It feels great to Give a Buy Nothing gift, and it feels great to receive one. It feels less than great when a gift sits out, waiting and waiting to be picked up.
Clear and honest communication will set gift pick-up expectations that work for the Giver and the Asker/Recipient.
When you’re the Giver:
- Set clear expectations in your post, such as “This needs to be picked up no later than this Wednesday by 6 pm” or “I’ll select a recipient tomorrow, and if it’s not picked up within a week, I’ll offer it to someone new.”
- If a gift hasn’t been picked up as agreed upon, you can offer the gift to someone else. It’s perfectly fine to add a comment to your post such as, “Since this gift hasn’t been picked up, I’m going to offer it to someone else now” then change its status from “Gift - Pending Pickup” to “Gift” and your post will show up in the Active feed again.
- If you realize part way through your day that you forgot to set out a gift for pick-up, send the Asker/Recipient a message to let them know and to reschedule.
When you’re the Asker/Recipient:
- If you’ve committed to picking up a gift, please follow through.
- Be realistic about your ability to pick up a gift. If it’s going to take you a while to get a gift home, share that with the Giver. Don’t promise to pick something up right away unless that’s really going to be possible. For instance, if you’re interested in a gift that’s been offered but you know you won’t be able to pick it up until the following week, you can say something like, “I’d love to be considered for this! I could pick it up next Tuesday after work if you’re able to hold it for me until then.”
- If something comes up to disrupt your pick-up plan, let the Giver know as soon as possible. A quick private message such as “I’m so sorry! Today hasn’t gone as planned and I’m not going to be able to pick up the gift today after all. Would you be willing to hold onto it for me to come by tomorrow?”
Tips for Everyone:
- Be as understanding and as flexible as possible. We all forget things at times, we all have hard days that don’t go as expected. If you can allow more time for someone to pick up a gift, that’s a great kindness. If you've reached your limits for waiting, that's fine too. This is supposed to bring all of us joy, so take the actions that build the connections and community that work for you.
Image description: an hourglass sits in the sunshine, its turquoise sand falling from the top into the bottom.
Image credit – © Liesl Clark