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Show HN: Buy Gifts by Describing the Giftee
13 points by ohashi 2119 days ago | hide | past | web | 20 comments | favorite

Core idea: Describe the person you're trying to buy gifts for and it matches gifts based on those descriptions.

How it works: items are tagged in many categories from descriptive, relationships (dad), jobs, hobbies, interests, personalities, places (garden). Items that match any tag show up, the more tags an item matches, the higher up it shows.

Some notes:

Products are hand selected and manually added to the site. The goal is interesting gifts and gift discovery. If you know exactly what you want to buy, the traditional hierarchical search works just fine.

There are only 150-200 Items in the database right now and 300-400 tags, I am adding more as fast as I can, the women's (mom, girlfriend, women, girls) selection is a bit thin (if anyone has some ideas especially in this category let me know!)

Any and all feedback would be appreciated!

Awesome idea man and I really dig what you have going so far. Inputting items by hand will def be an issues as there are millions of products out there. Do you think you could try to work with the Amazon Associates API and input gifts that way? I haven't really tried doing this before but you could possibly attempt to utilize that (or something similar).

As far as the UI goes I think it looks fairly clean. For me it's a personal preference to have all of the field top oriented and place the search results on the bottom (google esque). This also would allow you to have rows of 3 instead of rows of 2 as far as products go.

Just my 2 cents great work man!

Thanks! I do use the amazon API (all products right now are on amazon) to backfill a lot of the info. I don't want to just 'dump' tons of items though because there are a lot of dupes. I looked at grabbing best sellers from each category as a means of seeding, but there is a ton of dupes (like all the different kindle versions). Tagging also became somewhat of an issue and most items have few-no tags. Also the description quality/length varies greatly.

Thanks for the UI suggestion, I will play with that idea and see if I can come up with a better top oriented/organized search/nav. I definitely would like more screen real estate for gifts.

"Buy Gifts by Describing the Giftee, the Gifter, the Gift, or the Activity" seems more like it. I didn't find anything to buy today, but I added an item I would like myself (a super-expensive cookbook), and had fun adding any tag that came to mind relating to myself(gourmet, cook, etc), the book (luxurious, exhaustive etc), or my desire for it (insane, unreasonable, etc).

Right now the products are all your choice - it's not that you have bad taste or good taste, you just need more, and more tags. How are you going to scale this? What about involving crowd-curation - inviting people shopping for someone else to first choose something THEY want on Amazon, and input that into GiftLizard with a cloud of tags that covers the nexus of object, desire, and person. That might help increase the range of your offerings in a hurry. I don't think that you would have added that particular book - which would make a perfect gift for me if my wife happened to be directed to this site - anytime soon.

I added your book, thanks for submitting it :)

As I said, the inventory isn't that big, but it will only get better with a larger inventory. Scaling is the challenge. The other problem is maintaining quality and not turning it into a boring gift shopping site.

My current approach to scaling is finding people from different backgrounds and interests to add and tag gifts. I've got two people helping me right now to try and increase the inventory size.

Thanks for the gift suggestion and feedback :)

Images often appears stretched because they have the wrong aspect ratio.

Thanks! I guess I need to add aspect ratio maintenance in the image resizer.

Really minor UI things -

How about making the price slider 'snap' to $10 increments? I couldn't intuitively get it to $150 (kept going 147 or 153) which was a tad annoying. Maybe start it at a lower number too, so there's no chance of a user seeing a page full of $1000 gifts and being turned off.

The site's a little generic, your domain screams for a good logo/mascot.

I'll look at seeing if I can modify the slider to snap at nicer increments. It's just using jqueryUI slider, probably easier with a smaller range anyways.

I considered putting the mascot in the header but when I made it smaller, it just didn't work well. He's on the about page.

Thank you for the feedback :)

I think it is a great idea and I love the way it works. I look forward to you expanding the database. I am the worst gift-giver in the world and a site like this definitely gives me ideas through simple tags that I can classify the recipient by. Keep up the great work!

Thanks :) Added another 50+ items yesterday, slowly but surely adding more. If you notice an area is lacking please let me know. I was testing it yesterday on some people and it definitely didn't satisfy some people but it gave me suggestions about what tags I needed to add.

After entering the tag in the search box (or pick it from the auto-complete) I intuitively press enter to add it to the filter, but that doesn't do anything. Maybe that's the way it's supposed to work, but it'd be nice if hitting enter worked too.

Oh wow, not sure how I missed that bug. Thanks for pointing it out, I'll get that fixed.

update: fixed.

Now it works. Much better :)

I remember seeing an online store that offered me and my FB friends gifts based on our FB wall info. I was surprised to see quite a few gifts that were right up my alley, so to speak. So that is an option.

Any idea where their gift suggestions were coming from?

neat. etsy is on a shortlist of places to add new items from, need to explore their API.

I am working on an app for their API, but it doesn't appear yet that Etsy has an affiliate program such as ebay or amazon.

Yeah, that is one reason they weren't the first source.

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