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Wed, 22 January 2020 - 17:52:28

Some thoughts about Wish Lists

What are Wish Lists all about?

Wish lists are exchanged in many cultures before gift buying holidays to ensure friends and family receive gifts that they really need or want. Financially astute consumers have helped drive the popularity of wish lists even more in recent years, using them to avoid wasting time and money when giving a gift that someone already has, or simply does not want.

Many websites now include a Wish List feature but arguably the pioneer of this service is Amazon. A huge number of Amazon users own and regularly update their Wish Lists with items they'd like.

Some people seem to have a knack for knowing what constitutes the perfect gift. If you're not one of them then Wish Lists can be a life saver, especially when a birthday is just around the corner or Christmas is coming. You don't need to leave so many subtle (or not so subtle) hints for everybody because you can simply direct them to your Wish List. If they've got Wish Lists, it can relieve the awkwardness of having to fish for clues about what your loved ones desire because you can look at their Wish List and pick out gifts that they actually want, whilst retaining an element of surprise.

So where do you start? Well the first thing we suggest is to create yourself a Wish List, assuming you don't already have one! Creating a Wish List couldn't be much easier. For each item that Amazon displays, there is an "Add to Wish List" button, next to the "Add to Basket" button. The first time you click the Add to Wish List button, a new list will be created for you. When you add another item later, it gets added to your default list. Note that there is a little drop-down arrow at the end of the button. If you press that, you can choose which list to which the item is added or create another list if you like.

Once you have made the decision to embark on the rather addictive task of compiling your Wish List you should make sure your up-to-date delivery address is added. Your existing Amazon delivery address can be used or another specified address. For privacy's sake, Amazon ensure that your address isn't made public, even to people who purchase from your list.

Next you may want to update your date of birth, don't worry this isn't compulsory although does help if you'd like to promote your list as your birthday approaches. You can display the day, month and year or the just the day and month or opt not to display this information at all.

You can also enter some basic biographical information and you can even upload an image to use as an avatar which will make tracing your Wish List even easier for friends and family.

Creating a Wish List is simple if you often window shop online. Amazon tends to be my first port of call for books, DVDs and music so anything I come across that I happen to like, even if I've no intention of buying it any time soon I'll pop it on my Wish List for future reference.

It is well worth noting that to make good use of your Wish List you should spend a little time maintaining your list. You may have purchased an item that is on your Wish List from another store. If this happens, Amazon won't know and so it will still appear on your Wish List. If you don't remove it, you could be disappointed if someone surprises you with said item for your birthday!

The benefits of a well maintained Wish List are many and they don't just benefit you but others also. Wish Lists benefit you by allowing you to keep track of items you want or need without cluttering your desk with notes, or simply forgetting about that unique storage solution, or classic film re-released on DVD that you've been looking out for... for years, both of which you may not wish to purchase at the time of discovery. Wish Lists are also very useful for those impulsive shoppers, desperate for that novelty hand painted craft owl, stick it in your Wish List and sleep on it. Let's see if the ornamental owl looks quite so appealing in the morning?

Now you have started to populate your Wish List with items you desire you should be letting your friends and family know about it. People can search for your Wish List in two ways; they can search for you by name or search for you by e-mail address (the address you registered with Amazon). The best option is using your e-mail address because it is much more accurate. This will show them any biographical or date of birth information you've provided and the all important Wish List showing all items you've selected and the priority level for how important or urgent it may be.

The hard part is getting them to buy you stuff from the Wish List! It is an ideal way of encouraging two way gift buying nearer to Christmas and I find it especially useful for my close family as I seldom know what they really want, Amazon Wish Lists really take the stress out of gift buying. One more quick suggestion: you don't need to wait until a birthday or Christmas to buy that special someone a gift. Random acts of kindness are always a wonderful and fulfilling surprise for those close to you.

Where does Zeezaw fit in?

Zeezaw was originally created to save money by automatically checking the prices of items on an Amazon Wish List and sending alerts when a target price was met. If you have an Amazon Wish List that is public, you can find it through Zeezaw and start monitoring prices.

Since the original launch, Zeezaw has grown and now lets you monitor prices on Amazon Wish Lists from around the world, including .com, .ca, .de and .fr as well as .co.uk. You can set target prices for items sold directly by Amazon, but you can also set different target prices for new and used items from their third-party sellers.

There are options to change how frequently Zeezaw sends e-mails including:

  • Every day if at least one of your targets is met,
  • Only if an item price changes.
  • Only if an item price drops.

There are pages showing the most popular items and best deals and a comprehensive list of Frequently (and Infrequently) asked questions.

In addition to the basic concept of finding the best deals, we are hoping that Zeezaw will also be used to add some fun and even a little excitement into this process as members watch Wish Lists belonging to friends and family. The addition of the price history graphs to each item that we watch has shown some fascinating price fluctuations.

Some key things to think about:

  • Try to keep your list up to date. If things have been bought from your list, remember to remove them when you're next online. The default setting on Amazon is to show only the unpurchased items on your list. If you want to see the items that have been purchased you need to choose either "Purchased" or "All".
  • Tell your friends and family about your list. If they don't know it's there, they won't be able to use it.
  • Have a look for their lists on Amazon. If they don't have one, tell them to set one up. It will make your life easier and they'll get what they want.
  • Amazon allow you to have several Wish Lists, so you can split up your lists if you like, eg. one for books and another for DVDs, or perhaps one for things you need and another for potential birthday presents, etc.
  • Wish Lists can be set up as public or private. If you want your friends and family to see your list, it needs to be public. Zeezaw also needs the list to be public in order to read it from Amazon.
  • If you don't want your entire list to be publicly visible, you can have several lists where only some of them are public. The others can remain private and for your eyes only.
  • You can also put notes on your Wish List items. Make use of those if there is a particular reason you want an item or something else that you would like people to bear in mind if they are thinking about it.
  • You can prioritise items on your Wish List so you can highlight the birthday presents that you would like sooner rather than later.
  • Keep your Wish List well stocked. It's nice to know exactly what you want, but it can also be nice to get a surprise if someone can pick something a little more unexpected.
  • Set your target prices on Zeezaw carefully. If you set the price too high, you may get more Price Alert e-mails that you expect (but never more than one per day), too low and you may never get a price match. Also remember that if you want to stop monitoring an item, you can just set the target to 0.
  • If you have problems, questions or suggestions, please contact the Zeezaw team at support@zeezaw.co.uk. We're always happy to help.

Last updated: June 2010.