If you’re buying wedding presents and hostess gifts this summer (who isn’t?), here’s a useful piece of advice: Give a single gift (like a vase, or a mixer, or even a check), and leave off the fun extra doodad (think: the flower frog, the cheap picture frame, the spatula). Why? According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, the recipient of a gift subconsciously averages the prices of the presents rather than adding them together—meaning your offering gets downgraded to a value somewhere between the cheap extra and the real present. The doodad doesn’t act as a bonus; it distracts and detracts from the main event.
Check out more gift-giving advice.