My sister recently moved to Ireland and when I wanted to send her a little present I realized that in addition to the whopping ($30!) shipping charges, the carbon footprint of whatever I sent her from Minnesota would be enormous. Luckily, I have discovered a few options that help me send her gorgeous gifts from locations a little closer to where she is. Check them out after the jump.
Shopping local on Etsy. This was my first discovery. I found a fantastic seller from Dublin who was happy to work with me, add a card to the gift, and wrap it up nicely for my sister. Not only did I find a lovely gift, I was touched by the kindness of the seller who wanted my sister to feel at home in her home country.
Craigslist. While not as nice and tidy as Etsy, if you watch the local Craigslist ads for your gift receiver's location you can often find just what they need. I've found that if you offer to pay in full on PayPal many Craigslist sellers will work out a way to get your gift to your loved one. Plus, with PayPal, you're protected incase it doesn't actually arrive.
Call their favorite restaurant/ flower shop/ store. Finding out what your far away loved one's favorite place to go is and calling them up is a great local option. You can arrange for a yummy take out meal, a bouquet of locally sourced flowers or that item they've been eyeing to be delivered to their doorstep. Many small retailers are more than happy to help you out, especially since you're likely to become a repeat (yet distant) customer!
What are your favorite ways to get a gift to someone far away?