White elephant gifts are encased in value
There are many opportunities to enjoy free services on the internet. You can find free applications, free games and free advice in abundance right there in your browser. Imaginary white elephant gift giving is even joining the virtual and free application world.
But the real-world still includes real giving as a way of demonstrating love and support among family and friends. It seems hard to believe that this supportive tradition will ever be replaced with something that is completely free. Real gifts cost real money.
White elephant gift traditions
This is even true for the traditional white elephant gift exchange, where everyone provides an item for the party and everyone takes away a present in the end.
Seth Godin shared some insight on when free is valuable and when paying for something is necessary. His thoughts focused on monetizing a web-based business, but because we are a gift-based service provider we felt his words confirm the value of real gift giving.
“My argument is that the line for using free as a discovery tool is shifting, and the best (and perhaps only) way to monetize in the future is for the idea to be encased in something that could never realistically be free.” (Seth Godin)
Marketing unique gifts
As an online provider for real gift-giving, we believe that this process could never realistically be free. Of course, the receiver of a birthday or wedding present pays nothing, but the giver must spend money on an item to provide the support. in the case of distance, the supportive gift-giver also pays the transportation costs associated with seeing that the gift arrives.
Gifts in a Virtual World?
Could giving ever be at no-cost to anyone? That doesn’t seem possible unless a new mommy will accept a virtual baby blanket to keep her infant warm. It seems like the baby shower, the wedding reception and the birthday party will continue to fuel robust sales in the gift segment of the economy. The same could be said for the white elephant gift exchange tradition. Real gifts purchased with real money are here to stay, unless the Government passes an “All Scrooge, all the time” policy.
Mr. Godin’s suggestion is that any sustainable online application must be based upon things that realistically must be purchased. Business will only survive where there is a continuous cash flow for operations.
White elephant gift discovery
The argument for using “free” as a discovery tool has merit, so we are offering free test-drives of the online white elephant gift exchange. If you host a party using the code 1234, none of the attendees will have to pay to play.
Of course without paying for a real gift, you will be playing with just the virtual images of the white elephant gifts. But at least you can see how much fun and convenient it is to use the great tools of the internet to share real white elephant gifts with your family and friends.