The Worst Corporate Gift Ideas

The worst wedding gift of all time may be toasters. You know that very well, right? But what is the worst corporate gift? Don’t know the answer? Well, you may need to read this article so that you save yourself from shame and save the recipient from curled eyebrows.

The useless item. Clueless about the interests of your boss or your client, you head on several stores featuring “items that men like.” After several minutes you finally grab the best item you could ever find: the most expensive boxing gloves! Guess what? Your boss hates the sport. Nice work, jackass.

Instructional tapes and videos. Even if you know that the recipient of the gift is a big fan of Yoga or Pilates or any exercise you see on instructional videos, it is not advisable to give him or her such gifts. Why? You are not sure that that videos you are giving are not already in their collection. He or she may thank you, but you are just wasting your money.

Items “seen on TV!” Ah yes, you have seen the George Foreman Grill or the Magic Chef and you want to give one to your client or boss. But what if he hates boxing and grilling, and sports and cooking in general? What if he already has a George Foreman Grill or the Magic Chef? It is easy to call those numbers on your screen but it is hard to tell if the recipient has it or not…or will love it or not.

As cheap as a rock. A $5 dollar bill may take you somewhere but it will not certainly provide you much of a choice when thinking of corporate gift. Sure, you may get something out of it but do you think the recipient would be happy about it?

Apparel. Unless it is a $100 necktie, you might as well find something else. A coat could cost too much. Yes, you may want to impress the recipient, but do you know his exact size? Do you think the recipient will wear it? Do you really know that he likes the color or the type of clothing you will give? There is no problem with giving apparel or clothing if you live with the recipient. But since it is a corporate gift, it is kind of awkward site when your boss wears a coat or a sweater you give. A necktie would be okay since it can be discreetly hidden under his coat but still it is a risk you have to take. Better idea: give a gift certificate or gift card.

Lingerie. Lingerie? As a corporate gift? Okay, you are single and she (your client or your co-worker) is single as well… You are so temped to buy her lingerie… Stop right there because you can get yourself in deep trouble if you continue. Have you ever heard the term “harassment?” Yeah…this would be that.

Handmade gift. So you want your gift to have your personal touch? Or you want to save some money on the gift you plan to give? Whether you are super talented or have all the time in the world to make the gift on your own, it is never advisable to do it. Why? Two reasons: One, you will end up spending too much on materials and tools than by buying a ready-made gift in the store; and two, you will end up giving up your sleep in exchange to finish the gift. As a bonus, you might think your handiwork is brilliant…but is that because your mom said it is, or because it actually is? Don’t tempt embarrassment with this one (unless your current exhibition is on at the AGO).