Valentine's Day is one of the most romantic days of the year. But romance can quickly dissolve if your gift is less than impressive or you wind up waiting hours just to sit in an overcrowded restaurant. This year, as you prepare to celebrate with the one you care for most, take advantage of some top ideas to find the best gift for Valentine’s Day.

Top Valentine's Day Tips

Buy Only Cold Roses

Flowers are easily one of the most common Valentine's Day gifts and they are offered or can be found in virtually every store on the big day. You can buy them in grocery stores, order them online, grab them from roadside vendors or pick up a rose at a gas station, if necessary. It really doesn't matter where you buy your flowers from, provided you follow one specific rule – be sure the roses are cold.

Floral arrangements begin to fade almost immediately after being introduced to room temperature. Professional florists and some larger stores will have cold storage for their flowers. If flowers are one of your top Valentine's ideas, skip the roadside stands and buy cold – they will last longer and are likely to be in better condition.

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Buy With Your Eyes and Heart

When you're buying some things, you want to buy with your mind. You want to analyze values and consider resale and quality. Be careful not to fall into a trap on Valentine's Day by buying only with your head rather than your heart. A great deal on a piece of jewelry isn't particularly meaningful if your partner doesn't like or wear jewelry. On the other hand, if she loves jewelry, don't just focus on the best value for your money – buy something you know she will love. A good investment has its place, but it might not fit on her finger or around her neck on a romantic day.

Visit jewelry stores in person to look closely at the wares. Skip online merchants for now as you want to get this right on your first try. Inspect diamonds and be sure they are certified as you make your purchase. And if your heart isn't feeling the gift, don't buy it. Valentine's Day is about romance, and gifts from the heart. The best gift for Valentine's Day is a gift that resonates between you and your partner. It should not be an item someone else is pushing on you.

Have a Romantic Picnic

Restaurants do a booming business on Valentine's Day. It is one of the most popular days of the year to eat at a high end establishment. It means that a romantic dinner you have planned in a restaurant runs the risk of being crowded and also hurried. After all, the more meals restaurants can squeeze in on Valentine's Day, the bigger their profits. Thus, your dish can be served cold, tasting badly or undercooked, etc. In this case, you should know how to handle situations of the kind and complain effectively in a restaurant to save the holiday.  

Skip the drama and eat somewhere else. You can certainly get a take-out and plan on eating at home, but since it is Valentine's Day, you should dress it up a bit. Top Valentine's ideas include setting up the meal in front of the fire place in the living room as a picnic. Or set up a small table by the window or on the balcony for a romantic meal. This is also a great time to try cooking up something fancy yourself – even if the meal isn't perfect, you'll have a bit of an adventure together.

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Do Something Thoughtful

Flowers and jewelry are customary gifts for Valentine's Day, but they are so popular they have become a rather easy choice. Much more meaningful are the gifts that are unique to your relationship and your special someone. Buy or create something you know that your partner will love and cherish – something that they really want. There is no reason to be limited to jewelry, chocolate and flowers.

Don't be confined by marketing. Tips for Valentine's Day are about being thoughtful and romantic. What could be more romantic than truly listening to your partner and finding the best gift for Valentine's Day? Need help getting stated? Check out your partner's Amazon wish list or Pinterest boards.

Choose an Activity

The best gift for Valentine's Day may not be a thing at all – it may be an activity or experience. Often experiences are more meaningful than things we receive. Look for opportunities to enjoy a full adventure. Dress up for a night at the ballet or symphony. Buy tickets to see a favorite performer. Buy a season pass for something fun like an amusement park or museum.

If you are celebrating over a weekend, top Valentine's ideas may include plans for a small trip. After all, a night or two in a hotel can be relaxing and romantic. Simply getting away from responsibilities may be the best gift of all.

Write Down Your Thoughts

You don't need a lot of money to be romantic. In fact, you don't need any money at all. Putting yourself out there by writing a song, a poem, a love letter or even just a few paragraphs in a beautiful card can be among the most meaningful gifts you can give your partner. This is among the top Valentine's ideas simply because it can be so hard to open up and truly share your feelings.

Order Early

Retailers get slammed for Valentine's Day deliveries, and the sooner you get your order in, the more assured you can be of an on time delivery. Planning ahead is one of the more important tips for Valentine's Day. Gift deliveries, restaurant reservations and tickets for events can all be problematic if you wait until the last minute. If you are spending over $90 on a special delivery, as this customer was with her Edible Arrangements failed order, you want to be sure that the item actually makes it to the door. It takes the fun out of the order if you wind up having to go and pick up your item and deliver it yourself due to slow delivery times.

Pick Out an Item Personally

Ordering online is convenient, but it isn't always reliable or particularly romantic. There is romantic value in taking the time to go to the store and pick up an item yourself rather than just clicking "buy" button and having something delivered.

Of course, when you pick out something yourself, you are also able to ensure that you are getting what you paid for. One husband found this out the hard way when he ordered his wife almost $50 in specialty truffles. When the candy arrived he was not at all impressed. In his review, he described the candy as, "...All melted together! Green parts! Edges white and crumbly..." Not only it was not the romantic gift he had ordered, but the reviewer also deemed Harry and David chocolate "unfit to eat."

Avoid Valentine's Day Scams

The most important of the tips for Valentine's Day is to avoid scams. This is a time of year when many people are spending a lot of money and looking for gifts, so there will certainly be scams like fake Valentine's Day cards, a flowers and wine scam and even fake or misrepresented jewelry.

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Our list of tips for Valentine's Day would be remiss if we failed to outline some of the most common Valentine's Day scams. Be on the lookout for the following cheats and tricks this Valentine's Day.

  • Fake Valentine's Day Cards – It's the day of the year when we expect to receive meaningful notes from the people in our lives. That makes it an easy day for someone to sneak you fake Valentine's Day cards via email as a way to hack your accounts or distribute malware. Be on the look-out for generic emails from "someone you know" and avoid opening these cards without first inspecting the link for clues.

     

    You can help your friends by sending real cards or personalized emails rather than going through ecard sites. Be careful on the other end of the issue as well. You can arrange for a legitimate ecard delivery, but still wind up feeling ripped off. Some card companies sign you up for special programs when you send an ecard and then you end up paying monthly or annual fees you weren't expecting, like American Greetings customer reports.

  • Bogus Deliveries – Fraudsters will try and get your credit card number in just about any way they can, and Valentine's Day is a great day to trip up someone who would normally be paying closer attention. Watch out for emails saying the items you've ordered can't be delivered without reentering your credit card information. Since many people order something, a phishing email asking for an updated credit card to finalize a delivery is likely to hit a mark.
  • Deceptive Advertising – Sometimes an offer is not all what it seems to be. This customer had just this sort of experience with Kindle she had ordered. She found a great deal on the device and bought it as a gift. The item was supposedly set to be delivered, but never arrived. The company she ordered it from claimed that the only way to be sure the item was delivered was to go to the site and order it again at a higher price. Fortunately for her, the woman decided not to place another order.
  • Surcharges – If a beautiful package or bouquet comes to the door, it should be paid for in full. One scam is to ask recipients of an unexpected bouquet to pay a small surcharge or to use their credit card to secure the delivery. You are excited about the unexpected delivery, you swipe your card and the bogus deliveryman just stole your credit card information. It's reasonable to show ID for a delivery, but it should not require additional payment of any kind.
  • Catfishing – Single people feel lonely on Valentine's Day and they are more willing to believe in the possibility of love. Catfishers prey on these lonely souls and strike up a "romance" from a distance via email and messaging. The romance continues to bloom until the fraudster asks the victim for some money.
  • The funds might be to pay for a plane ticket or to help a family member. Once the besotted victim sends the funds, the romance dies along with any and all communication. Online romance can be real, but be sure to meet with any romantic partners in person before any money or gifts are sent. Catfishing doesn't belong on a list of scams for just Valentine's Day – fake, exploitative romance is a risk all year long.

  • Flowers and wine scam – Flowers and wine are romantic gifts, but they are easy ways for fraudsters to gather credit card numbers or steal your money. You look online for flower or wine delivery. You find a great deal and place your order. If the site you ordered from was acting in bad faith, like in case with FTD Valentine's Day delivery, flowers may never arrive at all – you just gave them your credit card number and get nothing in return except fraudulent charges.
  • If the site is not fraudulent, just deceptive, it may tack on a delivery surcharge to your floral order making your flowers and wine very expensive – more expensive than your anticipated. Regardless, avoid a flowers and wine scam by going directly to the website for a brick and mortar flower shop in your area and ordering your items over the phone or in person. Other variations of this scam include another surcharge scam. The delivery person presents the beautiful flowers and wine, but can't leave the gifts, particularly the alcohol, without an additional payment. The argument will sound convincing, but it's a scam. True gifts have been paid for completely in advance.

  • Inbox sales – Be wary of offers that pop-up in your email or private messaging inbox. These offers are probably scams and the scammers may put forth a lot of effort to make their email look legitimate. If you get an email about a great deal from a favorite retailer, don't click through the email. Go directly to the retailer's website to see if the items really are on sale.

Protect Yourself This Valentine's Day

Be careful this Valentines Day. This has to be among the most important of the tips for Valentine's Day. The holidays are not a time to let down your guard or make purchases without doing your due diligence. This is a holiday where money is being spent, often quickly and often online, so slow down and take your time researching purchases and buying wisely. In fact, your wisest purchases will likely be those you make personally – finding the perfect gift, inspecting it yourself and delivering it to the one you love.

 

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While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal, medical, accounting, investment, or any other professional advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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