Gift Giving Etiquette: Do You Ship Directly to the Recipient When Shopping Online?

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With Hanukkah and Thanksgiving occurring this week, holiday shopping is in full swing. While Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days, Cyber Monday seems to be much more convenient — you don't even need to leave the house, and you can ship directly to your recipient. With friends and family spread across the country, it almost seems most convenient to do all your gift shopping online. But there may be some pros and cons to this approach.

Sending gifts purchased online directly to the recipient saves time and money. No need to wait for the package to arrive at your house, then wrap it, and then put it back in the mail. Many times merchants' shipping fees are the same as, or less than, what a shipping company would charge. There's no waiting in long lines at the post office. Additionally, with express shipping (or an Amazon Prime membership), you can wait until the very last minute to ship gifts.

Of course, the drawbacks are some lack of personalization with gifts. You might not be buying from local brick and mortar stores, and are stuck with options only found online. If you send a gift directly from a merchant you can't see it yourself, and make sure it's truly the item you intended to buy. You can't wrap it yourself, add a hand written note, or bundle it with any other goodies.

What do you think? Is being able to wrap a gift and personalize it worth the extra hassle? Do you ship directly to the recipient when shopping online?

(Image credits: Africa Studio/Shutterstock)