Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Can a website help with the Christmas Shopping?

We've been trying out the website Compare 4 Kids to see how easy it is to use and if it can help to select the perfect Christmas present.

I have to say, in days pre-parenthood I'd have loved this site.  If you don't have children or are buying for kids outside of your own children's age range, it's impossible to keep up with what's hot and what's not.

So, I sat down with Ruby to test out the site with her imaginary budget of £100, secretly hoping to get some ideas since I still haven't done my Christmas shopping.

It was a great chance to practise some maths skills - the gifts are categorised by budget - so she could choose 10 gifts at £10 each, 4 at £25 each or 2 at £50 each...guess which she went for?!

Now, the first thing you need to key into the site annoyed me.  A lot.

With so many toy retailers finally shrugging off the boy/girl labels and gender stereotyping, it's disappointing that this website wants to know if it's searching for a boy or a girl.  Yes, her ultimate wishlist DID include a lot of pink and fluffy and that was HER choice, but I don't want her choices to be narrowed like that.

We did go back and key in 'boy' to see how that compared, and Ruby made lots of exclamations of "why's THAT for a boy?"  Atta girl!

Anyway, on to the gift search.  We keyed in '6 year old' and I have to say, most of the gifts selected were age appropriate.  They were pulled from a wide range of sites from Argos to Not On The High Street, from Hamley's to Cath Kidston.  There were lots of smaller companies represented too with more unusual gifts.

This isn't the way I normally shop.  Generally I'll go through a cashback site earning money for myself, rather that through a portal from a refers site, but it was very useful for showing me items I might not have seen otherwise.

The disappointing part for me though, was when you click on your chosen item, you are just whisked straight to the merchant's site.  There doesn't seem to be the option to create a wishlist, and I think they're missing a trick here.  It would be super useful to make a list of desired items and be able to share it with friends and family.

Some of the items we chose were not showing at the current price - happily they were cheaper when we landed on the merchant's site, due to seasonal sales, but it did make budgeting tricky!

So what did she choose for her ultimate wish list?

1. Ozzbozz Chaotic Scooter in Pink from Argos at £29.99

2. My Purfect Grooming Salon from Hamley's at £20

3. One Direction Ultimate Stationery Set from Argos at £12.99

4. Pink Frothy Tutu Skirt from The Kids Window at £18.40

5. Monster High 13 Wishes Twyla Doll from Smyths Toys at £16.99 (I might need to veto that one as I think they're hideous!  They've already mysteriously disappeared of her letter to Santa)

6. Just enough pennies left to buy some princess stickers from ELC at £1.50.

Disclosure: This post is my entry for a competition to win our wishlist with Compare 4 Kids, however all views expressed are my own and I've received no financial reward for writing this article. I hope they will find my feedback useful!


  1. that's great feedback. It's often the case that I am not looking for a gender specific gift but the right gift for the child I have in mind, so it's a shame that this is a limitation of the site.

  2. I never even knew this site existed! Going to check it out....I love the Twyla doll though, you can throw her this way if you win and still don't want her. Goth-tastic!

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