Over the holidays last year was when I first heard about redditgifts, a “secret santa” service that happens year-round to matches Santas and giftees. There are several “seasons” of exchanges throughout the year, with over a dozen categories of exchanges each season. For example, right now, there are exchanges “For People who like Rick and Morty”, “For people who like vegan snacks”, “For people who like pajamas”, and many more.
To sign up, all you need to do is create a redditgifts.com account and link it with an existing reddit account. Every new account starts with +1 credit, and this “+1” allows you to participate in most exchanges (usually cost 0 or 1 credits). If anyone fails to complete an exchange, that account is set to “-1” credits, preventing them from participating in future exchanges. In addition, in each exchange there are usually re-match Santas, good Samaritans who are on call to match a giftee whose Santa failed to complete an exchange, even though they receive nothing in return. This system creates a positive environment that weeds out trolls and unreliable givers, while almost always making sure that every person receives a gift.
When I signed up for the Anime and Manga 2018 exchange, I was asked to fill out as much or as little information as I wanted to in order to help my Santa pick out a thoughtful gift for me. There were also additional questions directly related to the exchange category:
- Do you prefer to receive anime, manga, or will either make your eyes sparkle with joy?
- I’m currently reading/watching:
- What’s your favorite series?
- Which characters are your favorite? Why?
In addition to this information, redditgifts also provides useful statistics for past exchanges so you can get an idea of what typical spending (redditgifts recommends $20) is like. For example, for the Anime and Manga 2018 exchange, the stats were:
After sign-ups were over, I received my match! An important note is that the person that you are gifting to is not necessarily the same person who will be giving you your gift. This makes things more interesting and thoughtful since you’re giving a gift to someone without the expectation of receiving anything in return.
My giftee was a girl/woman who liked a lot of anime series: Sailor Moon, Naruto, Cardcaptor Sakura, One Punch Man, Attack on Titan, and Hellsing. In addition to the questions above, she also linked her reddit, Twitter, and Amazon wishlist (Facebook and Pinterest are also supported) to help me to get to know her better. I decided on the two gifts above from the following information:
- Sailor Moon was the only series that I was familiar with in her list
- One of her two favorite characters she listed was Sailor Venus
- She had the Luna purse in her Amazon wishlist
- From her Twitter, it seemed like she was a cat person
When you receive your gift, you are asked to post an image of it in the gallery for the exchange for everyone to see and as a way of thanking your Santa. The best gifts are also upvoted (like on reddit) and given awards sometimes. The highest voted gifts in the Anime and Manga 2018 exchange included a Your Name DVD, 6 Funko Pops, 12 manga volumes, and many more.
My Santa was actually from the Phillipines and she sent me the Persona 4 magnets you see in the picture above. It seems like it’s actually a person who owns a small business called Timelax Mini Creations and my gift is a selection from their store. I actually see this magnet set on the store, and it costs $14 plus $7 shipping, so it’s definitely around the $20 suggested value from redditgifts.
The art style is interesting and you can definitely tell that they’re handmade. I had to look up who the 8th magnet was; turns out its Naoto in a schoolgirl outfit and I didn’t recognize her because she was the only party member I didn’t hit max social link with. It’s kind of random and maybe they should have gone with Marie if they needed to fill an 8th spot? Nonetheless, they’re a cute addition to my hobby shelf and you can see more pictures at the end of this post.
All in all, my first experience with redditgifts was a positive one. One thing I will note for those in the U.S. is that shipping costs can vary a lot. I went through UPS and paid a fortune and wouldn’t recommend that. USPS may be cheaper, or you can just ship directly from the retailer, although that leaves out the personal touch of a card or gift wrapping. In the end, I didn’t make someone’s dreams come true, nor did I receive a gift that blew my mind. But at the heart of gift giving is knowing that you can’t always give the best present or receive an amazing gift, and that you’ll be happy no matter the results! I’ll definitely do it again next time an interesting category comes up.