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Best websites for inexpensive holiday gifts

You'll find great presents for under $25 from these 25 retailers

Published: November 2013

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We know what you’re thinking: Nice gifts for $25 and less? No way! But it can be done. The websites listed here offer holiday gifts at a wide range of prices but make it easy to find inexpensive options. Each of the sites meets our requirements for privacy, contact-information disclosure, and customer service. So get ready to unwrap great gift deals!

(Note: “Order by” dates are the last day to order for guaranteed Dec. 24 delivery with standard shipping.)

This site specializes in vintage items with a modern edge. Click on "Gifts & Objects" and shop
by price; stocking stuffers start at just $3. The small wooden ornament box set (shown above) is $18.
 
Order by: Dec. 16
Gift wrapping: Free
Shipping: Starts at $7; free for orders of $100 or more
Returns: 15 days from receipt
Deliciously scented candles, oil diffusers, bath salts, and handmade soaps ($8 each), with names such as Egyptian Jasmine and Sugared Magnolia, make it easy and affordable to give the gift of relaxation.
 
Order by: Dec. 18
Gift wrapping: No
Shipping costs: Starts at $6.95
Returns: 7 days from receipt
The site’s brightly colored, patterned cloth napkins (sets of 6 for $25) and table runners practically beg you to gift them to your favorite hostess with the mostest. scroll through swatches for inspiration. The Dahlia oven mitt costs $16 and the cocktail aprons (both shown above) are $25 each.  
 
Order by: Dec. 19
Gift wrapping: $7.50
Shipping: Starts at $7.93
Returns: Store credit only, within 30 days from receipt.
These homemade, small-batch foodie treats are so good, you won’t want to share them. Better buy doubles!The Sugar Knife boozy marshmallows (shown above) are $7 each.
 
Order by: Dec. 10
Gift wrapping: All items are wrapped
Shipping: Flat $10; free for orders of $50 or more
Returns: Only for damaged items

Head here for eco-friendly gifts from all over the world. Search by best sellers for lots of choices for less than $25, or start by clicking on the "Shop by Price" tab. The Eva hand-painted cups (shown above) are $12 each.
 
Order by: Dec. 16
Gift wrapping: $5
Shipping: Flat $7.99; free for orders of $75 or more
Returns: 14 days (contact within 7 days for instructions)
This marketplace offers unique items created by independent artists, including original paintings and handmade soap. Can’t decide? See the site’s “curator” recommendations. The women’s geometric tribal scarf is $25 and the silver ornate cuff bracelet (both shown above) is $19.
 
Order by: Varies by seller
Gift wrapping: Varies by seller
Shipping: Varies by seller
Returns: Varies by seller
Creamy vegetable-based soaps exude elegance; snap them up for your fancier friends and relatives. Use the gift-finder tool to uncover perfect holiday picks in your price range. The robin’s egg soaps in nest soap dish (shown above) is $25.
 
Order by: Dec. 15
Gift wrapping: $4.95
Shipping: Starts at $5; free for orders of $75 or more
Returns: 30 days from receipt
Find unique presents at this marketplace for independent “makers” who create awesome jewelry, accessories, home items, and paper goods. Sign up on the site for $5 off. The set of 4 mix and match coasters (shown above) is $25.

Order by: Dec. 13
Gift wrapping: All items are wrapped
Shipping: Starts at $6.95
Returns: Only for damaged items

This eco-friendly boutique has gorgeous housewares and more.
 
The Plantlife Spa Therapy kit costs $21.
 
Order by: Dec. 17
Gift wrapping: By e-mail or phone request; price varies by size
Shipping: Starts at $5
Returns: 30 days (contact within 14 days for instructions)
Trendy accessories run the show here.
 
We’re smitten with the Erica earrings and Sophie necklace, $25 each.
 
Order by: Dec. 17
Gift wrapping: All items are wrapped
Shipping: Flat $5; free for orders of $100 or more
Returns: 30 days from purchase
The keepsake “Between me and You journals,” $15, are a gift for both you and the recipient; your loved ones fill in thoughtful answers to fun questions, then share them with you.
 
Order by: Dec. 18
Gift wraping: No; gift card for $2
Shipping: Starts at $5.50
Returns: 20 days from receipt
Socially conscious fashion and home accessory companies are featured here. For every new registered member, Roozt donates one meal to an American in need.
 
Snap up the Nylon Market Tote for $24.
 
Order by: Dec. 16
Gift wrapping: No
Shipping: Varies by seller
Returns: 30 days from shipping
The tea gift sets and accessories on this Paris-based company’s site let you give tranquility to the stressed-out folks in your life. So... tea for everyone?
 
The assortment of five tasty brunch teas in keeper tins costs $24.
 
Order by: Dec. 17
Gift wrapping: Free
Shipping: Flat $4.99; free for orders of $60 or more
Returns: 7 days from receipt

This site is full of items that will make you say, “I didn’t know they made that!” And then you’ll pick up three of them for stocking stuffers, plus one for yourself!
 
The Mohzy Loop Micro USB Cable/Wristbands, $20 each, are great for gadget lovers on your gift list.
 
Order by: Dec. 17
Gift wrapping: No
Shipping:
Starts at $6.99
Returns: 90 days from receipt
Send your foodie friends a slice of the best Key lime pie in Tampa or local approved deep-dish pizza from Chicago.
 
Find those and other regional favorites, such as potato chip chocolate bars, $20 for a set of 3, at this site.
 
Order by: Dec. 17
Gift wrapping: All items are wrapped
Shipping: Varies by seller
Returns: Only for damaged items
Free your Instagram photos from your phone and turn them into gorgeous photo gifts. Choose prints, memory boxes, or a gift card that lets the recipient choose.
 
The Tinybooks come in sets of 3 for just $10.
 
Order by: Dec. 19
Gift wrapping: No
Shipping: Starts at $6
Returns: Unlimited.
Head to this site for personalized gifts—from custom ornaments to family popcorn buckets (the small ones are $15 each; the big one is $25).
 
Order by: Dec. 12
Gift wrapping: $4.99
Shipping: Starts at $7.99, plus a handling fee that starts at $3.99
Returns: 180 days from receipt.
Shop by interest to uncover kid-approved presents, whether she’s into arts and crafts, science, or horses.
 
The Eye Spy Motion-Activated Voice Recorders (shown) are $17 each.
 
Order by: Dec. 17
Gift wrapping: $4.95
Shipping: Starts at $5.99
Returns: 90 days from purchase

The parties and gifts section of this site has the tiniest people on your list covered, with green toys, clothes, and more. Click on "Winter holidays" for seasonal items. A set of five interactive 3D bath puzzles (the polar bear and penguin are shown above) is $5.
 
Order by: Dec. 17
Gift wrapping: No
Shipping: Flat $5; free for orders of $49 or more
Returns: 90 days from purchase
It’s easier than ever to inspire the little reader in your life; books ($5 to $23) here are organized by age group, so you’ll be sure to pick an appropriate read. Click on "Top lists" for recommendations.
 
Order by: Dec. 16
Gift wrapping: $5.99
Shipping: Starts at $4.99; free for orders of $35 or more
Returns: 1 year from purchase
Encourage creativity with something—anything—from this site. We love the art supplies ($6 to $13) and sets, as well as the build your-own kits.
 
Order by: Dec. 16
Gift wrapping: $4.99
Shipping: Starts at $6
Returns: 30 days from purchase

Legit camera gear doesn’t have to cost a fortune; this site has handy accessories at affordable prices. Not a shutterbug yourself? Look for the “hot” flags on popular sellers.
 
The telephoto smart-phone lens is $20.

Order by: Dec. 15
Gift wrapping: $5
Shipping: Starts at $2.50; free for orders of $50 or more
Returns: 30 days from receipt
Need a fresh present for a pop-culture lover? You can go for “Game of Thrones” figurines or “Star Wars” games and onesies here. And see the "unBasket" section for unusual gift sets, including a zombie-themed unDead unBasket.
 
The Get Along with Your Co-workers tea (above) is $10. Pads of funny sticky notes are $4 each.

Order by: Dec. 19
Gift wrapping: $6.99
Shipping: Starts at $3.07
Returns: 14 days from receipt
Click here for man-cave gear such as sleek black playing cards, whiskey stones, replica vintage Zippo lighters, and assorted cool bottle openers.
 
The ice shot glasses are $9 each.

Order by: Dec. 17
Gift wrapping: No
Shipping: Starts at $3.99
Returns: 30 days from receipt
This eclectic home-centric site is full of fun finds, including big rugs and small accent pieces, some with a sense of humor.
 
The pushpin sets (seen above) are $8 each.
 
Order by: Dec. 17
Gift wrapping: All packages are gift wrapped, but not the individual items
Shipping: Starts at $7.95
Returns: Only for damaged items

Do-good gifts

Help others while you help yourself to these great gifts that benefit a worthy cause. All are new for this holiday season and are especially generous about what they give to charity.

These beautiful cards are available through the end of the year and are the perfect delivery method for cash gifts. Since 1985 sales of Pier1’s cards have raised $36 million for The United Nations Children’s Fund.
 
Available at: Pier1.com
Price: $10 to $12 for a pack of 12 cards
Donation: 100 percent
Available through the end of the year, each of these colorful bracelets helps fill a child’s belly via the United Nations World Food Programme. Pick up a few. So far, FEED projects have funded more than 60 million meals.
 
Available at: FeedProjects.com
Price: $15
Donation: Five school meals
These cat- and dog-themed mugs are adorable, and half their purchase price (through Jan. 31, 2014) goes to benefit the work of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Available at: WestElm.com
Price: $10
Donation: 50 percent
This company already donates 1 percent of its tea profits to CARE, which fights poverty by empowering women and girls worldwide with education, health care, and other resources. Grab this stainless-steel thermos with a stainless strainer to further the cause.

Available at: Teavana.com
Price: $29
Donation: $3
Dressed in the color of the season, this giftable tablet case helps the Global Fund fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in eight African countries. Every penny of the donations is put to work for the cause.
 
Available at: Apple.com
Price: $49
Donation: 100 percent (10 days of lifesaving medicine).
Available Nov. 3 through the end of the year, this cute little guy supports St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s race to treat and cure pediatric cancers and other life-threatening diseases.

Available at: Target.com
Price: $15
Donation: 100 percent
Editor's Note: This article appeared in the December 2013 issue of ShopSmart magazine.
   

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