12 Sources for Gifts that Look Expensive but Aren't

12 Sources for Gifts that Look Expensive but Aren't

Sarah Coffey
Dec 3, 2010

If you haven't got a lot to spend on gifts this holiday but you don't want to look like a schmuck, we're here to help. Here are 12 places to find cool, high-design items for your friends and family. Prices range from $6 to $35 — you won't find anything over $50 in this list.

Home Accessories

508e1f32ba75cf7f495bdd5f0fd72ab0b7021620. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop IKEA
Your first thought might be, "too cheap and too recognizable," but IKEA has some lesser-known, higher-quality products that make great gifts. The Tradig Bowl, for instance, is a solid and strong powder-coated steel design for just $25.

5c6b3120f11b6245b1df005802e494b97baaa91d. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Crate and Barrel Outlet
If returns aren't a concern, outlet stores are a rich resource for discounted gifts. Crate and Barrel always has nice table linens, servingware, and bedding in their online outlet shop. This Chilewich Melange Runner is $20 (marked down from $30).

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If you're putting together any gift baskets or floral arrangements, this website has a huge inventory of supplies at discounted rates. Some items are nice enough to give as standalone gifts or stocking stuffers, like these Lavender Soy Candles for $6.

Servingware and Dishes

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Based out of New York, this china and tabletop store has almost all their inventory available online. They focus on simple, classic pieces that are a little heavier than average (think restaurauntware). Shown: Light Blue Teapot, $16.95.

3d46a6be600dc0db8a140608f0bab373e0cb2a45. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Anthropologie
Not everything there is cheap, but you can find good prices on dishes, bowls, glassware, and kitchen accessories, and they frequently have sales. These latte bowls, ($20 for four) are a best seller with classic, French-flea-market-style appeal.

26852810877836f054b3a61d263ef5dc57a04af8. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Macy's
If you're willing to brave big crowds, Macy's Cellar has sales throughout the holiday season on tabletop and cookware. Or, you can just go online and see what's marked down. Shown: Martha Stewart Cast Iron Casserole Pot, $35 (marked down from $70).

Home Office Accessories

1c7117685619173aefff63cba35775867763a853. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop G.U.S. Great Useful Stuff
This online retailer sells organizational supplies by Kangaroom Storage and other brands. The Phone/PDA Charging Station, $30, is a useful, wall-mounted design that's less expensive than other streamlined modern options we've seen.

fb3bf7fe4e1ff1ada1edac7dd565671225227bce. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop MUJI
This Japanese big box store sells "no brand" products that are stripped down to their most minimal, functional design. Not all of it is cheap, but you can definitely find beautiful office supplies, housewares, and bags for reasonable prices. Shown: Weekly Calendar, $12.95

f49f09f01735de73c33aaa3098daa4f184f22559. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Amazon.com
Throughout the holiday, they're posting online deals, where you can find gifts on deep discount. (Right now, you can shop for Cyber Week Savings.) Shown: Otter Box Commuter Case for iPhone 3G, on sale for $16 (marked down from $35).

Handmade Gifts

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With hundreds of thousands of sellers, Etsy's handmade marketplace is FULL of good deals if you're OK with searching through a lot of junk. This White Cascading Flower Wall Art is a pretty piece that sells for $32.

0b6eec45fd7dd63aa81bf164f05b433b1f6827f7. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Renegade Handmade
Based out of Chicago, this store has a location in the Wicker Park neighborhood as well as an e-commerce site where you can shop for over 300 artist-designed products online. Shown: Red and Pink Painting, $32.

f6e46215af3e264131d6ca66399ade04a3714571. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop SupermarketHQ
Like Etsy, but with far fewer sellers and a more curated collection, Supermarket is an aggregator site for handmade goods. It's a good resource for any hipster friends on your gift list. Shown: Cloudbirds Pillow from Skinny Laminx, $25.

Photo: Orla Cushion Cover in lemon from Skinny Laminx at Supermarket HQ, $30

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