Note: Fligoo reached out to me and asked me to try their service in exchange for some cash to buy a gift. But all opinions are of course my own.
Buying gifts for people can be hard. Especially when you’re shopping for people you don’t see often — family members, say — or whose taste you might not be totally up on.
Gift cards can be a great choice for those people, but what if you want to give them an actual gift?
That’s where a site like Fligoo comes in. This is a gift suggestion service that ties into your Facebook account and uses information shared on Facebook to recommend gifts that people ought to like.
To get started, sign into the site with Facebook.
It will take a minute to bring up a visual list of friends with upcoming birthdays, who you can click on for gift suggestions, or search for a Facebook friend and see a visual menu (think Pinterest) of different things the site thinks your friend will like. It’s pretty and fun to interact with.
Using the Site
I searched for a pretty wide range of people — a teenage girl, a 40-something guy, a tech-savvy girlfriend, my husband, my brother, my mom — and some of those people’s suggestions seemed a lot more accurate than others.
The site asked me the age of many of the people I searched (I guess because they don’t share their age on Facebook) and I feel like some of the gifts were predictable based on the age and gender of the recipient. (Don’t worry, Stephanie, I’m not getting you anti-aging cream for your next birthday.)
There were a few sure misses — makeup for my mom, who never wears it; a “yours, mine and ours” decanter set for an unmarried friend — but I think the more a person puts on Facebook the more accurate these are likely to be. And you’ll find some fun stuff just by browsing through.
One problem I was having with the site is when I wanted to get a closer look at an item, sometimes it would open in a popup and sometimes in a new tab. When it opened in a new tab the scroll bar would go away on the original page, and if you refreshed the page you’d get different recommendations. This happened when I was looking at things for my husband and the gift I actually ended up choosing went away when I refreshed.
When you see something you like, clicking on it should bring up a bigger picture, product description and price. Because this is all about social, you’ll also see how many people have viewed that item, shared it with others or added it to a wish list. (Further down the page you can also send gift suggestions to your Facebook friends or comment on the item and post it to your Facebook feed.) You also see related products if you’re looking to browse.
Want to buy something? Hit that big “go for it” button and you’ll be directed to the site where that item can be found. (Usually, anyway. It couldn’t figure out where to send me for that necklace.)
Another item I clicked on showed a price of $56, and when it took me to the site the actual price was $70, so that’s something to be on the lookout for, too.
All About You
You can also look up yourself and see what items it recommends for you. With that information, or just as you browse, you can also build a wishlist for yourself.
It thinks I’m interested in war and classical music a bit more than I am (which is pretty much not at all), but some of the gifts I would be happy to get.
You can also find out how Fligoo sees you, which was pretty fun. Only 17 percent smart pants? Well, I never!
I really want to like this site, and it is fun if you’re just browsing, but it seems a little glitchy still. I hope they’ll work some of the kinks out.
And of course you still have to know a bit about a person to know which of these curated gifts would really be best for them. (My brother, for instance, loves watching sports but I don’t think he wants running shorts. Or carb blocker pills, or three different kinds of homebrew equipment, or a cookbook on the paleo diet.)
And it doesn’t offer any help for people who aren’t on Facebook. So my mother-in-law will have to suffer my randomness for yet another year.
Do you use a gift recommendation service? I’d love to hear about it.