How to Use Amazon Wishlists to Reduce Gift Giving Stress

As much as I love the idea of buying small, handmade and local gifts, typically the majority of my Christmas shopping starts around NOW in December, at which point most crafters are out of stock or unable to take my order thanks to all the responsible gift buyers out there. More often than not, I’m still scrambling the week of Christmas to figure out last-minute gifts. Amazon, especially Amazon Prime with its free two-day delivery, IS my Santa.

In fact, I rely heavily on Amazon throughout the year for gift giving; again, it’s not the ideal, but they’ve made it so easy. I’m able to find and ship birthday, communion, and homeschool supplies at the same time as someone is having a tantrum, while I’m in my bathrobe, in the middle of a stomach bug outbreak or all three. So today, I thought I’d share some tips for how to use Amazon wishlists to help frazzled folks like myself give awesome gifts.

1. Once you have an Amazon account, it’s easy to create a Wishlist. Just go under ‘Account & Lists’ to get started. My default list is hidden. Here is where I save everything that strikes my fancy. Any time I find a listing I want to save, I scroll down the column on the right side until I see the ‘Add to List’ button. Once clicked, I can select any list I want to add it to from the drop down menu – easy peasy!

2. I’ve also created a ‘Friends’ list for most of the members of our family and our godchildren. These accounts are all private, and under your Amazon account. Throughout the year, as I see items that I think would make great gifts, I add them to the appropriate lists.

3. When Christmas approaches, I scan through the kid’s gift lists, and add some items to another wishlist that I share with family members who need suggestions. (This filters out some of my kids very wishful items. See next paragraph. A $3000 scooter? I don’t think so.)  With each item listing, you can make a note of quantity wanted, who it’s for and priority. (Cause someone is going to die if they don’t get an Easy Bake Oven this year.)

My older children also know how to get into my Amazon account and add items to their gift lists. Any time something strikes their fancy, I simply quip “Add it to your Wishlist!” Doing so has helped them become much more focused in how they save and use their own money.

4. The Amazon app is how to use Amazon wishlists while you’re out and about. Just scan, or snap and save. You can save the item to any of your wishlists. You can also add items to your list from the app by tapping the heart in the left corner of the image; it will automatically save to your default list.

5. Sometimes, I will send out one gift list to my side of the family, and another to my husband’s. Other years, I have made the Christmas gift list public for any, and everyone to view online. You can easily switch between privacy settings.

6. And if you’re too lazy to search Amazon for the perfect gift, you can use the ‘I Want’ sticky note option. It’s also the perfect tool for adding non-specific items.

How do you streamline your holiday shopping? Any tips to share with those of us who will be scrambling December 23rd because we forgot to shop for our husbands? (Or is that just me?)SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave


  1. I streamline holiday shopping by just not doing it. LOL Seriouisly. I usually go lazy and easy and get gift cards for extended family. I do love Amazon Prime though..(ours is expiring tomorrow and we aren’t renewing it, so I guess I’m doing some shopping today.

  2. Thanks for the great list, Kelly. I didn’t know that you could set date reminders through the wish lists or about the ease of adding items on a mobile device. I’m always taking pictures, and then adding them to the wish list later.

    One suggestion I might add is that if you share your lists with a website called Camel (google camel and amazon), they will email you when your item drops to your desired price. This is a nice option for things that you know you need to buy – like printer cartridges – but can wait for the lower price. It’s also nice to find lower prices on out-of-season items. It’s pretty interesting to see the price of some toys drop right after Christmas!

    Camel also has an extension (at least on the Chrome browser), so that when you are looking at a product on Amazon, you can hit the Camel button, and you can see the high and low price so you know the Amazon price history. There are other price tracker extensions out there too.

    1. Melissa and Doug magnetic dress up dolls. Or a drum set. Can’t go wrong either way.

  3. We are using the Amazon gift lists this year for the first time and I just got a call from my brother that he bought the kids their stuff and then deleted the items thus others won’t buy the same things. I used on list and just put each kid’s name in the notes section. Wonderful and working so well this year. Came over from 7Qtakes and saw the picture and had to comment. Great tutorial!!!! Off to pin!

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