13 Fabulous Gifts for Under $20 — That People Will Actually Like

If you’re looking for inexpensive gifts for the holiday season or just something for your own needs, there’s a source for products that offer extraordinary value for a fraction of what you’d expect to pay.

What’s that source? China-based companies that figured out they can sell direct rather than through retail stores. They skip the U.S. distributors and retailers that double or triple the price of their products and reach consumers directly by using Amazon, where some run their own store or just sell through Amazon.

I’ve been surprised at how many excellent products you can find at a fraction of the cost you’d expect to pay.

And these are not poor-quality products, but generally well made, similar to what’s sold under more familiar brands -- and they come with good guarantees. In fact, many of these companies will contact you after you buy to be sure you're satisfied. All of these items are well rated, and many have hundreds or thousands of positive reviews.

Here are my choices for some of the best bargains for under $20.

1. Anker PowerCore+ Mini, 3350mAh Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

Anker Power Core Plus Portable Charger (Image via Amazon)

This is a tiny backup battery that’s small and light enough to carry with you and use for charging your phone. It has enough juice to more than recharge an empty iPhone and still have power left. It’s made of extruded aluminum and comes with a carrying pouch and charging cable. $15