Re: Blueprint Registry "group gift" feature
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2017, 09:48:57 PM »
Usually when I go in on a group gift I like to do it with people I know too.

BUT, here's a story from my wedding.

As one item, I listed a $700 cutlery setting.  Not because I expected anyone (even a group) to spend that much, but because after the wedding, anything left on the registry I could buy at a discount.

My mother had many people ask if there was any gift I particularly wanted, and she explained the registry feature.  Many people chose to give us either gift cards or cash specifically towards the cutlery because they knew I'd be getting it one way or another and their contribution reduced my gap (and the discount applied).  I wasn't just going to fritter it on whatever.

I wouldn't ever spend that much on cutlery myself, but dingdangity do I love that set.


Yvaine

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Re: Blueprint Registry "group gift" feature
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2017, 07:21:21 PM »
I saw this recently on a baby registry--I assumed people would use that feature after already agreeing to go in on a gift with a specific group of other people, and agreeing on how much to pool. I wouldn't think people would just blindly chuck money at it without knowing whether anyone else would also go in on it.

In any case, it comes from the stores/websites, not from the HC, as far as I can tell.

gellchom

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Re: Blueprint Registry "group gift" feature
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2017, 07:00:42 AM »
I saw this recently on a baby registry--I assumed people would use that feature after already agreeing to go in on a gift with a specific group of other people, and agreeing on how much to pool. I wouldn't think people would just blindly chuck money at it without knowing whether anyone else would also go in on it.

In any case, it comes from the stores/websites, not from the HC, as far as I can tell.

Yes, I'm sure it does.  This didn't make me think anything negative about the HC at all.  I just don't especially like this site.

HannahGrace

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Re: Blueprint Registry "group gift" feature
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2017, 08:24:02 AM »
I saw this recently on a baby registry--I assumed people would use that feature after already agreeing to go in on a gift with a specific group of other people, and agreeing on how much to pool. I wouldn't think people would just blindly chuck money at it without knowing whether anyone else would also go in on it.

In any case, it comes from the stores/websites, not from the HC, as far as I can tell.

Yes, I'm sure it does.  This didn't make me think anything negative about the HC at all.  I just don't especially like this site.

Then this seems more like a rant than an etiquette question.

MurPl1

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Re: Blueprint Registry "group gift" feature
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2017, 08:35:01 AM »
Actually to me it seems like a discussion of a new format for a registry.  Something we run across often as we discuss gift giving events.  And this format does lend itself to etiquette related questions such as how does this group gift option affect the thank you note process.

TurtleDove

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Re: Blueprint Registry "group gift" feature
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2017, 08:51:47 AM »
Actually to me it seems like a discussion of a new format for a registry.  Something we run across often as we discuss gift giving events.  And this format does lend itself to etiquette related questions such as how does this group gift option affect the thank you note process.

I am not following how the thank you note process would be affected at all? The HC would thank each person who contributed, as per usual when a group gift is given.

MurPl1

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Re: Blueprint Registry "group gift" feature
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2017, 09:30:43 AM »
Actually I've seen many times where a group gift given from a workplace or church group is sent a group thank you.  I don't prefer that and think it should be individual.  But is an accepted custom.

MurPl1

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Re: Blueprint Registry "group gift" feature
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2017, 09:36:36 AM »
Another question on the group gift is how is that relayed to the recipient?  Just names listed? 

So in the example above where one person buys the gift and others just repay them, then they can list all those in the group.   But what if i decide I want to pitch in on the $700 knife set but a group decides to pay the rest.  Am I still listed?  Does the group have my name to include?   Or is it better etiquette wise to only do the group option as a group and not a random assortment of people pitching in?