Those who want their present to stand out often give a personalized gift engraved with a message, nickname or initials. One advantage of engraved gifts is that the people receiving them often feel more special because the items are customized just for them. Engraving also makes it likely that the recipient will keep the gift, because it cannot be returned to the store or given to someone else once personalized. Of course, this may also be seen as a drawback of engraved gifts, because some gift givers are fine with the recipient exchanging or returning their present for something else. Engraving also usually costs extra time and money, which means those giving the present have to plan ahead.
Many people feel special when they receive a gift engraved with their name, initials or a message meant only for them. An engraving can turn an otherwise average item, such as a photo album or necklace, into a special gift that the recipient cherishes for a long time. Engraved gifts are often simply more memorable than items without a name or message etched into the surface, allowing the recipient to feel special and the gift giver to stand out for his or her choice of presents.
On the other hand, there are some disadvantages to engraved gifts, both for the recipient and the gift giver. For example, it is important that the person giving the gift be sure of the spelling of the name or message, because an engraving is typically permanent. For this reason, it is usually best that the gift giver write down the exact spelling of the name and think hard about any messages before having anything etched into the present. Recipients who do not like their engraved gift or received two of the same item may be disappointed to find that they cannot return or exchange it at a store.
Giving an engraved gift is not usually an afterthought, because engraving takes time. This may be a positive feature about engraved gifts for the recipient, because he or she knows the gift giver planned ahead, but it can be a drawback for those who like to pick a present at the last minute. Some specialty stores can engrave items within a couple hours, provided they have a professional engraver at the store. Many stores, however, send the item elsewhere to be engraved, and it may take a few days or even weeks to get the finished product. Additionally, engraved gifts often cost a little more than presents that are not personalized.