The Best Places to Find Affordable Gifts for Freelance Clients, Including Examples & Gift Buying Tips

I’m excited to share this – I LOVE buying gifts for people. I would go so far as to say it’s a genuine hobby of mine.

I think it’s the inner people, pleaser in me – she gets a shot of fresh serotonin for finding something perfect for someone.

So let’s talk about the best places to find gifts for freelance clients.

These can be great for the holiday season, for birthdays, special business achievements, or personal occasions worth celebrating! 🎉

Which Freelance Clients Should You Buy Gifts For?

This is a good place to start as you plan your budget.

If you’ve worked with a lot of clients in the last year, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to send a gift to every one of them, unless you’ve planned for it and already have some sort of gift fund ready and waiting – then you truly are organized and I’m impressed!

But if you are like the rest of us then you’ll need to figure out who gets a gift from you and how much you can spend on each gift.

So, how do you decide who to buy something for?

  • 🎁 a current client
  • 🎁 a monthly retainer client
  • 🎁 a client that sends you referrals and other valuable business
  • 🎁 A previous client that you would like to stay connected with in case the opportunity to work together again arises

These are merely suggestions, it’s up to you at the end of the day, who you want to buy for. 😊

How Much To Spend On Client Gifts: 

What I usually do and this is just a recommendation – spending around 0.5% of your client’s annual spend with you on their gift is a good place to start.

For example: 

If one of your freelance clients paid you $24,000 a year then you’d be looking to spend about $120 a year on gifts for them – divided up into their birthday and a holiday they celebrate or you can save it all for one gift at the end of the year.

client gift budget breakdown
At the end of the day, there are no rules when it comes to how much you should spend on a client gift.

If you’d like to watch this instead – I have a video covering 10 of my favorite places to find gifts for freelance clients right here.

Client Gifts Under $50

First up – let’s talk about less than $50 client gifts – which I sent a lot of in my first year or two of business because I couldn’t afford anything else.

Here are a few of my favorite options:

1. Greeting Cards

I know I know – this one is not technically a ‘gift’ per se but before we dive into gift gifts, I just want to give a quick shoutout to a good old fashioned handwritten card – this one is the easiest one to default to if you don’t have the budget for a gift or it’s a smaller client. 

You can get them a card locally where you live and mail it to them OR you can use an online card service, which I love and prefer.

Two of my favorites are:

  1. Felt App 
  2. Handwrytten

Handwrytten (yes, spelled with a ‘y’) looks like it’s a handwritten card, it’s amazing – a great personal touch.

And Felt App has tons of fun, unique designs to choose from. 

2. Commission Something Off of an Artist

This is one of my FAVORITE gifts to give.

It’s something customized and specific which always makes for a better gift in my opinion and it’s a lot of fun to browse all the amazing, talented creators out there.

It’ll be a unique, one-of-a-kind gift that makes a client say “Ahhh”

Plus you can support a small artist or small business in the process which is a win-win.

I normally do is search on Etsy for ‘custom’, ‘illustration’ ‘portrait’, and similar things along those lines.

I’ve even found someone that would make a customized game of monopoly before! … so cool.

You can also go into digital illustration groups on Facebook or look for them on Instagram via keywords searches.

You’ll see below I commissioned a cat portrait of one of my client’s cats for her birthday;

I just knew as a fellow cat lover, I’d be SO happy if someone did this for me so – know your audience, is the tip here.

She loved it.

cat commission

I’ve also commissioned a little timeline graphic of one of my clients and her incredible entrepreneurship journey thus far.

Etsy wins “Most Customizable & Personal Gift” and is ideal for those of you that know your clients well enough to get them something they’ll truly treasure.

💸 Budget? I normally end up spending between $30 – $40 on Etsy.

3. Greetabl

Greetabl is a super cute website to send little gifts to clients. 

It’s a little gift box – and you can normally pick 1-2 things to put inside. I’ve sent little candies, chocolates, and jewelry in Greetabl boxes. 

They also let you put in a gift card and sometimes I’ll slip a gift card in there, too.

Their gift boxes are also customizable with your photos and messages, or you can choose from a wide variety of their fun designs and quotes.

4. Books

It may be the bookworm in me, but books are always a great option.

You do need to know a little bit about your client of course.

  • What genre do they like? 
  • What are they looking to learn more about in business? 
  • What is a book you’ve read that you think they’d like as well?

I’ve sent a lot of books to my clients before – these can be a thoughtful gift that encourages a little R&R.

5. Food

Not sure if I’m biased because I love food but food is ALWAYS a safe bet for me, personally.

I will say this – food is a good gift if you’re somewhat familiar with your client’s preferences and dietary restrictions or allergies. 

🧁 If you know they’re vegan, you can send them a batch of local vegan cupcakes. 

☕️ If you know they love coffee or tea, you can get them a set of unique coffees, tea sets, or subscriptions.

🍪 You can also find a local cookie decorator and send them cute cookies!

I would google ‘custom cookies <<client city>>

google search example

6. Gift Cards

I think gift cards get a rep for being a lazy gift – but I know I love a good gift card if it’s for something that I’ll use.

So when in doubt, you can easily default to a gift card of some kind.

  • 🛫 If your client loves to travel, get them an Airbnb gift card.
  • 📺 If your client talks about Netflix all the time, get them a Netflix gift card.
  • 🕹 If your client likes videos games, get them a Steam gift card – then they can pick a game of their choice.
  • 🎵 If your client loves music? Spotify gift card.
  • 💳 If your client is obsessed with Starbucks? Starbucks gift card – this is a favorite of mine, too.

These are all great because they’re still semi-specific and say you know a little something about them.

One important thing I would do here is leave a customized message to personalize the gift card even more.

7. Personalized Products

There are a lot of platforms that will let you print a design or image of your choice on an item like a shirt, socks, laptop bag, water bottle, etc.

Some options: Printify, Printful, RedBubble, Zazzle.

I have sent someone a gift of their logo printed on socks, who doesn’t love a new pair of socks? I feel like that’s a fun, memorable gift as well.

8. Office Decor

I like sending posters and quotes to people for their home office – especially super motivational and inspiring ones.

On Etsy, you can find TONS of these.

If your client likes plants, you can also buy them a plant or two for their collection. 

🪴 That’s a gift that will keep on giving..Oxygen.

9. Masterclass Memberships

This is a fun and memorable gift – MasterClass offers on-demand classes in a wide variety of fields from cooking with Gordon Ramsey to learning to act with Samual L Jackson. 

You can buy the membership and your client can choose what classes they use it for. 

💸 Budget? Their memberships range from $15 – $40

Freelance Client Gifts Between $50 – $100 

Moving on to $50 – $100 gifts for freelance clients.

1. Flowers From a Local Florist

Okay – news flash to me – flowers are more expensive than I thought they were when I was younger. 😅

The second newsflash – flowers can be less than $50 but I wanted to round up, since you’ll pay for a delivery, too.

I normally just google for a local flower delivery near my client.

Eg. if they’re based in Berlin, I’ll look for ‘flower delivery berlin neighborhood’ then you don’t pay ridiculous shipping and they are fresh and local.

2. A Donation

So this can be however much you want it to be.

If your client cares about anything in particular that you know of and they keep insisting they don’t need anything, it can be super meaningful to donate in their name as well.

3. Give The Gift of Ease

Many clients are balancing their businesses, families, employees, personal lives, etc, and their to-do lists might be so long that some tasks simply don’t get completed. 

Why not gift them some time back? There are meal delivery subscriptions like

You can gift a week of delicious meals or a whole month. 

hello fresh gif

Make sure you know of any dietary restrictions, preferences, or allergies first. 

TaskRabbit is another cool service that operates in multiple countries where you can organize to help get a task done for your client – have they ever complained about moving a large piece of furniture or changing out all the light bulbs in their office? 

⏳You can gift time – crazy, right?

4. Templates and Digital Products

Ok, this one can fit under all price categories depending on what you choose. 

Digital products range from online courses to digital planners, copy templates, etc.

When choosing a template or digital product it needs to be something you know your client will actually enjoy and benefit from personally, or professionally.

Freelance Client Gifts For $100+ 

Looking for something with a little more bling?

1. Tinggly 

I discovered Tinggly a little while ago because some of my clients didn’t have physical addresses – they were digital nomads or traveling full time and it was super tricky to ship them a gift.

Tinggly is SO cool – this is not sponsored but I’m about to act like it is.

It is a virtual gift card for an experience of their choosing – there’s a huge list of experiences all over the world that they can pick from depending on the box you choose.

Your client can decide if they want to go on a helicopter ride, private gondola ride in Venice, or tapas cooking in Seville. 

And you’ll get full credit for an incredibly memorable experience.

ALSO – if you are getting started too late on your gift-giving, you can buy this and have them schedule the email for whenever – you could buy it the week of the holiday season and you’d be all good to go.

There is no expiration on the boxes which is amazing – it’s also a planet-friendly company – they offset CO2 carbon emissions by 200% for every experience.

This one I’m voting as “Most Virtual & Last Minute Friendly” – ideal for your clients and friends that like experiences more than things.

💸 Budget? I normally end up spending between $100 – $150 on Tinggly.

2. Shop Box Fox

I love Shop Box Fox – I buy more than just client gifts here. 

Personally, as a gift receiver, I really like getting lots of small things and that’s what you get with Shop Box Fox.

You can assemble your little gift box using their site – they have REALLY cute gifts that they switch out regularly so there is always new stuff. 

There tend to be little snacks, jewelry, fun and unique books, items for the house, etc.

This is a good combo between not having to source, find and assemble a bunch of random small things – and still getting to customize the gift box.

This one I’m voting as “Most Classy & Makes You Look Put Together Yet Still Customizable” – ideal for fancier clients.

💸 Budget? I normally end up spending between $100 – $150 on Shop Box Fox.

I love gift box websites in general and have used a few others – I normally try to find one I like in a client’s local country. 

For the USA, I’ll use Shop Box Fox. I also really like Peach Box. For South Africa, I have used To Be Gift Boxes. For Australia, I’ve used Personally Picked. For our UK readers, there is Book Box.

Again, Etsy – there are a TON of unique and curated gift boxes on their website too.

What I do on Etsy is use a filter like ‘Ships to XYZ country‘ and put my client’s country that way the shipping is normally not crazy and you are supporting a local creator.

3. A Spa Experience

If you know your client well and want to pamper them, then giving the gift of relaxation and a little “me time” could be exactly what they need.  

Finding a Spa that is easy for them to get to and in their town is important.

You can book them a back massage, pedicure, facial (depending on how well you know their likes and dislikes.) 

I suggest searching on Google for a spa located in their area and reading all the reviews first.

You can contact the spa and let them know what you are doing and if they can put the gift card into an email that you can easily send to your client. 

💸 Budget? A spa treatment can easily be anywhere from $100+ for a quality service.

4. Calm App

As business owners, it’s easy to forget to give time to destressing.

bob ross gif

Why not give the gift of calm with the calm app – you can gift a year subscription or a lifetime subscription depending on your budget. 

The calm app has a store as well where you can shop gifts that support de-stressing and meditation.

Extra Tips When Buying Your Client a Gift:

  • Stay tuned in to thing your clients says throughout the year and make a note of any good gift ideas that may come up.
  • Consider their religious beliefs before you send them something that they may not celebrate or could be offended by. 
  • Don’t spend more than you can afford – you can find a thoughtful gift within your budget.
  • If you are sending food or alcohol – be aware of food allergies and if your client drinks alcohol or not.
  • Try not to make it about you! – No self-brandied gifts or self-promoting
  • Always top it off with a handwritten note – this shows that you put time and effort into their gift no matter how much it cost.

We hope this list of freelance client gift ideas was inspiring to you and that you have fun shopping for the perfect gift.

🎁 Remember, the thought really does count!

If working as a freelancer, specifically a freelance digital business manager is something you would be interested in learning more about, check out my free masterclass here.

Soon you could be choosing stellar gifts for your own freelance clients. 😉

Want ALL the details on how to work online as a digital business manager?

Check out my FREE intro class which goes over what exactly a DBM does day-to-day, how much I make as a DBM, my 5-step plan to get you started and more!

Want ALL the juicy details on how to work online as a digital business manager?

Check out my FREE intro class which goes over what exactly a digital business manager does day-to-day, how much I make as a DBM, my 5-step plan to get you started and more!

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Want ALL the juicy details on how to work online as a digital business manager?

Check out my FREE intro class which goes over what exactly a digital business manager does day-to-day, how much I make as a DBM, my 5-step plan to get you started and more!