Why are men so difficult to buy for?

With Father’s Day approaching – 16th June 2019, the stress of purchasing a little gift for the significant man in your life, becomes more pertinent. Oh they say, ‘don’t get me anything’, or ‘just get me some socks’, but we all know they don’t mean it, and would love a little surprise. So why are men so difficult to buy for?

There are, of course, lots of different reasons, but here are a couple of the big ones.

Do you end up buying for yourself?

The first and obvious one, is that you might have a completely opposite taste to your dad, husband, brother or granddad. When you go to a shop or online store to buy men’s gifts, you tend to make a purchasing decision based on what you personally think looks fun, attractive or tasty. So much so, that before you know it you’ve walked out of the shop with a carrier bag holding a new scarf that you love, but the man in your life would never be seen dead in.

Another reason is that shops don’t tend to stock a lot for men. The rationale behind this is that more women than men tend to like shopping. So instead of shelves of interesting bits and pieces than men might actually be interested in and like, there are shops full of more feminine items.

So, what can you do about this shopping bias? How can you resolve the old question: why are men so difficult to buy for? Here are a few suggestions.

First off, shop independent. Find the single or unusual gift boutiques. The owners of these shops want to attract customers of all ages, gender, shapes and sizes, and are far more likely to stock something unusual, interesting and what your dad or husband might like.

Something for the weekend!

Next, try to base your judgement on what to get, based on what they do. For your father, grandfather or brother, think about what activities they enjoy. What do they do at weekends or in their spare time? Then simply choose presents that relate to those activities. For example; at Juul at Home we have a great range of toiletries for the feet. We have Bathing Beauty Foot Pop and the Bathing Beauty Sweet Feet Gift Tin, both of which are fabulous for soothing tired feet, especially for Marathon runners and Park Run enthusiasts. Alternatively perhaps the man in your life has recently made a change in their diet and gone Vegan or is looking to limit their use of single-use plastics, in which case they might like something both beautiful and useful. Perhaps get them a Skull Bamboo Travel Mug or some Bamboo Straws. Basically if you ask them what they’d like they will probably go blank. But if you ask them what they like to do, or what they’ve recently been up to, this may give you an invaluable guide to some unique men’s gifts that you can sneak off and purchase.

Say no to novelty.

Finally in our quest to answer, ‘why are men so difficult to buy for?’. We need to discuss ‘novelty’. When we’ve exhausted all high street retailers and our hands are tired from working the mouse on the laptop, its far too easy to go for the ‘silly’. All we can say is, ‘step away from the cheap and tacky’. No man in his right mind is going to appreciate a ‘glow in the dark’ stress ball; they are not going to want a pencil sharpener pen pot holder; nor will they love you for a pair of cuff-links saying ‘his and hers’. If you find yourself at your wits end, say no. Just don’t resort to the novelty path of no return. Better to not get anything at all, than a ‘single use’ piece of plastic tat that will clog up the kitchen drawer and will even be declined in the plastic recycling bin.

If in doubt, ask yourself is the gift both ‘beautiful and useful’? If it isn’t, put it down.

Go independent

At our store we actively look out for the non novelty, beautiful and useful men’s gifts. Currently in stock we have Vegan Shave Oil, a lovely Mid-Century Yellow Metal Lamp, a whole range of Men’s Jewellery by local artist, Cressida Lowery, and some fabulous head-phone winders in leather.

So, when it comes to present buying for men, we hope we’ve given you some pointers. However, even as retailer buyers, we do know how difficult it can be and sometimes it really does feel like all the typical gender stereotypes are true. Take, for example, father’s day cards – you’re stuffed if your dad hates football and beer, because they tend to be the default card illustrations. All we can say is, we try our absolute hardest to acquire beautiful and exquisite men’s gifts.  Have a look at some our Father’s Day Ideas.