12 Best Wishlist Apps to Help You Plan for Holiday Shopping

By Rebecca Lake · October 24, 2023 · 11 minute read

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12 Best Wishlist Apps to Help You Plan for Holiday Shopping

Using a wishlist app can be an excellent way to stay organized when planning holiday shopping. Wishlist apps allow you to create shopping lists and check off purchases as you make them. Some of the best wishlist apps can also make it easier to track price changes for items on your list from different stores.

If you’re gearing up for the holidays (or planning to shop for any other special occasion), there are several wishlist apps you might consider using to make the task easier.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the benefits of wishlist apps and smart picks if you decide to use them.

Why Use a Wishlist App?

Wishlist apps can help to simplify holiday shopping in a number of ways. While the features of individual apps may vary, the benefits are largely the same.

For instance, a wishlist app can help you to:

•   Organize shopping lists for the holidays or any other special occasion.

•   Plan, set, and hopefully stick to a budget for shopping so that you’re not draining your checking account.

•   Track pricing changes for the various items on your list so you can find the best deals.

Wishlist apps can also keep you from wasting money on the wrong gifts (a sweater that’s too big or not quite the right Lego set) or on impulse buys.

If friends and family use wishlist apps to set up a preferred gift list for themselves, they can share it with you. You can then choose which gifts to buy from their list. This can help ensure that you’re giving them something they truly want or need; say, not just any boots but exactly the pair they’re hoping for. And you can set up a shareable wishlist for yourself so that friends and family also know what to buy for you.

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Best Wishlist Apps for Shopping in 2023

There are lots of wishlist apps available for download, but some may prove more valuable to you than others. When comparing wishlist apps, it’s helpful to consider such factors as:

•   The range of features offered

•   Shareability

•   Whether fees are involved in their use (all of the ones on the list below are free).

With those things in mind, here are some of the best wishlist app options to consider when trying to shop affordably for the holidays.

1. Giftful

•   Website: https://giftful.com

•   Available on: Android, iOS

•   Cost: Free

•   Age rating: Everyone

Giftful can make it easy to set up wishlists and share them with friends and family. To create a wishlist for yourself, you can simply add links to items from around the web. People who view your wishlist can browse items and if they decide to make a purchase, click “Claim” in the app to let others know they plan to buy it.

You can do the same for friends and family who have created their own Giftful wishlist. Giftful believes in the value of surprises, so you won’t be able to see who’s claimed items on your list and friends and family won’t be able to see what you’ve claimed from their lists.

2. Wishupon

•   Website: https://wishupon.company

•   Available on: Android, iOS

•   Cost: Free

•   Age rating: Everyone

Wishupon is a universal shopping wishlist app that can be used for the holidays or any other time when you need to track gifts (such as birthdays or wedding season).

Users can create wishlists when they browse any online store through the Wishupon mobile app. You can also add items to your wishlist with just a click if you’re window shopping online using the Wishupon browser extension for Google Chrome. Wishlists are shareable on Snapchat, Messenger, and social media.

There are two other features you may also enjoy. Wishupon sends you notifications when the price of an item on a saved or shared wishlist drops (this can help you save money daily during the holiday season). You can also organize your wishlist into different collections, which can make it easier to separate holiday shopping from other occasions.

3. Giftbuster

•   Website: https://giftbuster.com

•   Available on: Android, iOS

•   Cost: Free

•   Age rating: Everyone

Giftbuster allows users to set up one wishlist or multiple lists for different people in your household. For example, if you’re married, you might have one wishlist for yourself, one for your spouse, and one for each of your kids if you have children.

You can instantly save links to any product from any store with just one click and share wishlists with everyone in your friends or family circle. Giftbuster sends notifications for price drops as well as deal alerts to help you avoid paying retail. You can also get access to special promo codes which can deliver added savings on the things you plan to buy.

4. Giftwhale

•   Website: https://giftful.com

•   Available on: Android, iOS

•   Cost: Free

•   Age rating: Everyone

Giftwhale is a fun way to create wishlists for the holidays, including Secret Santa lists. You can set up a wishlist for yourself and add links to items from any store. You can then share your list with friends and family so they know exactly what to buy. They can share their own lists with you as well.

There’s a chat feature that allows you to exchange gift-giving ideas with friends and family, which is hidden from the wishlist’s creators. That can be a plus if you want to avoid confusion about who will buy which gifts from their list. It also makes holiday shopping more social, which can add to the fun.

Here’s another cool feature: Giftwhale makes it easy for wishlist creators to send a thoughtful thank you note to each person who purchases an item from their list.

5. Things to Get Me

•   Website: https://thingstogetme.com

•   Available on: Android, iOS

•   Cost: Free

•   Age rating: Everyone

Things to Get Me is a universal wishlist app that includes some helpful features shoppers might appreciate. For example, you can:

•   Create curated lists for each special occasion you plan to shop for

•   Personalize your lists with different themes

•   Share your lists with individual people or groups that you create

•   Collect cash with a money fund if you’d prefer that to a tangible gift (available in the U.S., U.K., and Europe only)

•   Receive gifts from people without having to share your mailing address publicly.

You can use Things to Get Me to shop through the mobile app or online using the free browser plugin.

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6. Giftster

•   Website: https://giftster.com

•   Available on: Android, iOS

•   Cost: Free

•   Age rating: Everyone

Giftster is a free private gift registry that’s designed for families. You can create a registry and invite family members to join. Everyone who receives an invite can view the registry at any time to make gift giving for the holidays or any other reason easier.

Members can add links to items to the registry from any store. Any purchases that are made from the list are hidden from the listmaker. If your family follows an annual tradition of doing a Secret Santa gift exchange, you can set that up in the app, and Giftster will automatically draw names for each member.

7. Listery

•   Website: https://listery.app

•   Available on: Android, iOS

•   Cost: Free

•   Age rating: Everyone

Listery is a free mobile app that allows users to create gift wishlists and share them with people in their contacts circle. There’s no limit to the number of lists you can create. You can also set up hidden lists of items that you’d like to buy for yourself that no one else on the app would be able to view.

When you set up group lists, you can designate those as public or private view. When an occasion is drawing closer, Listery will send you a reminder to let you know it’s approaching. That can help you avoid waiting until the last minute (or even hitting the stores on Christmas Eve) to purchase a gift from someone’s list.

Recommended: When Is the Best Time to Book Holiday Travel?

8. WishList

•   Website: https://wishlist.com

•   Available on: Android, iOS

•   Cost: Free

•   Age rating: Everyone

WishList is a wishlist app and gift registry that allows users to set up lists for any occasion. When you create a list, you can add items to it from any store using the WishList mobile app or online with the Chrome browser extension. Wishlists can be shared among friends and family. Bonus: The app has a search feature that lets you find users using their name or email.

Lists can be curated by theme or collection, so you might have one list for holiday shopping, another for birthdays, and a third for the bedroom makeover you’re planning. Users can set up lists for specific gifts they’d like to receive or general lists of things they’re into to offer some gift-giving inspiration for friends and family.

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9. Elfster

•   Website: https://elfster.com

•   Available on: Android, iOS

•   Cost: Free

•   Age rating: Everyone

Elfster is a wishlist app that’s designed especially for Christmas and holiday shopping. Users can create personalized wishlists, review lists from friends and family, and browse the latest gift trends online.

The app also has a Secret Santa generator feature that makes it easier to plan a holiday gift exchange. You can invite friends, family members, or coworkers to Elfster via text or email. Elfster draws names for you and assigns everyone on the list a Secret Santa gift to buy.

10. Wish Explorer

•   Website: https://wishexplorer.com

•   Available on: Android, iOS

•   Cost: Free

•   Age rating: Everyone

Wish Explorer allows users to create and share wishlists for holiday shopping, weddings, birthdays, and other events. One of the best features of the app is the option to organize lists and make notes so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting anything when it’s time to shop.

It’s easy to add items to lists while shopping online, or you can also import items manually. When you’re browsing the lists of friends or family members, you can tag items as “reserved” or “bought” to let other shoppers know you’re already purchasing that item. That means no duplicate presents, which can help save money on the holidays and minimize frustration.

11. DreamList

•   Website: https://dreamlist.com

•   Available on: Android, iOS

•   Cost: Free

•   Age rating: Everyone

DreamList is a wishlist app and gift registry with a twist. While the app allows you to set up gift lists for holiday shopping and other occasions, users can also create lists for other purposes.

For example, you can set up wishlists for meaningful experiences you’d like to share with friends, family members, or significant others. You could also ask for cash donations to help fund a specific goal or dream, like planning for a vacation. It’s free to set up wishlists or gift registries, and you can create a group list for the entire family.

12. Moonsift

•   Website: https://moonsift.com

•   Available on: Android, iOS

•   Cost: Free

•   Age rating: Everyone

Moonsift makes it easy to browse and create curated collections of items you’d like to buy. You can set up a universal wishlist and add items through the Moonsift app or online with the free browser extension. It’s designed to let you simply add products from any store and share collections with friends and family.

You can view items from lists that have been shared with you. Another cool feature: Moonsift sends price drop alerts to let you know when there are deals to be had. You can also track what’s already been purchased from a listmaker’s list to avoid buying duplicate items.

The Takeaway

The holidays can be one of the busiest times of year, and having to keep up with a lengthy shopping list might only add to the strain. Wishlist apps can take the guesswork out of deciding what to buy for the people you plan to shop for (and ensure that you’re getting gifts you actually want). More importantly, using a wishlist app can help you stay on budget so that you’re not putting unnecessary stress on your checking or savings account.

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FAQ

What are wishlist apps?

Wishlist apps are applications that allow users to create lists of gifts they’d like to receive. They can then share those lists with friends, family members, or coworkers, as well as view lists that have been shared with them.

Can you create gift wishlists without an app?

In addition to wishlist apps, you might also be able to create gift wishlists with your favorite retailers, such as an Amazon wishlist. You could also use Pinterest to curate items you’d like to buy for yourself or gift ideas for others. And there’s always pencil and paper or email as options to share this info.

What’s the difference between a wishlist and a gift registry?

Wishlists, including the kind created using a wishlist app, allow viewers to see which items the listmaker would most like to have. Viewers can then decide which items to purchase, if any. Gift registries work the same way, but are typically store-specific.


Photo credit: iStock/Anchiy

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