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Co-founders Shane Geiser, Matt Reinhold, and Courtney Reinhold are all native Cincinnatians. They founded giftUP to remove all the frustration and stress from gift-giving. And with a useful subscription service, it does exactly that. / Image courtesy of giftUP

How One Cincinnati Startup Is Making Your Holiday Gift Shopping So Much Easier

The more you read about giftUP, the more it seems like a really great idea. Especially for those of us who have trouble with the whole gift-giving experience—the finding, the buying, the remembering…

Here’s a useful starting place: giftUP is an online gift concierge. But if that were all giftUP did, you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now. In fact, the Cincinnati startup is much more than that, something of a concierge, a delivery service, and a light tap on your shoulder all at the same time.

And if we’re being honest, that light tap on your shoulder is probably the best part. At any rate, it’s integral to how giftUP works. Speaking of which…

HOW GIFTUP WORKS

As with so many things in life, it begins with a questionnaire. Don’t fret, though, as this one takes just a minute to complete. First, you specify to whom you’re giving said gift and what the “event” is—birthday, holiday, anniversary, et cetera. Then, you fill in some blanks and check a few boxes about the gift recipient. After that, the information is sent to giftUP's Cincinnati headquarters, where it’s reviewed by a team of specialized gift curators called the giftSQUAD.

From where does the giftSQUAD get your gift recommendations? Everywhere. That is, because giftUP isn’t tied to any retailers, the giftSQUAD is free to scour the internet in search of new, fascinating, and one-of-a-kind items. Those items are put into a database against which your questionnaire answers are matched. A member of the giftSQUAD then hand-picks your recommendations from those results and delivers them to your email inbox.

As for the light tap on your shoulder I’ve now referenced three times, it’s here. Let’s say the first time you use giftUP is for… your wife’s birthday on December 30. Well, because giftUP is a subscription service, next year around December 7 you’ll receive that light shoulder tap in the form of an email with gift recommendations.

Maybe it’s just the beleaguered husband in me, but don’t you see how genius that is!

No need to stop at the wife either. Fill out a questionnaire for everyone important to you and you’ll quickly become the ultimate gift-giver. It’s a better deal that way too. The so-called “infinity” plan, which lets you to add as many recipients as you like, is just $19.99/year.

Better yet, giftUP has made it stupid easy to ship your order. You can go through them for a small service fee or choose the retailer’s website instead—it’s entirely up to you.

GIVING BACK

One other tidbit before we let you go. Co-founders Shane Geiser, Matt Reinhold, and Courtney Reinhold are all true Cincinnatians. Shane and Matt went to Moeller High School while Courtney went to Mount Notre Dame, and all three graduated from Miami University. So they know how much emphasis this city places on buying from small, unique local businesses. That’s why they’ve gone to such lengths to include local businesses in their database of retailers.

But they’ve gone a step further too. giftUP has a “gifts that give back” category, which highlights companies that have a philanthropic mission. Now giftUP customers can get great products from businesses like Toms Shoes and BowTie Cause, with the satisfaction that they’re also helping those in need.

So sign up today for a one-time free trial. And as a special offer, Cincinnati Refined readers can get 50% off any of giftUP's annual plans by using the coupon code “513REFINED” at checkout.

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For more information about giftUP, visit their website.

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