Bad Gifts Top Survey of Worst Valentine’s Day Experiences

Candy and Lingerie Cited as Gifts to Avoid
Valentine’s Day may be the most romantic holiday of the year, but a survey by leading online jeweler Blue Nile (Nasdaq: NILE) suggests that bad gifts, whether received or given, are the best way to ruin the big day. Other than being alone, 19 percent of survey respondents ranked receiving a bad gift or no gift as their worst Valentine’s Day experience. It’s no fun to be on the giving end of a bad gift either. Nearly one in 10 (eight percent) said presenting a bad gift was the reason for their worst Valentine’s Day.

“Gift giving is central to our idea of a romantic Valentine’s Day,” said Blue Nile Diamond and Engagement Expert John Baird. “Feedback from survey participants suggests that the key to a successful Valentine’s Day is understanding the expectations of your significant other.”

When asked to describe their worst Valentine’s Day gift, respondents surprisingly revealed that traditional gift categories should be approached with caution:

Clothing/lingerie and candy topped the worst gifts list, each representing 20 percent; — Cards/notes also ranked high, accounting for nine percent of worst gifts; — Household appliances/cleaning products made up eight percent of the vote; and, — Flowers/plants completed the top five, comprising seven percent of worst gifts.

“Generally, gifts failed to meet expectations when the giver didn’t dedicate appropriate thought to the recipient,” said Baird. “A rug shampooer is clearly a horrible Valentine’s Day gift, but likewise giving candy when she’s expecting diamond earrings is equally disappointing.”

Among the worst gift responses, Blue Nile’s Top 10 include:

10. Vacuum 9. Paper Shredder 8. Electric Frying Pan 7. Crock-pot 6. Rug shampooer 5. Pencil sharpener 4. Ice scraper 3. Can of soup 2. Wisconsin cheese 1. Cold pizza

To ensure your Valentines’ Day is a success, Baird offers the following tips:

Think Like The Recipient: Valentine’s Day is designed to make people feel special. In other words, avoid the vacuum (a real response), and ask yourself: What makes the recipient’s eyes light up? You don’t have to be Don Juan, but neither should your gift inspire visions of housework.

Not-So-Subtle Hints: Lack of communication, confusing hints or an absence thereof, are the main reasons we purchase bad gifts. As the survey suggests, this is a lose-lose situation, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Seek specificity, including color, size, and serial number. To simplify this process, sites like have a “Wish List” feature that allows her to save her favorite items, and then email the list to you, removing the confusion.

Go Classic or Go Home: Gifts with a classic style are almost never wrong. Why? They’re always sought after, are elegant and romantic. For example, diamond stud earrings and tennis bracelets have been worn by the rich and fabulous for decades, and romantic getaways never become passe.

Reserve or Regret: Valentine’s Day is the busiest night of the year for many restaurants, so reservations are a must. Many survey respondents indicated that not being able to get into a restaurant ruined their Valentine’s Day; in fact, one ended up at a McDonald’s drive-through.

Lingerie is Risque Business: While lingerie might seem like a fun and exciting gift, she may not feel the same. Several respondents indicated lingerie, either of an inappropriate nature or from an inappropriate source, as their worst gift ever. If you have the slightest hesitation, leave the lingerie alone.

Jewelry Offers Many Options and Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank: A classic jewelry gift, such as diamond stud earrings or a sterling silver bracelet, is one she’ll not only love, but avoids the pitfalls of size and the myriad of colors inherent in a gift such as clothing. Classic jewelry pieces never go out of style, making it easy to be sure your gift will be received with excitement.

Blue Nile is the leading online destination for high-end diamonds and fine jewelry, offering thousands of options this Valentine’s Day. Pieces range from $50 for a freshwater cultured pink pearl bracelet to $325,000 for a one-of-a-kind 4.5 carat pink heart-shaped diamond ring. Blue Nile’s jewelry is priced 20-40 percent below traditional retail. Blue Nile will ship jewelry free via FedEx overnight for Valentine’s Day delivery on orders placed by Saturday, February 12, at 3 p.m. EST.

Some gifts from Blue Nile’s Valentine’s Day collection include:

Sterling Silver Oval Freshwater Cultured Pearl Bracelet, $60 A beautiful combination of three sterling silver figure eights linked between sections of oval freshwater cultured pearls.

14k White Gold Pink Freshwater Cultured Pearl Bracelet (7.0-7.5mm), $50 A fun update on the classic look of pearls, but in eye-catching pink, makes this bracelet perfect for celebrating Valentine’s Day.

18k White Gold Oval Pink Sapphire and Diamond Pendant, $2,600 A lively oval pink sapphire is set in 18k white gold and surrounded by brilliant cut diamonds in this classic pendant on an 18K white gold wheat chain.

18k White Gold Pink Sapphire and Diamond Heart Pendant, $475 Seven round pink sapphires alternate with seven round diamonds and are embraced by 18k white gold. The pendant suspends from a delicate 18k gold chain for a very feminine look.

Sterling Silver Intertwined Hearts Bracelet, $60 In this stylish design, sterling silver hearts are joined with a twist to form a continuous chain.

18k White Gold Diamond Infinity Heart Pendant, $250 Two hearts are joined in an infinite loop and a line of nine brilliant round diamonds completes the eternity theme. Pendant is suspended from an 18k white gold cable chain.

Platinum Heart-Shaped Pink Diamond Ring (4.5 carat solitaire center stone), $325,000 An elegant cornice of pave-set diamonds encircles this rare 4.45 carat natural fancy orangey-pink heart-shaped diamond. A five-prong 18k rose gold setting crowns the platinum band set adorned with even more pave-set diamonds.

Platinum Heart-Shaped Diamond Studs (2.93 carat total weight), $19,000 At nearly 3 carats, these one-of-kind, custom-designed heart-shaped diamond stud earrings are the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for person on Valentine’s Day.

18k White Gold Diamond Heart-Lock & Key Bracelet, $375 This classic 18k white gold link bracelet features heart-lock and key charms. Diamond accents give this bracelet eye-catching sparkle.

Asscher Solitaire in Platinum Setting (2 carat total weight) with Princess-Cut Diamond Accents, $13,000 The retro-chic style of the classic Asscher-cut diamond set in a breathtaking platinum band channel-set with 10 princess cut diamonds.

About Blue Nile, Inc. Blue Nile is a leading online retailer of high quality diamonds and fine jewelry. The Blue Nile web site showcases over 55,000 independently certified diamonds and more than 1,000 styles of fine jewelry, including rings, wedding bands, earrings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets and watches. Blue Nile can be found online at Blue Nile is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the trading symbol “NILE.”

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