It used to be that, as a matter of free-market competition, gift wrapping was offered as a free service to buyers – as long as you were buying something from the same store or company. For some reason, this is become considerably harder to find; however, if you know where to look, there is still a good number of stores that offer either free gift-wrapping services or an inexpensive alternative.
- Walmart Stores
One of the biggest retailers in the world, Walmart doesn’t have a completely free gift-wrapping service online or off – unless you’re buying precious stones in the form of jewelry. Because of the cost of the item, this is understandable! For more pedestrian gifts, the gift-wrapping offer is very affordable: just $3.88 for each item in a white-ribboned blue box.
This online retail king has gift-wrapping services that range in price from $3.99 to $5.99; which is slightly higher than Walmarts. The cloth gift bag you receive for larger items is sturdy and good for multiple uses.
- Bobbi Brown
The cosmetics queen does offer free gift-wrapping for items from the online store – just be sure to mark the relevant check box at checkout.
Famous for their natural beauty products courtesy of France, L’Occitane sells hand creams, elite skincare and more – and gives you the option of free gift-wrapping. You can also have them simply send the items and box unwrapped so you can do it yourself, if you please.
- Von Maur
This successful department store chain does offer free gift-wrapping services – as long as you’re sending or receiving in the continental United States.
The House that Steve Jobs built (more or less) is still standing strong; however, gift wrapping is not free. It is, however, as recognizable as it is elegant with red ribbon and white box; additionally, the personalized engraving is free.
When shopping online at Nordstrom’s, you’re presented with several options:
- $5 ready to go gift box
- $2 gift box kit
- FREE gift message of 8-12 words
If shopping directly from stores (offline), then you can request a free gift box kit (unwrapped) to take with you.
Aveda offers one of the most liberal gift-wrapping options; you can make your own custom-wrapped gift or receive a free sample (including free gift-wrapping) upon purchasing at least three products from their store.
- Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany & Co. offers free gift-wrapping in their elegant, recognizable turquoise-blue box and white cloth ribbon – no hidden charges anywhere with this one.
- MAC Cosmetics
Another favorite of those who love a multiplicity of eye-liners, lipsticks and other cosmetics; they are offering free gift-wrapping as a promotional venture for some time; afterwards, you can expect this to return to the flat fee of $4.95.
- Banana Republic
You can get unassembled boxes for free from Banana Republic or pay a bit for the premium gift-wrapping service that includes tissue, ribbons and personalized writing.
You’ll find one of the most painless online shopping experiences here once you get to your check out cart; you can either have every single thing wrapped individually or together; the gift-wrapping is free for either option.
- The GAP
Similar to Banana Republic, you can obtain unassembled boxes for free, or pay $6 for the premium gift-wrapping option. The price for the same is a $1 less at baby Gap for the tissue, white ribbon and personalized message option.
- Barnes & Noble
This eponymous bookstore is still around and going strong; the gift-wrapping services are not free but are relatively inexpensive, with the proceeds going to various charities and fund-raising events.
This old stalwart of a company will provide you with a free box if you physically go into one of their stores; you’ll have to buy the actual wrapping paper, however. When shopping online, the flat fee for gift wrapping is $4, and for this you’ll get your gift in a silver paper, with a white bow and message of your own making.
If you’re shopping offline (we know just how much shopping takes place in the online space these days), then the free gift-wrapping options may be considerably more limited. However, there still exist many clothing stores and department shops that will at least provide you with a free box or bag if they lack free gift-wrapping services. In the event that you are really short on time and simply cannot do with the free gift-wrapping services, then be sure to check around the mall for a visitor center or equivalent; often times, they may offer a low-cost option of gift wrapping.