Personalised gifts have always been a proven way to demonstrate that you are not only thinking of someone... but willing to invest some extra time in selecting something special and meaningful. Sometimes "thinking outside the box" can land you at the door of a website or an eBay seller who has something unique and special to offer.
I would first encourage you to take a look at what they have to offer with an open mind. Don't limit yourself to the old list of standby gifts.
If their product makes you smile or gets you thinking about your Aunt.... or that neighbour of yours who moved away... you know the one you promised to keep in touch.... but haven't..... then you owe it to yourself to investigate things further. Sometimes the best gift is the unusual or completely unexpected one.
Secondly, get to know their product..... understand exactly what it is that they are selling and what you have to do in order to purchase their item. Personalisation requires precise communication in order to get your item done right!
Third is feedback or testimonials.... If they have a website, take a peek at their testimonials page. Now of course they aren't going to put something bad on there, but you can get a feel for why folks were happy with their purchase.
If they sell on a site like eBay, look at the feedback. Were their buyers thrilled with what they bought... or just satisfied? Feedback in the personalised gift world is usually blunt, to the point and an excellent gauge of how the recipient of your gift may react!
The fourth thing to do is ask the seller a question... any question. In addition to getting an answer to any valid questions you may have, the real point here is to see how responsive they are. Many times (especially in my line of cartoons), communication is key and requires a few emails back and forth. Having someone who is quick to answer a question and available to address your concerns is very important in gift personalisation.
Finally I would remind you to not be afraid to try a new product. Here are some ideas; personalised name blanket, personalised name fitted cot sheets, letter pillow cover, or a very common one for birth announcements a personalised name plaque.
I have thousands of happy customers from many different parts of the world. I've not had one person ever come back to me and say that either they or the recipient wasn't pleased.