Teenage boys are hard to shop for. The line between cool and uncool is a very thin one when shopping for a fickle young male.
However, the best tool a gift giver has is research. And assembled here is a list of ten gifts that teen boys are sure to appreciate.
1. Video Games. This is a pretty safe gift as most teenage boys have gaming systems or very desperately want gaming systems. Many of them, coincidentally, don’t have enough money to feed their gaming thirsts. Luckily, Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart are all offering major discounts on this year’s top games, like Call of Duty, Halo, Madden and Zelda.
2. Headphones/Earbuds. Many teenage boys nowadays have portable music players, so why not give them a better alternative to those iPod earbuds. Best Buy is offering New Balance Sport Earbuds at 66 percent off. At Amazon, Bose On-Ear Headphones are listed at $118, down from $180.
3. Smartphone. Giving a cell phone to a teenage boy is a smart idea for when he inevitably finds himself in a jam. It's a smart idea so long as it comes with explicit instructions and regular monitoring. Best Buy is giving away iPhone 3GS phones with the activation of an AT&T account. Amazon sells a bunch of Android smart phones for as low as a penny, though network restrictions do apply.
4. Spotify Premium Subscription. Spotify is a music-streaming service that allows users to access nearly every song ever recorded. A premium subscription allows users to take that library everywhere they go via an application on their smartphone, without any interruption from advertisements. The subscription is $9.99 per month.
5. Tickets. Tickets to a sports game, concert or event are fail-proof gifts. StubHub.com offers gift certificates if you are not sure what he’ll like most. The site provides a network for people outside the venue who can’t attend the event to sell tickets at a discounted rate.
Ticketmaster will offer tickets under $25 to a number of events and up to 50 percent off select events on Black Friday.
6. Guitar. Guitars are a great way for teenage boys to express themselves creatively and spend time honing a fulfilling craft. The best deal on guitars is one offered by Guitar Center: an Epiphone Les Paul electric guitar for $99. These guitars are sometimes marked as high as $600. Get a cheap, low-watt amp and he’ll be happy.
7. Cologne. Giving cologne to a teenage boy can be dangerous. Chances are he hasn’t yet learned the rules that govern how much he should apply on a given day. But get him a classic scent and teach him to use it responsibly. Macy’s will sell a five-piece Calvin Klein fragrance set for $37.
8. Clothes. Few teenage boys say they like getting clothes, but many of them do. In fact, the entire wardrobe of some teenagers are accumulated through Christmas and birthday gifts. Mind his style, but you can always get him something universal like sweatshirts, flannels and jeans. Much of Macy’s men’s stock will be up to 60 percent off, including Levi’s jeans, all suits and sport coats and college gear. Amazon also has major discounts on hundreds of brands, if you don’t feel like leaving the house.
9. E-reader. These devices allow people to read magazines, newspapers and blogs while providing easy access to thousands of book titles.
Staples is offering a Kindle Touch with Wi-Fi for $100 and a $20 gift card with purchase. Or get free shipping on the new Nook Tablet at BarnesandNoble.com. It’s also a good idea to include a gift card with the e-reader so he can start reading immediately.
10. Wallet. A classic, well-made wallet may not be a flashy gift, but it’s a classic one. It’s an item that will go with him wherever he goes until its bindings begin to tear apart and the leather fades away. Plus if the teenager on your list is a slacker, he’ll be encouraged to start making cash so he can actually use his wallet. CLC Leather has hundreds of varieties of top quality leather wallets to choose from.