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Wednesday December 13, 2006 6:32 pm

Five Great Online Stores For Finding Gifts For Geeks

If you’ve been following along with our Holiday Gift Guide 2006, you’re probably looking to pick up something unique and fun for someone you love or merely tolerate. Fantastic. But if you’re not looking to spend quite $100+ on them, because, perhaps they haven’t earned that much friend equity and hey, you’ve got a Wii to buy yourself, well, that’s just fine. The interweb is plush with amazing niche shops, terrific web stores that have all sorts of amazing and fun gadgets, toys and fun things for your desk. And with just two weeks left, it’s best to get cracking right now.

Our five favorite places to shop for cool people for under $30? Let’s see:

1) Wishingfish.com: With great desk toppers like Swiss Aromatherapy Pens and animal-shaped rubber bands, this diverse site has all sorts of goodies ripe for the taking. Pick them up a Smores Maker and they’ll be roasting marshmallows inside at what’s sure to be a very awkward, but soon tasty staff meeting in no time!

2) Threadless.com: Few online stores embrace such a democratic approach to generating their final product. Threadless is an ongoing shirt design contest where users submit designs that are voted on. The highest voted designs are printed in limited quantities and sold for $10-$15. With nerd favorites like Ctrl+Z, you’ll be sure to find something sufficiently hipster for you.

3)  ThinkGeek is the old standby—a nerd favorite, featuring classics like the frustrating-for-some LED Binary Clock and the completely trippy Laserpod, a modern day lava lamp with actual laser beams, they’ve been around longer than most and they do things right. They have all manner of office distractions and cat-mocking toys, from t-shirts to mugs to caffinated soap. Chances are, you’ve heard of them, but they’re always worth another look.

4) Greener Grass Design has some bizarre takes on the ordinary, from classic “corded” Skype-capable headsets to an Archimedes Letter Scale that will bring out your inner physics-geek. Definitely tipping the scales in price, you’ll at least find something for the artist in the family.

5) Generate (GNR8) is an absolute jaw-dropping shopping experience. Every object for sale is beautifully crafted and most are wildly expensive. But they have a kitschy, original selection of cool gifts for under $50 and no matter what, you’re going to be surprised with some of the amazing things you’ll see here. This is one of our all time favorites, because you can see all the possibilities, if only you had the cash.

Dozens and dozens more stores cropped up in this fantastic Ask Metafilter thread, where I found a few off my list. Some really great stores are there, and you’re sure to find someplace that fits you perfectly.

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