A gift is something you offer somebody for no real gain. But we have, as humans tend to do, made it much more complicated.
Most people think of a gift as something brand-new, shrink-wrapped, with a factory-fresh scent. It certainly can’t be something you already owned. And it can’t be something too challenging, requiring too much effort or explanation. Parents and relatives tell you this to enforce etiquette; companies tell you this to boost profits. The message is clear, and it’s everywhere: a gift is something you buy, made out of new materials.
Or you can fix the way you gift. That’s what we’re focusing on this holiday season. We’re all but daring you to try giving the people in your life something that improves their life instead of simply adding to it. That could mean:
- Helping them fix something they have that needs a little love
- Giving them tools to fix things themselves, while providing backup
- Buying used and refurbished goods instead of brand-new
- If something must be bought new, buying the most durable, fixable version of it
We’ve obviously got a vested interest in people buying tools and thinking more about repair. And, sure, we’ve got enticing Black Friday deals for you and every fixer on your list starting Nov. 1*
- New bundles of our most popular tools, where you can save as much as $25 when you buy them together versus individually.
- Free shipping on orders over $50 starting Nov. 22.
- Discounts on all of our major toolkits and 20% off laptop batteries starting Nov. 22.
Giving a gift that’s more sustainable doesn’t require radical shifts or a whole new lifestyle. My wife loved her 2014 iPad Air 2 as a video-watching, news-reading machine. But its storage became so squeezed that it constantly uninstalled apps for space. To replace it, I bought a used 2018 iPad from a professional refurbisher at Backmarket that does the same job, just with eight times the space. I saved a decent bit of cash, but more importantly, I saved an iPad that maybe had something small wrong with it from getting thrown in the shredder (a.k.a. recycled).
That’s just one tablet. If you know a friend is frustrated with their “old” phone, a new battery or screen fix kit not only solves a problem for them, but gives you a chance to bond over the repair. Walking someone through a repair is the rare kind of non-work video call that’s still worth it, all this time later. The same goes for drifting Switch joysticks, well-worn laptops, and other gear.
You can tell people why you’re choosing non-new gifts this year, or simply lead by example. iFixit will help by sharing more ways to fix the way you gift, in our handy newsletter and on social media. But don’t overcomplicate things. It’s a different time we’re living in—we need different gifts.
*Free shipping promo applies to US, CA, and AU iFixit.com stores only. New bundles are exclusive to the US iFixit.com store. On our EU stores, free shipping on orders over €65 will start Nov. 1, and bundles will include exclusive seasonal gear.