Smart SpendingSmart Spending

15 worst gifts for men

Some gifts won't impress the man in your life. Here's a list of guy gifts to avoid.

By Stacy Johnson Dec 13, 2012 11:31AM

This post comes from Jeffrey Trull at partner site Money Talks News.


Money Talks News logoMen aren't tough to shop for, but that doesn't mean you can buy us just anything. We're not picky, but we certainly don't want the same things women want.


In general, women like thoughtful gifts from the heart, and men just want stuff that's a mix of fun and useful.


Here's a tongue-in-cheek look at our annual list of gifts that men dread.

1. Gym membership

What, we're not fit enough already? This not-so-subtle suggestion that we need to get in shape won't persuade us to get off the couch, but it will be grounds for retaliation with your gift next year.


2. Silly gadgets

Retailers like Brookstone and Sharper Image are the go-to gadget stores for the hard-to-shop-for male. But please, no more 3-in-1 pens or motorized grill brushes. We already have regular versions of these things that do the job without batteries and buttons.


3. Cologne

Men either already wear a specific cologne or choose not to wear any. Your random scent selection won't fit into either of those categories, but it will sit unused in our bathroom medicine cabinet forever.


4. Tools (for a certain project)

This one may have you scratching your head since men enjoy their power tools, but hear me out. Men know when you want us to complete that household project you've been nagging about. Your gift says, "Now you have no excuse not to redo the bathroom!" Turning a gift into a chore will turn any man off. Do you like it when we give you a vacuum cleaner?


5. Ties

File this gift under "boring" and "forgettable." No man is going to get excited to unwrap a new tie, much less throw it on for a day at the office. Useful? Maybe. Fun? You've got to be kidding.


Image: Laundry (© Brand X Pictures/Getty Images/Getty Images)6. Shoes and clothes

It's not that men don't need shoes and clothes, we just don't get excited about this stuff. In addition, the chances of you nailing our tastes are slim. Put down that Hawaiian shirt -- it will never leave the closet. And don't get me started on how awful socks are as a present.


7. Nose hair trimmer

I received one of these before and wasn't sure what to think about it. Was it a gag gift? Or do I seriously have a nose hair problem? I still don't know, but I'm certain I've never used it. While you're at it, skip any other gift that adds, removes,or colors hair.


8. Personalized stuff

Personalized gifts aren't only tacky, but we probably don't need it whether it displays our name or not. I'm talking about mugs, shirts, aprons, or anything that says "World's best dad/uncle/brother." Find another way to tell us how great we are.


9. Bath products

Have you ever seen bath products on a man's wish list? I didn't think so. We spend close to zero time thinking about this stuff, and that tells you something about how little we care about what we use.


10. Jewelry

Men who wear jewelry don't need a ton of it. We're not going to accessorize with every outfit. If we don't already wear jewelry, your gift probably won't change that.


11. Anything "As Seen on TV"

Yes, we've already seen it on TV, and guess what? We didn't buy it. We know Snuggies are cozy and warm, but we don't want to look like the world's softest wizard. And golf club gimmicks found on TV aren't going to help our game.


12. Framed pictures

We get it: You're going for sentimental. But guys don't enjoy sentimental gifts as much as fun ones. We can appreciate couple or family photos to glance at on our workplace desk, but don't expect us to be excited about unwrapping this.


13. Gag gifts

Everyone's seen the singing fish now, and we don't need to see it again. Gag gifts are good for a quick laugh, but that's it before they're tossed out or take up residence in the garage.


14. Artwork

Decor is another one that's never going to top the list of things men think about on a regular basis. Best case: We hang it up and never notice it again. Worst case: It's off to Goodwill.


15. Coupons for favors

While women might love a coupon for a special dinner date night or back massage, men won't be excited to unwrap this one. Don't get me wrong. It's not that we don't want to spend quality time with you. But can't we do it without making it into a gift? Plus, we know this was a last-minute idea born from the fact you waited too long to shop.


More on Money Talks News and MSN Money:

Dec 13, 2012 2:21PM
This list basically omitted everything. I don't even know what I want now.
Dec 13, 2012 2:59PM
Whoever wrote this list is an idiot. I think he expects money from everyone!
Dec 13, 2012 2:58PM
Ok, so what ARE we supposed to get them? Assuming we don't have ridiculous amounts of money to spend on things like a day of racing lessons or season tickets for their favourite team, etc. I can think of plenty of expensive gifts that men would love, but when you're on a budget, it's tough! 
Dec 13, 2012 2:59PM
This is actually a pretty terrible article. "Guys" aren't supposed to care how they look, what they're wearing, or how they smell? And tools are a bad gift as well? So if you spend time thinking about how your house looks, you're not a "guy"? Smooth, MSN. Real smooth.
Dec 13, 2012 4:28PM
This list is pretty much just a big generalization of men. Saddest part is, I'd enjoy quite a few of those gifts. Actually, I pretty much enjoy anything anyone gets me, because at least I know that I mean enough to that person that they thought of me. 
Dec 13, 2012 3:41PM
Tools? A man can never have enough tools, don't matter the more the better.
Dec 13, 2012 4:03PM
I would have been nice for an "instead" idea after each "bad" idea. What is fun and useful?
Dec 13, 2012 3:58PM
Dec 13, 2012 4:12PM
My boyfriend loves to get cologne, and he says if I didn't buy clothes for him, he wouldn't have any!!
Dec 13, 2012 4:31PM

Hmmm that's funny seeing how when I asked my boyfriend what he wanted for christmas his list went as follows:  Slippers, Razors, cologne, Some nice shirts, and/or a Gift certificate to Buffalo Wild Wings. 


Dec 13, 2012 3:19PM
Coupons for favors can be very naughty and nice. Just the perfect gift. Like a guy cares it was last minute, It is what we do.
Dec 13, 2012 4:56PM

This guy sounds like an ****-hat. Guess what, guy? you get NOTHING

Dec 13, 2012 3:48PM
My boyfriend loves gadgets, cologne, would be ecstatic about a gym membership since he loves to work out, tools, shoes and clothes, AND certain jewelry. 
Dec 13, 2012 4:44PM
For me, nose hair trimmer is at the top of this list, followed by ties and gag gifts, oh yeah, and of course plane tickets to visit the in-laws!
Dec 13, 2012 3:24PM
This is why wives, girlfriends, etc. should get to know what a man's hobbies are and listen to what he would like to upgrade or add to his collection. Get to know his hobby and maybe even partake a few times and/or help in the prep or cleanup process as well. Look through his hobby magazines and library and see what is something durable that would help enrich his hobby experience. Go for quality, too. I would rather see one very good gift that will serve me well for a while than something cheap that will be worn out after a few uses. Same goes for anything consumable. For example, I don't like bottles of liquor for Christmas. They have a tendency to disappear very quickly due to parties at that time of year and then they're gone.
Dec 13, 2012 5:10PM
Another good gift if you can do it is to wrap yourself be naked underneth in wrapping paper and put use immediately on the to & from tag or make up a striptese for him and perform it that night tell him that you have a special gift for his eyes only later at night, this almost always puts a smile on his face....
Dec 13, 2012 6:09PM
The correct answer to the gift question is "booze". 
Dec 13, 2012 6:26PM
seriously,  how about firearms.  one can never have too many of those.
Dec 13, 2012 5:24PM
uMMM....A TIE CAN BE USEFUL & SEXY *WINK *WINK...LOL. I'm giving my dude an iPod Nano 7th generation, his work requires driving & he mention his new work truck comes with an auxiliary plug & I know he doesn't have an iPod... so yeah
Dec 13, 2012 4:35PM

I agree & Disagree with this artical. I'm a guy and i love to smell good because i don't want to go out in public smelling like ****. I always smell good. Some Guys don't like Body Products but i do and i think it's an important part of my day when i take a shower. Because My Girl Friend loves a good smelling man not a stinky man.


This Artical Sucks ball:) Fo real Dude. Every Boring.

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.