etsy

Etsy scans your Facebook friends for gift ideas

Dec. 5, 2011 at 9:33 AM ET

Etsy /

Gift shopping is tough. You have to think about someone's interests, figure out what he or she might want, eliminate the things he or she already owns, and then pick something special that screams "I really put a lot of effort into this even though I did a terrible job when it came to the gift-wrapping!"

Thankfully Etsy — a popular site which allows folks to buy and sell handmade and vintage items — has a tool which should help with most of those gift-shopping challenges.

The tool is simple to use. All you have to do is allow Etsy to connect to your Facebook account so that it can scan your friends' "likes" and interests. Based on those, it will produce gift recommendations.

And due to the incredibly varied products offered on Etsy, you can bet your Santa hat that the recommendations will include plenty of unique items. (A quick scan of my friends produced a list of things inlcuding a "Hug a Tree, Save a Pikachu" button, handmade scarfs, silly tshirts, one-of-a-kind necklaces, a Facebook bra, and so on.)

Oh, and to make life even easier, Etsy breaks suggestions down into price groups (any price, up to $25, $25-$50, $50-$100, and $100+).

Etsy's gift recommending tool isn't flawless since it relies on Facebook likes — which don't always reflect your friends' actual interests — but that doesn't make it any less useful. After all, it gives you a solid starting point for your gift-seeking missions of the season.

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