How To Build and Share Your Holiday Wishlist Online

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and that could mean your loved ones are wondering right now what the heck they should get you. A wishlist has always been the best way to ensure that you get what you truly want, but this is the twenty-first century and this old dog has learned its share of new tricks. In this article I'll show you how you can build your wishlist online and share it with your friends and family, for maximum gift satisfaction.
Published: Nov 26, 2007
Author: Jordan Running

You probably have friends and family members who buy things all over the web, others who refuse to buy anything online (or perhaps even use a computer), and a lot somewhere in the middle. Obviously an online wishlist is less useful for those who are scared of online stores. For those are a bit less timid, the easiest option is probably...

Amazon.com Wish List

While Amazon doesn't sell everything, it comes impressively close, and their prices are generally more than reasonable. Most internet users have heard of Amazon, and are more likely to trust it than some web store they've never heard of, even other really good ones. And Amazon also has some really nice and easy to use wishlist functionality, so it's an obvious place to start.

Amazon.com Wish List

You can get started with Amazon's wishlists from any item's page by clicking on the Add to Wish List button, which will add the item to you default wishlist. If you're signed in to an Amazon account, your up-to-date wishlist will be saved to your account; otherwise it will be saved to a temporary session. If you don't have an Amazon account, I recommend creating one, which will allow you to access your wishlist by signing in from any computer. By visiting the Gift & Wish Lists page, you can create and manage multiple wish lists, for example one for your coworkers, one for your family, and another for your drinking buddes, and change their privacy settings.

Amazon has lots of options for building wish lists and is worth exploring, especially if the online shoppers you know are timid or simply lazy. However, if your tastes are a bit more diverse, you might need a service that lets you add items from many online stores. For that there are many, many options, one of my favorites is...


Unlike Amazon, boxedup.com is a web service that dosn't sell anything, but rather allows users to build a list of links to things they want at the web's many online stores (including, if you like, Amazon). You have to create an account to use boxedup, after which you can install a toolbar or bookmarklet in your web browser which you can click on any time you find an item you want at an online store. Then you can enter a description for the item and optionally a photo, price, tags, and a comment for it, and it will be added to your wishlist. boxedup lets you manage multiple lists, change the order of items, and even import lists you've created on Amazon.

boxedup.com wishlist

While anyone can view your boxedup wishlist by default, the site also has a social networking aspect, allowing you to become "friends" with other boxedup members. Each wishlist has privacy settings that let you make it available to everyone, just your friends, or just you, and for more tech-savvy gift-givers, each wishlist has its own RSS feed. It also shows which items and shops are most popular among members.

Other options

I think between Amazon and boxedup.com you should be able to find all of the features you want, like I said online wishlist services are a dime a dozen. Here are a few others you can check out:

  • Wishlistr: Another social wishlist service, but with fewer features than boxedup.
  • Wists: A "social shopping" site with wishlist features.
  • GiftHat: Online wishlists much like boxedup and Wishlistr.
  • ThingsIWant.com: Unpretty design, but lots of features.
  • WishBin: Yet another wishlist site.

Do you have a wishlist-management solution that I haven't listed here? Give us the scoop in the comments!

About Jordan Running

Blogger since 1999, Jordan Running went pro in 2005 and never looked back. Sometimes programmer, occasional photographer, and serial tinkerer, he decided to to switch to Linux in 2001 but just hasn't quite gotten around to it yet.

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