Givted Lets You Crowdfund to Buy Friends Gifts They Really Want

givtedOne-Liner Pitch: Givted is like crowdfunding for gift-giving.

Why It’s Taking Off: Visual bookmarking sites allow you to collect aspirational products, but Givted allows your friends to buy you those higher pricetag items they couldn’t afford on their own.

Here’s a riddle: Would you rather have 10 stocking stuffers or one dream-come-true under the Christmas tree? It’s the wrong season, but gift-giving (and receiving) happens all year long. A site called Givted aims to help you friends buy you what you really want — by pooling their funds.

Givted has all the basic features of a visual bookmarking site like Pinterest, but with some key differences. You just have one list — your “want” list — meant to be more specific than a wish list; you’ll only add products you truly hope to own. You can sign up with Facebook but your friend list is designated as “real” friends — meaning, these are people who you’d actually expect to purchase something for you on an occasion such as a birthday or housewarming party.

Of course, the magic behind Givted is that the site makes it easy for your “real” friends to join together and give you something on the list — they don’t have to worry about paying each other back while one person makes the purchase, because the site takes care of the exchange of money.

The money comes to the gift receiver in the form of a cash gift card (that can be used in stores or digitally) along with photos of all the contributors so it’s more personal, and it’s the right amount for the product you want, rather than a generic store gift card.

We’ve heard of social gifting before, but we can already tell this is a little different.

What Is Social Gifting?

Facebook owns your birthday. Think about it — if you removed your birthday from your profile, how many “Happy Birthday” messages would you receive? And, how many of those well-wishers will actually buy you that Starbucks card when prompted?

“Facebook Gifts is helping us convince people that gifting digitally is important,” says Francois de Bodinat, one of the sibling founders of Givted.

There’s the ease of making a quick purchase via your Facebook page, and also the immediacy of giving a gift to a friend, no matter how far you are geographically.

But Givted plans to dominate one area that Facebook has not: “Facebook is not a place luxury brands want to go to sell stuff,” de Bodinat says.

Cofounder Stéphanie de Bodinat, who was global director of mobile for Adidas before starting Givted, says that brands want a real social reputation that will bring people into stores, not just “Likes.”

The site will be able to cater to luxury brands in a way neither Pinterest nor Facebook has — since the friend-funded gift-giving action is central, brands might be able to pitch in a few bucks as well.

It’s that moment when you’re with all your friends around the birthday cake, and they’ve all chipped in to buy you something you really want, explains Stéphanie, and the brand who made that product you love chipped in as well at the very end to be with you around the cake.

“Brands want to buy those moments,” Stéphanie says.

The Aspirational Storefront

givted2Not a Mother’s Day has gone by that either my sister or dad didn’t call me to say, “Hey, you want to go in together on a gift for Mom?” There comes a point in a person’s life when the little knick-knacks that we used to buy for each other are less meaningful but our individual budgets don’t allow for us to purchase for each other those things we dream about — the travel, books, handbags and shoes that fill Givted’s storefront.

“The goal is to inspire people to want things or to want to give things,” Stéphanie says.

An iOS app scheduled to release this fall will allow you to snap photos of an item you want in a store and add it to your list.

Curating your own gift list allows your friends to make better decisions around what to buy you — and you can avoid that forced “Thank you” when you receive something awful.

[Source: Dani Fankhauser @ Mashable]


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