We think last minute gifts can’t really be called ‘last minute’ unless it’s procured just before you run out the door. The only thing that really qualifies are online gift cards, or to be clear – e-gift cards – and more and more retailers are catering to the unorganised shopper by offering this brilliant solution.
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RELATED: Gift ideas for teenage girls
Online gift cards – as the name suggests – are gift cards you buy online. But many retailers will only give you the option to send online gift cards by snail mail. The difference with e-gift cards is that you can buy them online and they can be emailed instantly to the recipient (check the tips below for how to turn them into an actual present that you can hand over). Limitations to consider is that many e-gift cards can only be used in a retailer’s online store, not their actual store.
We’ve compiled a list of Australian online retailers that offer e-gift cards to suit teenagers, but you’re sure to find this list useful for lots of people in your life.
Tips on how to give an e-gift card
When you buy an e-gift card online, the store will ask for the recipient’s email address. If you do actually want the gift to be emailed to the recipient, go ahead and enter their address. But if you want something to actually “give”, put the e-gift card in their name but enter your own email address. It will be emailed to you straight away, then you can print it out and pop it in a card.
Some book retailers have online e-gift card options that you can email or print out to be used in the online store. Booksellers we’ve found are:
- Dymocks – the Dymocks digital gift card comes in values of $25, $50, $75 and $100. You can get it emailed to yourself to print out, or straight to your recipient, and it can be used online and in store. Find out more.
- Bookworld – A Bookworld electronic gift card can be used to purchase books, audio books, eReaders, CDs, DVDs and calendars from the Bookworld website (but not eBooks). E-gift cards come in values from $10 to $200, and you can email it to yourself to print or email it to the recipient. It can be used online only. Read more.
- Amazon – last minute gift solutions have been taken to new levels. The digital gift card can be emailed instantly or scheduled, and extra options include a video gift card, using your own photo or including a product suggestion. Or you can download and print a card from your computer – choose from print and fold, print and cut, or colour-in card. Check them out here.
A magazine subscription is always a good last minute option. Simply print out a picture of the magazine or your gift certificate and enclose it with a card, or pick up the latest edition from your nearest newsagency and wrap it with a note to say they will be receiving the title for the whole of next year. But don’t forget to actually sort out the subscription before it’s February!
You can subscribe to the following titles online at iSubscribe:
- Dolly Magazine and Girlfriend for younger teen girls
- Cleo, Cosmo, Marie Claire – for older teenage girls into fashion, beauty, sex…
- Frankie magazine for the “indie” teen girl
- Blunt magazine, Triple J magazine, Rolling Stone – for the music fans
- Tracks, Inside Sport, Outer Edge, Surfing Life, Inside Cricket – for the sports fans
- Vanity Fair – an outside suggestion for the older teenager into essays on politics and celebrity.
- Sanity “e-vouchers” can be redeemed online or on the phone but not at Sanity stores. More details here
- JB HiFi allows you to order a gift card online, and the recipient will receive an emailed gift card within one day which they can use online if they like, and the real gift card in the mail, which they can use in store or online. It’s kind of like an e-gift card. More info here.
- Hoyts cinemas allow you to personalise their e-gift cards with a photo, and if you have some time up your sleeve you can schedule the email delivery. Hoyts e-gift cards here.
- Dangerfield – for ‘edgy’ and retro-style fashion, Dangerfield is the store. Lucky for country-dwelling teenagers, they have an online store and e-gift cards
- Birdsnest – with over 200 fashion brands, teenage girls are sure to find something they like from this Australian online retailer. Find out more about Birdsnest e-gift vouchers.
- Country Road has a very stylish e-gift card, naturally, which can be used instore and online. Take a look here.
- Wittner e-gift cards can only be redeemed online which makes it a bit tricky when buying shoes, but you can always pick your pair in store then purchase from their website later. Wittner e-gift cards are here.
- Aesop offers skin, hair and body products with a focus on quality plant-based ingredients. With a range that smells as good as they feel, you will find plenty of welcome gifts for teenage girls and boys. Aesop began in Melbourne but now have stores around the world. It doesn’t matter where you live though if you receive an Aesop online gift card, which can be used to purchase from their online store.
Gifts and stationery
- Peters of Kensington may be the mecca of giftware in Sydney but you can live anywhere in Australia and spend an e-gift card at their online store. Even picky teenagers will find something they like amongst the gadgets, homewares, furnishings, jewellery, luggage, stationery, makeup, perfume, games… Peters of Kensington eGift Cards are here
- Eckersley’s Art and Craft e-gift cards are perfect for the artistic teenager. They can be purchased through wishlist.com.au.
- Typo Pop does sell e-gift vouchers, but you can also buy their downloadable images and turn it into wall art very easily and quickly – and you have an actual present to give. Their artworks are typography-based, using song lyrics, iconic albums, and quotes from movies. Download an image for $5, get it printed at your local Officeworks or other on-the-spot printer, and you could even pop it in a frame to complete the gift. Check out Typo Pop here.
- Rebel Sport has “virtual gift vouchers” (e-gift cards) that can be used instore or online. See them here
- Sportsco offers e-gift cards through the wishlist.com.au website – see them here.
Last minute gifts in unlikely places
Service stations – you could probably pick up an iTunes gift card en route to a party or event, or check out their CD range (suitable only if you really know the musical taste of the person you are buying for, and their taste is mainstream).
If you catch Australia Post before close-of-business, they have a surprisingly large range of gift cards including a lot of the brands mentioned above. See them all here.
Some supermarkets are open 24 hours or at least very late, and most sell magazines and iTunes gift cards. You could always put together a nice present out of a selection of items and make it look special by choosing a theme – colours, shapes, holiday etc. Here are some suggestions:
- Selection of skincare items – themes could be organic/all natural, beach protection and aftersun care (pop them in a sand castle bucket), makeup, nails or haircare, selection of magazines with nibblies.
- Food – put together a kit for making sushi or making and decorating cupcakes, or buy a nice jar and fill it with their favourite treats.
We’ll be updating this list as we discover new stores offering e-gift cards. If you know of any stores to add, or you have other ideas for last minute gifts, please let us know in the comments below.