Organizing a gift exchange

  • Starting a new exchange
    To begin an exchange, click on the button that says Start Gift Exchange.

    You can follow the directions for the set up steps, and will be able to select from any existing group you may have, or enter information to create a new group.
  • Preventing spouses from drawing one another
    This is easy and essential for many gift exchanges! Here's how:

    1.Invite everyone to the exchange.

    2.Click the button "Draw Restrictions".

    3.Check off "exclusions" for each person.

    Keep in mind, once you have set up restrictions for your group, they will be in place for any future exchanges with this same group. Also, only the organizer is able to see these restrictions.


    view exchanges
  • Adding participants after names have been drawn.
    1. Go to the participants tab of your exchange.

    2. Click the link at the top right, "Add a latecomer".

    3. Enter the name and email.

    4. You will see that you have latecomers for your exchange and can click "manage" when you are ready to drawy names.

    People may also RSVP after names are drawn. All latecomers will be assigned a draw when you click the Draw Names button in the latecomers section of the exchange page.


    view exchanges
  • Seeing who each person drew
    The organizer can view a summary of who each person has drawn. To view the draw summary, you can click on the name of your exchange and will see the "Participants" button across the top of the next page. The organizer is the only person that is able to view this, and all exchanges will have this button available to the organizer.


    view exchanges
  • Changing the email address for someone in your exchange
    1.Click on the exchange name from your home page, and then select the button that says "Participants".

    2.Under each participant you will see a button that says either "Change User Info", or "Resend Gift Exchange" link. Click on the button that is shown, and the next page will allow you to enter a new email address for the information to be re-sent.
  • Inviting people who do not have an email address
    1. From the gift exchange page, click on "Invite People"

    2. In the form, enter the person's first and last name and use your own email address, or the email address of a person that will act on their behalf- that way any email messages for offline participants will be directed to a person.

    3. On the gift exchange page, click on the "Participants" tab. You can hit the accept button under their name, since you know they are planning to participate.

    4. You can now communicate the exchange details to offline participants in whatever way is most convenient for them.
  • Including children in your gift exchange
    First, invite each child separately. Enter their first and last name and use their parents' email address.

    Their parents will be able to RSVP for them, communicate the details of the gift exchange and monitor their activity on the site. The parents can create an account for each child that is participating.

    To make life even easier, parents can link children's accounts to their own so they can easily switch between accounts.

Participating in an exchange

  • Joining an exchange
    You need to have an invitation from the organizer in order to join an exchange.

    You can be invited several ways, so once you have your invite, click on the link that you receive from the organizer (either by email, on Facebook or as a sign-up link). Simply follow the instructions on the page to RSVP.
  • Socializing and wishing before the names are drawn.
    Once you have accepted the invitation to participate in an exchange, you will be able to view information about the exchange from your Elfster home page

    You can click on the exchange name, and should see a list of fellow participants, view the information about the spending limit, and how your group is going to exchange your gifts.

    A sign up deadline is set up for your exchange. Once this date has passed, you will receive an email from Elfster letting you know the name of your draw.
  • I lost the email that told me the name of my draw.
    All of the information about your exchange can be viewed from your Elfster account.

    When you get back to your Elfster home page, click on the exchange name and the name of your draw will be shown on the left hand side of the next page.
  • I am not receiving email from Elfster
    Make sure you allow email from "the-elves@elfster.com" and add "the-elves@elfster.com"to your address book.

    If you are in an office environment, let your IT team know that you are expecting and would like to receive emails from the-elves@elfster.com

    You should also check your junk mail, bulk mail, or spam folders to see if the message might have ended up there.

    If you still don't see the message, you can ask the organizer to resend your exchange link. They can even send it to another mailbox if you have an alternate email address.

    Elfster messages will always get into Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and AOL accounts and we continue to test with those email providers regularly.
  • Finding a gift for my draw
    To get ideas, you can view the profile for your draw by clicking on the name of your exchange, and then clicking on their name. You will see their full profile page.

    If they do not have any items on their wishlist, or you want to learn more about them, you can click on the "Secret Q&A button" to send them a question or two. This is a great way to have fun with your exchange.


    view exchanges
  • Setting email preferences
    Click on the gear icon from your home page and select "Settings" from the drop down menu. Click on the Email Notifications tab to set your email preferences.

Friends

  • Adding friends to your profile.
    You can add friends even if they are not in your gift exchange! To do it, just

    1) From your "My Elfster" home page, Click on the "Find Friends" button in the top menu.
    2) At the top right of the friends page, there is an "Add Friends" area.
    3) Enter the email address of the friend you want to add.

    You can also invite via Facebook, Twitter, or by pulling names from your web mail / address book such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail
  • Who is included in my list of friends?
    Your friends list includes anyone that you share a group with, as well as anyone you follow or anyone who follows you.
  • Removing someone from my friends list.
    To leave a group, you can click on the word groups from your home page, select the group name, and then select the leave group option. If you want to un-follow someone, you can click on the gear icon from your home page, select settings, and the following tab to un-follow. The followers tab allows you to block people. If you are the organizer of a group and need to remove someone, you can click on the word groups from your home page, select the Manage Group option , and the Member List to edit.

Wishlist

  • Adding to your wishlist
    1.Click on the button that says "wishlist" from the top banner of your home page.

    2.Click on the button that says Add to Wishlist

    You will see a text box that will allow you to search for an item that you type in. If you would like to copy and paste a URL, you can click on the link button and then paste your URL into the box.

    Finally, you can also click on the text button and type in anything that you would like.
  • Creating separate wishlists for separate gift exchanges
    It's easy to create separate wishlists for your different exchanges.

    1. Click on the link that says "wishlist" from the main menu.

    2. Click on the Wishlist Settings button.

    The settings page will allow you to create a new wishlist, and you can select which group can view which list.
  • Marking wishlist items as purchased
    You can mark an item as purchased from the wishlist of your friends.

    1. Click on the friends button from the main menu.

    2. Select the name of the person.

    3. Click the link "Mark as Purchased" next to the item you got.

    If you mark an item, other people viewing this will be able to see it has been purchased, but the person wishing for it will not see any difference.
  • Sharing your wishlist
    There are several ways that you can share your wishlist. To begin, click on the wishlist button from your home page, and you will see a "Share Wishlist" button.

    This will allow you to share via email, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.
  • Removing items from your wishlist
    To do this, hover over the wishlist item description on your list. You will see a "trash can icon" on the right hand side. If you click on that, the item will be deleted.
  • Changing the order of items in my wishlist
    You can control the order of your wishlist items. To move items, simply hover over the item on your list. On the right hand side, you will see arrows that will allow you move the item up or down.
  • Creating different types of wishlists
    You can create a wishlist that your groups can see, or you can create a Private Wishlist that will not be seen by anyone. There are also seasonal wishlists like Valentine's Day Wishlists, Back To School Wishlists and more. Select the new wishlist button on the left hand side or your wishlist page to get started.

Goodies

  • Adding a nickname to my profile
    You can enter a screen name or nickname.

    To do this, click on your name from your home page to get to your own profile page

    On the left hand side, you will see an "edit" button next to word nickname. Click there and enter your nickname.

    Once you have added a nickname, it will be shown between your first and last name when you are on Elfster.
  • Adding a blog URL to my Elfster profile
    You can add the URL of your blog to your Elfster profile.

    Click on your name from your home page to get to your own profile page.

    On the left hand side, you will see an "edit" button next to words Blog URL. Click there and enter your blog address.
  • Accessing multiple child accounts
    "You can create child accounts from your own account, and quickly and easily switch between your accounts.

    You will need to know the user name and password for each existing account in order to get this set up. Click on the "manage another account" from your home page, and select Link Existing Account or Create Child Account.

    Enter the user name and password, and you will then be able to see the name of the linked account when you click on the gear icon and Use Elfster As.

    You can use the ""x"" next to the account name if you wish to remove the account from being linked to your own.

    linked accounts settings page"
  • Placing the Elfster Activity Widget on my blog
    To get the activity widget, click on the name of the exchange that you would like to post the activity for.

    You can copy and page the widget directly, or you can select the "customize" button to choose a custom height and width.


    view exchanges
  • Using the Elfster Browser Button
    Click on the wishlist button from your home page, and then select Add to Wishlist

    Next, select the Get the Browser Button text.

    There, you will be able to drag and drop the link into your browser's toolbar. Now, you can start using the Elfster Broswer Button to add items from any store on the web.

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