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How to set up an online or onstore gift registry and create a wishlist

Updated on January 12, 2012

What is a gift registry

A gift registry is an online tool that lets people create a wishlist for a wedding, baby shower or other major event and share it with family and friends.

Creating a wishlist on a gift registry has a huge advantage: the registrants get the presents they want or need, saving them time and money.

I work in a store and I can't tell you how many time I heard from customers desperately searching for a gift: I wished they had a registry. They wonder around confused and helpless. On the other hand, I hear the opposite quite often lately: how great they have a gift registry. These are the happy people with a print out wishlist on their hands. Also, lately I've seen lots of couples asking basic questions on creating a registry and a wishlist.

A gift registry is usually set up for a major event is someones life like weddings, baby showers, bridal showers, housewarming or anniversary.

A gift registry lets users create list of gifts they want to receive from their guest.

Many people prefer the surprise vs the wish list and sometimes they end up with unwanted presents that create a big hassle to return or exchange them (specially when no gift recipe is presented).

But other people know what they need and what they want and here is when a gift registry comes in handy. Not only gives them the gifts they want but save their friends and family time on finding an item that may, or may not, be needed.

 A gift registry is very easy to set and maintain.

How to set up a gift registry Step 1: Set up a gift registry

First you have to decide if you want to register for one retailer or multiple retailers.

One retailer means that your gifts will come from a single store or store chain. Multiple retailers means that your guests can shop at different stores, under the same registry.

Most people go with one retailer since its easier to create a wish list, more convenient to spread the word and no hassle returns if something goes wrong. In this article I'll cover the one retailer gift registry.

Then you need to choose your store. The best way is to make an inventory of want you want or need: bedding, cookware, kitchen appliances, baby stuff, decorative items, tools, clothes etc. Choose a store that can offer more then just one group of items.

Once you know the store, go online at their website and create an account.

Then find the registry tab on their website and fallow the instruction, which in most cases are very simple. Most registries only requires your name, the type of the registry (baby shower, wedding, bridal, housewarming etc), and the date of the event.

At this step, you do not need to visit the store unless you want to or they only only provide registration on site (which should not be the case for majority of big merchants).


Tip: It is a smart idea to check the status of an item before adding it to your list. Clearance and closeout items are not replenished and they sell very fast. You may not be lucky one to get it.

Tip: When you go to your store to create your wishlist it is a good idea to bring along your registry account. To do so, go online to your registry and print the page that has the barcode and the account number. Lots of stores use it to connect their intranet devices to your account.

Step 2: Create a wishlist

To create a list of items you would like to receive as gifts from your guest you have two options: either choose them online or either in store. There are pros and cons for each of them.

On one hand, online is convenient because it allows you to add items to your wishlist whenever you have time, day or night. Also, as a rule, there are more products online then in store and some websites are selling items from other stores (they are a marketplace, like amazon, for example) that you can add to your list as well.

On the other hand, your idea about that comforter set may be a little different as far as color and pattern then what it looks in reality. Also, be careful as some products are online only and you have to let your guests know so they won't look for them in the wrong place.

An online shopping will add your items to your list with just one click whereas creating in the store requires a special scanning device that may prove a little challenging if you are not used to similar devices. Even if you learn to use it very fast, sometimes it runs out of battery or losses the Internet connection and you have to stop until the problem is solved. But you can make a very accurate idea about what you want and need.

Another advantage of adding item on store is that you can get help with your registry or with the products you need. Once you create the list, you are ready for step

Step 3: Share it with friends and family

At this stage, it is very important to let your guests know about your list so they can research it, make their budget, decide what to buy and when. The sooner your friends and family find out what you need, the better chances are you'll get it.

To make it easy for your guests it is a good idea to suggest them how to shop your gift registry.

Here is what they need to do:

Before coming to the store, your guests can see the items and the prices online buy accessing your registry. They can use any computer with an Internet connection.

They go to the store's website, find the gift registry tab, and look for "find a registry" option. Then they just need the registrant name ( the name of the person who created the registry), the name of the event (baby shower, wedding, etc) and the date.

They can also print the wishlist not only to have it handy when shopping but they will also need the gift registry account at the checkout.

Once you have completed this 3 steps, you can maintain your registry by adding or removing products. At this point you can relax and watch as your wishes becoming true.



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    • cameciob profile image

      cameciob 7 years ago

      Hi Nell and thank you for stopping by. You made me laugh about those toasters...

      I wished I could set up a gift registry for life and put there all my wishes (there won't be any toasters though).

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, this is a really good idea, I think people do tend to try this these days, I remember when I got married I had loads of the same things given to me, like toasters! why do people insist on toasters? lol so it may sound strange to do this but it is much more practical, great idea rated up