The evolution of gift registries

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iStockphoto didn’t create something unique by making partnerships with large retailers so gift registries that were filled out at those retailers could be combined into one list at its website. What’s unique is that the partnerships give you the ability to keep the discounts that are offered by the retailers on products that you don’t receive as gifts but want to buy yourself. added the latter in February 2017. Maddie Eisenhart of A Practical Wedding, which provides advice for brides-to-be, isn’t aware of that service being provided by any other online registry. Courtney Jespersen, who is a writer for NerdWallet and has personal experience with registries, also considers the service to be notable compared with others.

Eisenhart tells Consumers Digest that brought itself up to speed with other such websites when it gave users the ability to list products that are sold at small retailers that don’t have registries.

Jespersen says third-party online registries that allow you to consolidate gift registries from numerous retailers are helpful. “Remember, you want it to be easy for you to manage, but you also want it to be easy for people who are buying you gifts,” she says.

Although numerous online registries are free to use, Eisenhart says you should know that you’ll avoid advertisements and product recommendations if you choose one that requires you to purchase a subscription.

Other innovations in the marketplace that Eisenhart notes include the capability for a person who creates a registry to control where gifts are shipped and a service by the online registry in which thank-you cards are sent to people who bought you items from the list.

—C. Maynard