Online Shopping for housewarming and weddings in Lebanon and Middle East Where does it stand today?

Why is Lebanese e-commerce so dormant?

The retail sector has evolved drastically over the past decade. Buyers are no longer limited by the physical presence of inventory, nor are they forced to vent into their overheated cars, get stuck in hours of traffic, only to find out that the overcrowded shopping center has run out of their favorite item.

E-commerce has allowed users to purchase anything they would like with the click of a few buttons and a couple of days of delivery time. Lebanon, with its increasing internet and credit card penetration, as well as its tech-savvy and trendy shoppers should be one of the region's first e-commerce adopters! Neverheless, Lebanon still relies very heavy on bricks-and-mortar shopping, while online shopping is only given a second (third, fourth, or fifth) thought! So why has e-commerce in Lebanon and the Middle East lagged behind the rest of the world? Below are the three major reasons why Lebanese e-commerce has been struggling to catch up:

1. Lack of viable payment portals:

The country has two reliably out-dated payment portals that do not integrate with the websites. As such, customers are directed to external links and forced to re-enter their credit card data for every purchase. This is highly impractical and reduces the ease of second purchases.

In addition to the out-dated nature of the payment portals, they command a monopoly on the market and charge exorbitant fees: $ 350- $ 500 initiation fee, 3.5-4.0% transaction fees, as well as $ 35- $ 50 / month "maintenance" costs .

Furthermore, the lack of Paypal and other online payment portals in Lebanon creates an incentive challenge for e-commerce businesses.

"Ease of payment" is ranked as one of the highest conversion factors for e-commerce businesses. Lebanon provides dismal options, and then online businesses struggle to provide dynamic options such as one-click purchasing and Paypal.

2- Lack of practical online shopping:

Most new e-commerce businesses in the Middle East have been set up to cater to the "trendy" and "hip" crowd. They offer flash sales of highly priced designer items, indexing of exclusive local boutique designers, or niche gift items that cater to niche consumers. Furthermore, the "old guard" of e-commerce in Lebanon provide the typical online gift selections flowers, chocolates, teddy bears, and other "one-off" emotional gifts.

With the exception of very few sites, most Lebanese websites have a very basic design with little attention to practicality and detail. Menus pop-up in impractical ways, data entry is challenging, and most products are not searchable.

Examples of these "old-guard" websites are:

Exotica flowers: This site charges high shipping costs, overcharges for its bouquets, and tends to deliver smaller and cheaper bouquets than it promises online (it's happened to me on multiple occasions!). Furthermore, they only deliver flowers! They are one of the highest ranking e-commerce sites in Lebanon at 1.3M globally (www.alexa.com). They also take credit for adopting the online delivery system early, although they have not felt the need to improve due to lack of a sizable competitor.

Buy Lebanese: Colors, fonts, sizes, photos, and boxes are not user-friendly. Neverheless, they rank pretty high on Alexa.com: 2.5M globally. This group takes credit for being one of the early adopters of e-commerce in Lebanon! Hat-tip to their foresight!

961 gifts: not sure about the website name, the design looks basic, but menu items are clear. Their product strategy is broadly based on flowers, perfumes, cosmetics, and brandless accessories – 4.2M global ranking

Examples of the newer "niche consumer" sites are:

Lebelik, Eezmeez, Marka VIP

Some of the newer websites have focused on great design and have achieved relative success in the hip and young markets. Nearheless, away from Marka VIP which is based in Dubai, none have managed to truly achieve a sufficiently large market.

3. Purchasing power is in the expat community

Businesses that focus on the local online purchasing power will struggle in the short term. Hopefully this will change as Lebanon progresses ( hopefully) . However, until then, the buying power for Lebanese e-commerce sites will be coming from Lebanon's expat community seeking to provide gifts to their families and loved ones in Lebanon. This creates a rather challenging market for e-commerce businesses. How do you target your Diaspora? Who is your target consumer? Is the market over-fitted with one-time gifts such as chocolates, flowers, and niche designer items?

How to fill the gap

As such we identified the need for the establishment of a practical well-priced website that provides customers practical and quality options for gifts or personal use. The reasons I believe that such a model will overcome the sector's challenges are:

A- The payment portal technology will inevitably improve, along with the market's trust of online payment

B- The market is arranged with one-off gift items that typically fall under the flowers, chocolates, and traditional gift items. Therefore, competition is minimal

C- The market has seen high quality designer boutiques pop up online, but these only cater to a niche market segmentation. Highlighting the fact that the adoption of online purchases is on the rise

D- There is no website that provides practical useful household gifts with high quality branded items

In summary, there is a gap in well-priced high-quality branded items online in the Middle East and Lebanon. There is a gap in websites that provide quality household items such as Riedel, Nambe, Pip Studio, Bodum, Greenpan, Images D'Orient, Voluspa, as well as many other global brands. Rather than sending flowers, chocolates or highly-priced niche products, the consumer would not want to have an online option for:

A- Housewarming gifts to Lebanon

B- Wedding registries in Lebanon

C- Wedding gifts to Lebanon

D- Lebanese gifts that do not involve cheap chinese products, high-priced niche items, or flowers and chocolates!

Thanks!

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Different Types of Computer Repair Services

Our dependency towards technology is increasing day by day. Even a minor problem in the operating system disrupts our life and hampers our work. With the development of new technology, there also comes many technical problems such as virus infections, spyware attacks on the operating system, networks issues, and hardware failures. Therefore, fast and efficient troubleshooters are always needed to fix all your technical problems without disrupting your work.

With the indispensable use of computers in our daily lives, we can not imagine encountering an issue that will leave us without our personal computers thus; we seek to have the computer service immediately. But due to the busyness of life, it is not possible for us to go to a computer service centers every time and get the system repaired leaving you days without a computer. Seeing today’s need, there are many efficient and fast troubleshooters available online that will solve your problem in a fraction of time. Many of us don’t understand need for professional computer repair services and try to solve the system related problem by themselves. Before going to any of the computer repair service sites, it is very important to be aware of the various types of services that are offered by the computer repair service centers:

1. IT services like network installation and configuration (LAN/WAN setup).

2. Virus & spyware removal. Installation of anti-virus software for a proactive approach to external attacks.

3. Hardware repair: Laptop/Mac/PC, printer, scanner, motherboard; CD/DVD ROM installation etc.

4. Problems related to Website development and presentation, graphic designing

5. Firewall and email security setup.

6. Windows OS installation and troubleshooting

7. Data backup and recovery

8. Tutorials to employees for solving small problems in-house

So, These are some of the services offered by the service providers. Before hiring any of the online computer repair services, it is very important to check the various types of services offered by them. So that you do not need to switch to different computer repair services sites for different services. It is also very important to check that there is a team of expert technicians for solving computer related problems individually, as this will help in solving the problem fast and efficiently. It is better to switch to such online computer repair services that avail you with the guarantee of fixing the problem fast else money back. As such, promises will pressurize the technicians to work efficiently and fix the problem quickly.

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Have You Ever Heard of Parallel Marketing?

Have you ever heard of Parallel Marketing?

If you haven’t I’ll explain it to you in just a sec.

I love the technology of the day. No more hassling friends and family, no more 3 foot rule, no more inviting everyone you know over to your house so your sponsor can “show the plan”, no more winding up being a member of the NFL club. And no, sports fans, I’m not talking about the National Football League.

In this case I’m referring to the NFL club as for NO FRIENDS LEFT club.

Trust me, back in the day your friends didn’t even want to see you coming because they knew you were going to try and sell them on looking at your business. And before you knew it… no friends left.

Thank God for the Internet. Now, even the most introverted guy or gal has a shot at building a downline that could pay them the extra money to make a car payment or afford the vacation of their dreams.

And this brings me to the question I asked you earlier. Parallel Marketing?

Parallel Marketing is when you offer someone something of value that other networker’s need which, in turn, helps them build THEIR business. This brands you in their eyes as someone they can trust. Therefore developing a bond of friendship between you and them.

I believe the FREE resource I’ve found is perfect for Parallel Marketing and thus helping you build YOUR business.

And to think I found this resource by accident. One night I was speaking with a fellow networking friend who asked me as to whether or not I had ever heard of a site that was ideal for networking. I responded with no, never heard of it. Anyway, I took his advice and went over to the site and started reading some of the comments of its members. Then I noticed some of the members kept talking about this new site. I figured I had better check the site out too. Next thing I knew, I was signing up as a free member, then happily upgrading.

The resource below will help you increase enrollments into YOUR business. Plus there is actual training that’s afforded to you too! And right now, for a limited time you can sign up for free and receive a Lifetime membership.

Anyway… here’s the link to hear an industry veteran explain what could very well be the secret to your business exploding within the next few months.

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Gambling: Online Casino

Gambling is considered to be an activity that involves betting on the outcome of a contest, playing a game for money, or paying for the opportunity to enter a lottery. It is a very old form of entertainment and one that will be with us as long as we continue betting. The pleasure of gambling comes from the very real risk of losing even your most prized possession. On the opposite side, gambling comes from wagering valuables or material things one cannot afford to lose. In a nutshell, gambling though how entertaining it is has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Gambling, which most people would really enjoy, could be of many different forms which include scratch tickets, pull tab tickets, bingo games, mahjong, charity raffles, lottery tickets, betting on sports games or casino games.

Casino games can be considered most common among people and it is commonly played in almost every country around the world. These days people could be entertained by just playing casino games online. Online casinos, also considered as internet or virtual casinos are online adaptations of traditional casinos that most people liked playing many years ago.

A casino game is similar with the land-based casinos that offer odds and payback percentages. Some of them claim higher payback percentages for slot machine games and make known to people payout percentage on their websites or homepages. The payout percentage for the games, being played by gamblers is established by the rules of the game.

Today, most people seem to be bombarded with lots of negative things. For this reason, they would really take up gambling though just from time to time yet soon it becomes their habits.

Gambling is undeniably fun and casinos create an exhilarating atmosphere, and there is always that slim chance of winning a fortune. Today whatever game you desire playing, the casinos available online could always provide you fun and excitement. It easy to find virtual casinos and if you have already chosen the game you want to bet on then you have to get ready and make a deposit, you will be entitled for some terrific first deposit bonuses for sure.There are various online casinos that could provide players free casino credits which can be credited into their real player account once they have met all wagering requirements.

Various online casinos with no deposits could provide players free of charge bonuses to try out the casino games available. Some casinos offer or give players up to $150 of free bonuses but on the other hand, the normal amount a casino could give is between $10 up to $25 only. Most online casinos have their own verification process to make sure the gambler or the person playing is really the one whom registered. This is to ensure their protection.

Here is a few of the casino sites that you could play at online.

1. BET365 CASINO

2. GAMING CLUB

3. GO WILD

4. CRAZY VEGAS

5. CASINO CLASSIC

6. GOLDEN RIVIERA

7. INTERCASINO

8. JACKPOT CITY

9. PLATINUM PLAY

10. RIVER BELLE

These are just a few of the so many casinos available nowadays.

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Why Computer Hardware Is Important

In this day and age, it is hard to deny the influence of technology in our lives. We live in an era where pretty much is automated and computerized. And amidst all the technological advancement that humankind has achieved, one important device has been created that will only sure to become more relevant to our lives as technology progresses, the computer. No one can deny that computers are now an essential part of our lives, the same way a cell phone and television does. It is safe to say that in this day and age, having no computer would be an inconvenience. Which is why it is important that we know the how our computer works so that we would be aware of the things that we should do in case it stops working. The hardware of the computer is considered to be the most important because without it, it will simply not work.

Simply put if you know how to handle the hardware of a computer and know each of their function for the unit, then you can easily determine what the problem is in case the unit stops functioning. In order to be familiar with basic computer troubleshooting, then you also need to be familiar with computer hardware. A good example of this is the memory of the computer (RAM). All programs and applications that are ran in a computer needs memory. Without RAM it simply won’t function. Aside from that, even if you have a RAM but it does have the specifications to keep up with the programs that are being ran, then the operation would be slowed down to a crawl. So when it comes to computer hardware, you have to make sure that it is not obsolete, so you need to upgrade depending on what sort of program that you are usually using.

When handling computer hardware, you have to keep in mind some safety measures so you can manipulate the unit safely. Before opening any computer cases, you have to make sure that the unit is unplugged or you might risk electrocution or shocks. While checking your hardware components, always check for damaged parts because that is most likely the one that is causing problems. When inserting components and parts, you have to remember that if it doesn’t fit, then most likely you are inserting it on the wrong slot. If it does not fit, then do not force it or you will risk breaking the component. Before touching any parts inside the unit, make sure that you discharge yourself first by through a grounded metal object or you can use an anti-static wrist strap or mat which is sold in stores for cheap.

By knowing and analyzing every computer hardware part you will know about its importance and if it ever breaks down then you can perform the proper troubleshooting steps. Every hardware component is important for the computer’s operation. The performance of your computer largely depends on how good your hardware is, so be sure that they are always in good working condition.

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Personals Like Craigslist – But Better!

If you go looking, you will find personals like Craigslist all over the internet. Most sites offering online classifieds have a personals section nowadays. They all suffer from the same problem, however. And this problem will usually result in you wasting time and often losing money.

This article is here to give you fair warning about the drawbacks to using these internet classifieds and also a solution that is a much better alternative for you to find a date or casual encounter.

The problem with personals like Craigslist is the huge number of con artists using the service to market dating products. If you post a personal ad, you will receive dozens, sometimes hundreds of responses. The majority of these emails will come from clever internet marketers, posing as attractive women who want you to join a dating service in order to meet them.

Some of those emails will come from real women, true, but how are you to tell which ones are real and which are fake? There is no way. Which means, though the personals at Craigslist are a good concept, they tend not to work for most of us.

The solution that most people overlook is to use a big-name dating service. Most people are put off by these services because they think you need to pay to use them. Not true. You only pay for premium features. And, let us face it, if you do pay for premium features, that is probably a small cost to pay for what you get.

And what do you get? Well major dating sites are personals like Craigslist in many ways. You can join for free and use many of their services without cost. You can make searches of people in your area and read what they are looking for.

You get a lot more, though, than that offered by personals at Craigslist. You get real people, no internet marketers trying to con you; you get to see who is online and who is offline; you get to contact people with instant messages; you get to add them as friends and view their photo albums.

So, all in all, they represent a much better alternative. They offer far more features, many of them offer free accounts, and when you get an email from a woman you know that she’s real, and not some clever con artist!

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The Difference Between Industrial, Retail and Commercial Real Estate

Before we answer this question, it might be helpful to actually define each term first.

Retail and industrial are both considered ‘commercial real estate’ (as opposed to ‘residential real estate’). Commercial real estate refers to buildings or land intended to generate profit; industrial and retail are simply sub-categories of commercial real estate.

Firstly an industrial property is defined as a property used for the actual manufacturing of something, and can be considered either a factory or plant. This is usually zoned for light, medium or heavy industry. This includes things such as warehouses, garages and distribution centers etc.

Retail property is a commercially zoned property used solely for business purposes, the actual selling of the product, rather than its manufacture – retail stores, malls, shopping centers and shops all huddling nicely under the retail umbrella.

Generally, businesses that occupy commercial real estate often lease the space. An investor usually owns the building and collects rent from each business that operates there.

There are four primary types of commercial real estate leases, each requiring different levels of responsibility from the landlord and the tenant.

Single net lease – tenant is responsible for paying rent and property taxes.

Double net lease – tenant is responsible for paying rent, property taxes and insurance.

Triple net lease – tenant is responsible for paying rent, property taxes, insurance and maintenance.

Gross lease – tenant is responsible only for rent; the Landlord pays property taxes, insurance and maintenance.

If you find yourself considering Commercial property ownership, there are a few things that you would do well to keep in mind:

1) Attractive appearance – the last thing you need is a vacant commercial property in Sydney for any length of time. Think how prospective tenants think: what will their customers want to see?

2) Aesthetic entrance – first impressions count, simple, simple stuff. This is a great tool for putting your prospective clients in a great frame of mind… and their clients.

3) Natural Light – in especially high demand nowadays

4) Location – close to other offices, public amenities, transportation etc.

Since 1980, retail property has returned an average of 9%, though is currently returning around 6%. Industrial real estate tends to be the most volatile, and is currently returning around 7% (as opposed to its peak of around 12% during the 1990′s recession).

And obviously, no matter which form of commercial property you’re considering, read the lease carefully. Sounds like a silly thing to say, but you’d be very surprised at the issues that can become issues simply because things weren’t read properly!

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Promote A Home Cleaning Service With Promotional Items

There is no better, economical, and effective way to promote your home cleaning service and to increase sales is to use the tried and tested promotional method of giveaways and gifts. Promotional products are an effective and low cost way to grow the brand recognition, within the community and even outside it, for your home cleaning service. Whether it is a new business or a trusted and established service with high visibility in the community, your cleaning company is sure to attract additional home cleaning jobs, and rope in more clients, with the wise use of a range of promotional marketing items.

A start-up cleaning business can promote its services through these handouts, while a larger cleaning service, offering a range of options like full house cleaning, or window and floor cleaning, can also benefit from such drives. Promotional item giveaways can help to rapidly expand the customer base of any home cleaning service. Ranging from promotional items like magnets, to larger giveaways like kitchen utensils or household and cleaning products, giveaways can be very useful in promoting your services to existing clients and their friends and neighbors.

Items such as computer brushes or even screen cleaners imprinted with your name and logo not only bring the shine back to the clients home, but remind them to come back to your when spring cleaning time comes around! Choosing a handy promotional item ensures that the recipient clients are able to have it right in front of their eyes, usually on their desks or counter top. What this means is that your brand, and the services you provide, also remain in the forefront. This is one of the most effective marketing campaigns home cleaning service can engage in, and it is not the least bit expensive or even time consuming. Promotional goods and items are the perfect cleaning business marketing campaign and they are easily carried out, requiring the bare minimum of personal input and working time.

Promotional items can be anything from umbrellas and paperweights to pens and magnets, from key chains to cleaning supplies, and all of them have the power to make your brand popular for a much lower investment. Significant value as a branding tool, and lower investment in terms of money, time and effort, make them a better way of publicizing your brand than the more traditional forms of advertising. Magazines and newspapers, television and radio ad spots, all pale in comparison, with promotional products giving you the same impact level at a noticeably lower budget.

Get your promotional cleaning services give away from the wonderful collection at Action Printing Inc are the perfect way to get your home cleaning business brand and logo out into the wide world? From the small and handy to the larger and more useful-around-the house items, there’s a range on offer to choose from. For a much smaller budget than needed for any traditional mode of advertising, you are sure to get noticed, and both satisfied customers, and their friends and neighbors will be lining up in droves to offer you their business!

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The Obstacles Home Business Owners Face When They Start A Home Business

If you have made up your mind and you are 100% certain about starting a home business, then you might have in mind what product or service you want to market. You should also know that for the first two years you will be devoted to making your business grow. If you are willing to take a huge risk such as this, you will need to be motivated, determined and confident. There are numerous obstacles that you could run into if you don’t take the necessary precautions.

To work your way through the start-up of your business you will need to take the following steps

SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). By knowing and using this method, you will be aware of what competition you are facing, where your business can grow, and you will get a better understanding of the business market.

Form a business plan. Forming a business plan can be overwhelming and slightly confusing. A business plan should include the audience that will be looking at your plan, an outline of the business plan, a collection of research and data, a general abstract of the market, an inquiry profile, finances, and finally the executive summary.
Funds for the business startup. Do you have the resources needed to start the business or do you need to find the money or money lender?

Naming your business. What will be the name of your business? This is a crucial and significantly important element.

Electing your business structure. Sometimes people get confused due to the business types. You will need to elect the right business partners. The choice you make will cause an impact on your business.

The license and permit. This entails registering your business, you might also need a business identification number, and may also include other tax licenses and zoning permits.

The location. This step also entails many minor tasks such as finding the right location for your business, buying office supplies and equipment and designing your business place.

The insurance. You are responsible for any risks associated to your business. Getting a business insurance will protect your office of any disasters or litigations that could occur.

Lastly, create an accounting system. Many individuals that want to start their own business tend to fail because they get caught up with location and buying supplies and other details that they forget to keep an account of money going in and out. A good option would be to hire a professional accountant that will keep track of the businesses finances.

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10 Types of Jewelry For Men

When we think of jewelry, we automatically think of jewelry for women. These days it is becoming increasingly common and fashionable for men to wear jewelry. Although much of men’s jewelry serves a purpose, there are many items that have no other purpose than to complement a man’s natural good looks. Read on to discover some obvious (and some not so obvious) jewelry choices for men.

Make a Statement with Men’s Jewelry

1. Watches

Timepieces have been around for a few centuries and serve a useful purpose. Jewelry or machine? Honestly, a watch is really a piece of jewelry that also happens to tell time. This is a way to get men who do not like wearing “jewelry” to actually wear jewelry without knowing it. The type of watch worn has to match the image the man wants to project,: a watch for the executive, a Swatch for the artist, a Nike for the athlete. Since many men have active lifestyles, there are different watches designed for different activities.

2. Rings

The next most common piece of jewelry men wear is a ring. The reason being in just about every culture, rings are worn to symbolize marriage between two people. Rings have been around for ages. Unlike watches, they do not serve a purpose, but when worn on the left ring finger, they do send out a signal about a man’s marital status. Wedding rings used to be made out of just gold or platinum. In fact, it wasn’t until recently that wedding ring designers began to experiment with the idea of using alternative metals. One of the first alternative metals was titanium. The metal was valued for its light weight, white color and strength. It is used for many other types of jewelry, not just rings. Only less than 5 years ago, tungsten carbide – a relatively unknown metal to the general public – suddenly exploded in popularity. It now comprises 20% of all men’s wedding ring sales in North America. Men’s tungsten wedding bands are valued for their extreme hardness. They are four times harder than titanium and have a hefty weight that men like. Tungsten is so hard that only a diamond or sapphire can scratch it. Tungsten is also very affordable. If you want to stick to a precious metal ring, but don’t want to pay through your nose for a gold or platinum ring, palladium may be the way to go. Palladium rings look and act just like platinum because both these metals are from the same family of metals, the Platinum Group Metals. Palladium, however, is about 70% less expensive than platinum rings. Many jewelers only deal with a few select metals.

3. Earring(s)

Traditionally for women, the earring is now accepted by society for men. Some men wear one earring and some wear two. Men that have traditional jobs in an office setting are often discouraged from wearing earrings or not allowed to wear them by company policy. Although, less popular as a man’s gift, earrings are here to stay as men’s jewelry.

4. Bracelets

Although less popular than watches, bracelets are a piece of jewelry many men wear. Men’s bracelets used to be made of heavier and more expensive metals such as gold, but alternative metals are becoming increasingly popular. The variety of materials used for bracelets are more varied than for rings or watches, and many of them are not even metals. There are bracelets made of wooden beads, carbon fiber, and ceramics, as well as stainless steel and titanium. Frequently, they incorporate more than one of the above mentioned materials.

5. Necklaces

Necklaces were worn by more men in the past than today. Men who wear necklaces tend to wear just one. In the past there was a higher tendency to wear multiple necklaces. Multiple necklaces can be viewed as tacky or “slimy” today, and as such many men today avoid wearing multiple necklaces.

6. Pendants

Men have mostly switched from wearing necklaces to wearing pendants. Pendants can be used to show a man’s religious faith or just to express oneself. The most common pendant to wear is the cross, in countless variations, and much like bracelets, pendants which were mostly made of gold in the past are now being made in all kinds of metallic and non-metallic materials. Some men wear pendants in conjunction with necklaces, while others choose to wear their pendants around their neck with a modest black leather cord.

7. Cuff Links

Commonly referred to as men’s accessories, cuff links are actually jewelry that men wear without thinking they’re there just keep shirt cuffs buttoned, right? Cufflinks are most often worn in an office setting where more professional dress is required. They make great Father’s Day gifts or birthday gifts. They are usually made of stainless steel or in some cases titanium. Gold is used, but is less common.

8. Money Clip

Men who like to show they have higher status, or at least the appearance of high status, tend to use money clips. With credit cards beings so ubiquitous, many men do not have cash in their pockets, which defeats the purpose of a money clip. The clip part of the money clip is typically made of stainless steel and if there is a decorative element on the clip it can be made of silver, gold or some other type of material. Money clips are usually given on the same occasions as cuff links.

9. Fountain Pens

Designer fountain pens can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, and tend to be gifts that companies give to their male and female executives. They can also be given to friends or spouses. In today’s high tech world, writing with pens is less common – even signatures can be electronic now. The fountain pen is becoming more of a piece of jewelry than a functional item.

10. Key Chains

Key chains are a jewelry item used to perform a function more than jewelry. For this reason, few key chains are made of expensive metals. Most are made of stainless steel, leather or titanium. This is a gift that is popular for Father’s Day or birthdays, particularly from a son or daughter.

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