Buying a gift for your girlfriend does not have to feel like rocket science. Most women give hints about what they would like so it is very important that you are paying attention to those subtle hints that they throw out. Also, it is important that you take time to really know the person you are with, meaning learning about their interests and hobbies. Do not be afraid to ask if there is something specific she would like to have. Not every woman will appreciate a gift that is not well thought out or shows that some attention was put into purchasing the gift. You would be better off asking your girlfriend what she would like rather than giving her a gift that she will not appreciate.
Another place to start is by asking family and friends. These are the people who probably knows your girlfriend better than you do, especially if you've only been dating for a short while. If you are not someone who has some creative juices running through you, you can avoid giving the wrong gift by enlisting the help from those who know your girlfriend better than you do. If you are left to your own devices and have been paying close attention to her likes and dislikes, you should be in a position to narrow your list down to a few must haves that she would appreciate.
For example, if your girlfriend is a reader, buy her a book written by her favorite author and write a personal note in the book. If she likes to shop or likes clothes, a gift card is always a big winner. I would, however, recommend that you give her something in addition to the gift card, like a box of chocolate or something else that she can open. Now, some women are high maintenance and not all men have the means to spend a lot of money on a gift. Hopefully, your girlfriend already knows that you were not born with a silver spoon in your mouth. I do not recommend that you break the bank to support your girlfriend's expensive taste. However, you will probably have to put more effort into researching the perfect gift. You would be surprised how much you can get for much less if you are willing to devote the time.
To sum things up, I can not reiterate enough how important it is to know who you're shopping for. Keep your eyes and ears open when you are with your girlfriend. If you are out together and she mentions how much she likes something and would really like to have it, take that as a hint. Putting the effort into knowing her likes and dislikes will score big points when you give her a gift she can appreciate. It does not have to be the most expensive or extravagant gift, it only has to be something that she can put to good use or a gift that reflects how much thought was put into selecting that special gift for her.