Christmas, birthday, gifts, It’s getting close to christmas and I’ve been meaning to write a review on this app for a while, so I thought this would be the prefect timing.

In September a friend of mine sent me a gift using Parcelgenie (Parcel genie) and I really (and I mean, REALLY) liked it. It wasn’t expensive, massive or even crazy but it really made me smile and I thought it was a great idea. When I found the gift card with the web address I looked it up and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was actually really simple to use and as a result I’ve gone on to send gifts to 5 of my friends.

Parcelgenie is a free application that can be downloaded through the Apple store. The (ONLY) down side however is that (as far as I am aware) it’s only available on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (see ‘Update’ below). This app is, in a way, a mini shop on your phone. When you open the app up it will have a scroll down list of ‘gifts’ under headings such as fun, celebrate, romantic and thoughtful. There is a little thumbnail image with a short description of the item and a price. You can click on the little magnifying glass to get more information and extra photos of the item.

How it works
The idea is that you select the item you want to purchase/ send, and at the top of the screen there will be a ‘to’ box. Enter in the (mobile) phone number of the person you want to send the item to and then click ‘add a message’. A little box will appear where you can type your message (you can also scroll left to right to choose your card- there are three styles and they look a bit like the type of card you get when you buy flowers. It’s business card size/ shape). Finally you press send and make a payment. You can do this either by card or by paypal.

Once your order has been sent the persons mobile number entered in the ‘to’ section will receive a text message with the message you have written on the card. It will inform them that they have a parcel and they need to reply with their name and address. When they reply (to parcel poke ltd) the item will be processed and dispatched. it usually takes 1-2 days for them to receive it. All items are small enough to fit through a letterbox so there’s no need to worry if someone’s in when it arrives.

The only things you need to consider are:-

The gift card: The message you write on the card gets sent in the text message to that person, so if you put any clues on it about what you are sending, the person will know what you’re sending and could spoil the surprise.

Sender: the text shows it’s from Paracelgenie / parcel poke so I usually put ‘from’ and my name so the person knows it’s me sending it. I also usually send them a warning text to let them know they will be getting a text. Just so they don’t disregard it thinking its a spam or marketing message.

Phone credit: Sending a gift to someone who’s always out of credit. Now I haven’t experienced this so I don’t know what would happen, but when the person receives the message from Paracelgenie they are required to reply with their address. If the person had no credit, I don’t know if they can reply as there is nothing to say if the text costs. However there is a section on the app, where you can add in the persons address if you already know it. From my experience, you can only add the address in AFTER the order is sent and the person is contacted.

Dispatch: The app is useful as you can see when the person has responded and when the item is dispatched.

If I were to give marks out if 5 for this app, I wouldn’t hesitate to give it 5 stars. It’s brilliant and so handy. Whether it’s a birthday gift for someone or you just want to send a friend a little something to show you’re thinking about them, this is the way to do it. Most of the reviews on this app say how great it is (and has a 4 out of 5 star rating) although some say that there are limited gifts. Now I have to say that yes, there could be loads more gifts to choose from but on the whole there is something for everyone.

Update (December 18th 2013)
I’ve been in touch with the clever people from Parcelgenie and they DO have other versions of this app available for other types of phones (Yay, I hear you cry!). For more details please click on the links below.

For Android phones, click here.

For Windows phones click here.

I’ve used this app and really love it, but what about you? Have you used it, or used/ seen something similar? What do you think? Whatever your views, please get in touch. I would love to hear what you have to say.


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