Ask Her Friends got in touch with me recently and asked if I'd like to take a look at their website. I am always up for discovering a shiny, new website so I wandered over for a mosey around and was really impressed at both the idea behind it and the range of products that they feature. It's always a pleasant experience to browse around a website that makes you go "ooh!" all the time, and this one definitely did.
I am a big believer in investing a bit of effort into finding the perfect present for someone. I tend to jot down ideas during the year and you may well find me whipping out my phone mid-conversation and writing a note to myself. I know not everyone is this disgustingly organised though. I'd blame it on my genes but I'm related to someone (who shall not be named) who is hopeless at buying presents so that can't be it. Anyway, I like to track down interesting and unusual things for people but I know this isn't always easy and anything that helps can only be a good thing. In my experience, it's not something men are particularly good at unless they're either the thoughtful type or they live with you and can't avoid the hint dropping.
So I asked my friend Lee if he'd try the site out and see what it suggested. Over to him!
I was looking for Christmas inspiration for a very dear friend of mine and with us living in different cities an online gift was definitely at the forefront of my mind. This seemed like a good chance to do something a little different than our usual habit of buying each other theatre tickets.
Using Ask Her Friends is a simple process - you fill in a brief questionnaire about your gift respondent and the site suggests a range of gifts within your stipulated price range. The great thing, and what really stood out about this site, is that you can then contact a number of her friends for their thoughts about the list that has been created (up to ten items). The website was easy to navigate: it was simple and straightforward to set up my account and start the list. What really stood out was the ease of entering the data of the friends to consult, with email, Twitter and Facebook all being offered as choices.
The list that was generated for me was was much more varied in terms of selections than I probably would have considered had I shopped in store. In this case books, DVDs, stationery, shoes, clothing, jewellery & homeware were all suggested. As a man there are certain gifts I would consider for a friend, whereas this list expanded these choices and I received positive feedback on almost all of the items, although one thing did stand out as a clear favourite with everyone.
In order to make this list suitable, I would suggest that you do need to know the gift recipient fairly well but because you can check the suggestions with her friends, you're always going to end up with something that is a good choice. The one thing to mention is to keep an eye on p&p costs as they're not necessarily included within the listed price and it may take you slightly out of your stipulated price range. Overall though, the experience of using the site left me really satisfied and I was happy that the choices forwarded to her friends were such an eclectic and interesting collection. The real plus point was that the item I ended up with was something I know she will absolutely LOVE and it was also something I wouldn't have been aware of without this website.
DUN DUN DUN.....
What did he choose for me? I have no idea! I am on tenterhooks and I have strict orders not to be nosy, so I'll just have to wait. Hope it's something from the book selection, although I wouldn't say no to any of the Rock My Vintage stuff or the War Horse theatre break or, well, any of it. Such lovely things!
Disclaimer: neither of us were paid for this review but Lee's purchase cost was covered.