Gift to Hairdresser: Good or Bad Idea?
September 5, 2020 3:46 PM   Subscribe

I would like to give my hairdresser my basically unused Nintendo Switch as a gift. I bought it earlier this year in a fit of terrible FOMO and I know I am not going to use it because I already have a Switch Lite. Is this a terrible idea?

I really regret buying my special edition Animal Crossing Switch. I did it during a manic-depressive moment with the intention of starting a new island, which I no longer want to do. I also don't want to buy any other games for it because I already have a Switch Lite. I have never regretted a purchase this much, and it really bums me out. I spent around $700 to get it (now it's only $500 ish, FML.)

However! Today I visited my wonderful hairdresser for the first time since February, and I realized that I would love to give her the Switch. She has had a really hard year because of how COVID-19 has impacted the service industry, and as such she and her boyfriend have had to cut back on fun stuff. This would be a no strings attached present. I don't want anything in return at all unless she is adamant in paying me and even then I wouldn't take any more than $100 for it.

Am I nuts for considering this? The next option would be to sell the console on eBay which I really don't want to do because... Well, because.

Hivemind, what are your thoughts?
posted by Kitchen Witch to Human Relations (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I mean, it's a big tip to a service provider, but it's something that isn't exactly sparking joy in your life, so why not offer it to her? Seems kind, not nutty. "You mentioned last time that you and your boyfriend have really cut back on fun things because of COVID, and I'm wondering if you would like this? I have a Switch-Lite now, so I'm not using it." That messes a bit with the timeline but makes it seem a bit more like something you just no longer need.

The only thing is -- how much inexpensive content is available to them? Will they only be able to play Animal Crossing unless they shell out a bunch of money for other things?
posted by jacquilynne at 3:53 PM on September 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

Has she mentioned wanting a switch? I ask because not everyone is interested in gaming and if it hasn't come up in conversation it might be extremely weird for her to be offered this random expensive item that she hasn't shown any interest in.

If she has expressed interest in having a console, and specifically this one it's still a bit weird (although well-intentioned) and might set up an odd dynamic between you. Will you still be asking about this thing (and your role as 'benefactor') at every future appointment? What if she just turns around and sells it? Would you mind?

I guess I'm just saying think before you make this proposal. Or test the waters a bit first at the very least.
posted by freya_lamb at 4:12 PM on September 5, 2020 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: So... I mentioned to her during my appointment that I bought the Switch and that it was expensive and I wasn't using it. That changes things I bet, yeah?

Price wise, Animal Crossing is $50. The other games I think she might be interested in playing are less than that.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 4:14 PM on September 5, 2020

Best answer: Do you know this is something she wants? Would she use it? Does Animal Crossing sound like something she'd enjoy? Heck I bought a switch thinking I'd play it and it literally did not get used for years (basically until Covid). It's an expensive gift if you're not sure that's what they're into.

Would you be upset if she turned around and sold it on ebay because that $500 could help her in other, higher priority ways?
posted by cgg at 4:16 PM on September 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

Your update doesn’t change much, honestly. Even if she expressed interest/enthusiasm/envy (unclear at this point), the monetary value of the gift (real or perceived) would make it challenging to accept for many people.

I think your impulse is kind, just not sure of the execution.
posted by sm1tten at 6:10 PM on September 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

If you genuinely don't want it, I think it would be a lovely thing to offer her. If she doesn't accept, she doesn't accept, but I think it's strange not to offer it because of some perceived burden on her? I feel like worrying about being "too generous" in a relationship where you don't have any sort of real power dynamic concerns is not worth worrying about.
posted by ch1x0r at 7:00 PM on September 5, 2020

Best answer: How about “So remember that Nintendo Switch that I was talking about before? I decided I don’t use/want it anymore since I bought a Switch Lite, so I’m asking people I know if anyone would like it. Would you?” Maybe makes you look a little extravagant with your spending and generosity to people generally, but defuses the perception that you’re looking to give a service worker an oddly large gratuity or that you’re doing so with her specific misfortune in mind.
posted by hhc5 at 8:06 PM on September 5, 2020 [15 favorites]

Bonus advantage to hhc5's approach: if she turns it down, you've already practised using that script so it will come easier every time, and your Switch will eventually end up in the hands of somebody who will enjoy and appreciate it very much.
posted by flabdablet at 8:18 PM on September 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I would not mention her budget situation at all. Focus the message on the fact that you don't want it and you are going to give it away in any case.

Something like:
"I bought this on impulse, I'm really not going to use, I would like to find a good home for it. If you would enjoy it, I would be delighted if you take it."

That signals that you are going to give it away anyway and leaves room for her to say no if she doesn't feel comfortable accepting it. If she seems interested but uncomfortable because it is too much, repeat that you are going to give it away anyway so if she would like to be the one to have it, that would be great. If not, you'll find another home for it. If she still says no, don't push. (i guess adjust for culture here but as an ask culture person, a clear no means don't ask again.)

ps: I would totally make this offer to my hairdresser - don't sound creepy at all if you do it respectfully.
posted by metahawk at 10:14 PM on September 5, 2020 [5 favorites]

I don't think this is unusual or odd. I'm assuming money isn't a major concern for you, otherwise you'd be eager to sell it on eBay or someplace else. So to me, this just feels like an act of generosity. You have ended up with two of something and you only need one. So you generously want to give it away, rather than deal with the hassle of reselling. The world could use more generosity! if you think this person would like this object, by all means, offer it to her.
posted by swheatie at 11:46 AM on September 6, 2020

Response by poster: Hurray!! I used a modified version of hhc5 and metahawk's suggested script and she joyfully accepted. I am so so glad -- I have never been in the position to do this financially and I am super grateful to be able to send this impulse purchase to someone who will really enjoy it. Thank you so much for all your help!
posted by Kitchen Witch at 2:17 PM on September 7, 2020 [14 favorites]

« Older Ideas on charging for a very part-time job   |   What makes a costume iconically "Jean Grey"? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments