Article in Startup, Social Media, Programmable Web, Technology categories.

LetsGiftIt Coordinated Generosity

I was in 2nd grade, and the holidays were around the corner. I was already a Connect Four champion (at least in my mind), and I had memorized every face in Guess Who? I’m on to you, Richard! Playstation wasn’t around yet, so the ways to waste time as a kid were limited. Above all else, I loved hockey and the New York Rangers. Even though he wasn’t my favorite player on the team (that would be Adam Graves), what I wanted above all else for the holidays was a Mike Richter #35 authentic Rangers jersey, and I wanted it in white. I would regret this in the future as I spilled every imaginable food, drink and fluid on it over the years, but at that moment it was all I wanted. Since authentic hockey jerseys can sell for two to three hundred dollars, it was unreasonable for me to think that any of my relatives were going to buy it for me themselves. So I told my parents that I wanted the Richter jersey, and I listened as they spoke to all of my different aunts and uncles and then asked me different questions about the size, stitching and colors. When I got my jersey a few weeks later, of course I was happy. But some of the excitement was gone. LetsGiftit a startup website based in New York City founded by Ryan O’Donnell and Marco DiDomenico, is bringing the excitement back to gift giving.

A Wishlist That Works

LetsGiftit has a simple concept of sending somebody a present. The way it works is that somebody creates a gift. It can be for a friend, or for his or herself. They then select either a gift card or a certain product that they find online. LetsGiftit calculates the price of the gift, and then we’re on our way. The person in charge of the gift can set a minimum and maximum amount of money for people to contribute to the gift, and once the total amount is reached the gift is shipped out to the recipient. It’s kind of like the “For one dollar you can save this innocent animal” commercials we see on TV all the time, except for giving awesome gifts like this samurai sword instead. Public gifts can be tweeted out with a link, but private gifts (aka a surprise gift) can only be sent to specific people via email. LetsGiftit charges a service fee, and shipping fees apply.


For people living together under the same roof, there probably isn’t a whole lot of appeal here. But for friends and family that are spread out across the world but still want to surprise their loved ones with a great gift, this is another way the Internet can bring us all together. If only it were around in 1995.

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