Please help us find a great resource to send gifts in Europe!
December 17, 2007 2:17 PM   Subscribe

It's holiday gift time, and once again I am presented with the problem of trying to send something to my in-laws on another continent. Usually, I spend a couple months shopping for tiny items that I can mail to the Netherlands for as much as I paid for them. Today it dawned on me...there must be an easier way! Please post your great online resources for sending gifts to Europe.

I have two sets of in-laws (a divorce was in involved) in the Netherlands. I want to send them each something reasonably nice for Christmas. I don't have a huge amount of money to spend this year, but I am hoping to find a resource that I can use for many years to come.

I asked my husband, who is Dutch, what websites we might be able to peruse for holiday gifts, but we haven't come up with anything brilliant yet. A quick google reveals lots of slightly shady looking gift basket companies with (most likely) inflated prices. Does anybody have an internet resource that ships to the Netherlands? It doesn't necessarily need to be a Dutch website. It simply needs to be willing to ship there for a more reasonable price than the 50 bucks I usually spend during the holidays to mail them little American trinkets.

Nice gift baskets are certainly OK if you have a reputable website. We're open to any and all great resources you have for gifts to Europe. Hopefully, more money can go to my in-laws and less to the USPS this year! Thanks guys!
posted by theantikitty to Shopping (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
could you mail them a gift visa card pre-loaded with euros? this might offer greater economy, considering their expanded choice and your diminished shipping costs.
posted by bruce at 2:23 PM on December 17, 2007

Response by poster: Gift certificates and gift visa cards are certainly an option, but I was hoping to send something a bit more thoughtful than just the cash. It is a good option for the circumstances though, and I appreciate the suggestion.
posted by theantikitty at 2:26 PM on December 17, 2007

I hope this isn't too painfully obvious, but you could always do an advanced search on eBay for sellers based in the Netherlands, then start to drill down based on your in-laws' interests.
posted by carrienation at 2:26 PM on December 17, 2007

Is Amazon.* too obvious? You want kitschy trinkets and gift baskets instead? I find is good when I know what I want but not where to get it from. It might be cheaper to get something within the Netherlands though.
posted by grouse at 2:29 PM on December 17, 2007

Response by poster: It's not so much that we want to send kitschy gifts. We would simply prefer to send a single gift to both couples. Something like an upscale gift basket. Actually, I checked amazon first! They don't have an They closest thing is, which would certainly be more affordable shipping-wise. They seem to be much more useful for books/cds/dvds, which would work as a last resort. Ebay in the netherlands doesn't produce very many viable options, unfortunately. I think I am looking for something kind of like the equivalent of a Harry & Davids but based in Europe. The perishable items and delivery surcharge for international orders from H&D's make them a bit of a pain for this purpose.
posted by theantikitty at 2:53 PM on December 17, 2007


Also, what about the equivalent of Macy's in the Netherlands? A department store might not be the cheapest place, but maybe something nice for the kitchen/bath/bedroom etc wouldn't be too outrageous?

I'm in the same boat, sorta, and ended up using USPS to send my stuff this year. I feel the appeal of a present that has traveled the Atlantic almost has more value than the actual things (at least for my parents, who have everything they need anyway).
posted by AwkwardPause at 3:00 PM on December 17, 2007

I would have assumed would be better for the Netherlands, but I don't know.

It's much more helpful to know that you want the equivalent of Harry and David's. I could certainly help you if you were in the UK. Not so sure about the continent. The UK stores I checked either don't deliver there or are ultraexpensive.
posted by grouse at 3:05 PM on December 17, 2007

I have family in the UK and buy gifts for them from web stores of high street shops (M&S, Waterstones, John Lewis, Debenhams etc). I guess the crappy exchange rate is mitigated by not shipping from overseas. You could feasibly buy from these sites and ship to the Netherlands.
posted by poissonrouge at 3:06 PM on December 17, 2007

To save you the trouble, I already checked John Lewis, and I don't think they will deliver a gift basket (called a "hamper" here) abroad since they won't deliver them even to all parts of England. If you want to try sending something else, you have to call or e-mail their export department, no web purchases.

I found this store which seems up your alley. No guarantees as to reputation, I just found them on Google.
posted by grouse at 3:09 PM on December 17, 2007

Google for 'geschenkmanden' to find Belgian sites or 'kerstpakketten' to find Dutch sites.
posted by jouke at 3:45 PM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

What about an e-gift card for a budget airline which goes somewhere cool? No shipping charges, instant delivery!

For example, Vueling flies from Amsterdam to Paris and a bunch of Spanish cities; here's their gift voucher page.
posted by mdonley at 4:00 PM on December 17, 2007

OK, your follow up clarifies what you need a bit. I've had a similar problem buying gifts for clients in the UK, and hit upon having food delivered from Harrods. Likewise, you could try googling for Dutch department stores and see which might sell fancy food online (assuming your husband speaks Dutch!).
posted by carrienation at 5:04 PM on December 17, 2007

Buy something on etsy from a seller in the Netherlands. Failing that, expand your search to all of Europe.

In a quick scan, I saw some really fun funky bags, beautiful kids clothes pieced from recycled teeshirts, a felted poppy brooch, fun ceramic jewelry, even little plush monsters!!

Buying handmade is fun- and you'll save at least ten bucks on shipping. Most of the sellers on etsy that I've run into will gift wrap your item and include a card with a personalized message, too.
posted by arnicae at 5:58 PM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

For books etc you want's Dutch site (don't use a German site). Used it heaps of times and highly recommend it. They even gift wrap!
posted by different at 9:14 PM on December 17, 2007

For future searchers, (cos you've missed their last international posting) I use The White Company for my European relatives & friends. Their "winter" scented candles generally sell out in November for very good reasons. I got lucky this year. The feedback is amazing on their products, and in most of Northern Europe candles are used extensively in the Winter.
posted by Wilder at 1:58 AM on December 18, 2007

I have used Gifts of Course, and been happy with their products. They do ship to the Netherlands.
posted by dizziest at 2:11 PM on December 18, 2007

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