Whether your recipient is thirteen years old or thirty years old, the first rule of gift-giving is knowing a little something about your recipient. Without this valuable information, you'll find it difficult to know whether your gift will truly be appreciated.
For 13, 14, and 15 year old boys, gifts can range from the simple (such as a gift card to an electronics store) or something more specific (such as a hobby or activity-related item, like a guitar). Whatever the choice, what is important is that you ask. Of course, you must always ask with subtlety; if you ask him outright: "So what do you want for...?" he'll probably know what you're up to. So with that in mind, here are some tips and ideas for giving gifts to 13-15 year old boys.
1) The athlete
If you know this boy is an athlete, and you know what sport he likes most, then you already have a gift idea in your hands. Remember, at this point it doesn't really matter how much the gift costs. As long as it is useful and it looks decent, it will be appreciated. Don't think that because you gave a basketball, all it will ever mean to him is "a basketball." This is usually not the case. It will hold some meaning for him, and he'll actually be able to use it.
2) The gamer
Nowadays, video games are all the rage, especially with boys at this age range. If you can, check out what kind of games he likes to play. Do a little research on gaming websites to see which games in those categories are the most popular. However, don't assume that he will like them just because they have been rated well online. Leave room for error! If at all possible, ask his parents whether he has been dropping any hints about video games that he would like to purchase. This path almost always guarantees success.
3) The Incomprehensible
This is a category all in itself. Boys who don't really fit into the "athlete" or "gamer" category fit into this one because they are usually not of the norm. This means that you have a broader range of gifts you can give to this type of boy. A great gift idea needs to be broad, but at the same time meaningful (since all gifts should have some meaning). Don't be quick to assume that he might like something just because he talks about it; be interested in his interests before you start giving gifts. That way, you learn a little bit about him, too. The "incomprehensible" boys include: those who are fairly shy or quiet, those who like to read books, those who have "strange" hobbies like coin-collecting, etc.
As you buy gifts for boys of this age range, always remember that a gift is a gift if it has had some thought put into it. So, learn a little about your recipient and your gift will very much appreciated.