You’ve a list of folks you intend to send gifts to. Most are out of state. Then you can find your immediate siblings. Some you realize well. Others? You just don’t have a hint as to what half of them like? So you think about providing them with a gift certificate. In the end money doesn’t grow on trees. The fact is with the cost of gas doubling over the past several years, inflation on our heels and the growth in family reunion attendance, offsetting the cost of gift giving by finding inexpensive items that each body loves is now an even greater challenge then it ever has been. Thus the growing popularity of gift cards.
The National Retail Federation anticipated $17.24 billion worth of holiday sales this past year in gift cards. The reasons gift cards are so frequently bought as opposed to other items are numerous. No body wants to provide a gift that is not appreciated. Additionally, who wants to burden down an aging relative with having to operate a vehicle several miles to a shop she nevers shops to be able to exchange the gift.
Mark Askew, founder of http://prepaid-gift-card.fimark.net says, “Folks once thought that with a gift card you couldn’t go wrong attempting to please. And this seemed logical at the time. Thus as gift cards gained popularity many merchants jumped on the bandwagon. But until recently gift card weren’t all they certainly were thought to be.”
But has the gift card changed all that much over the past three or more years? Perhaps. Prepaid gift cards issued by VISA and MasterCard provide a way to utilize a gift card anywhere credit cards are accepted. Prepaid debit card issuers and 60 percent of store gift card issuers offer the potential to obtain a replacement card with the rest of the balance if the original is lost or stolen. But finding a replacement may require the purchase receipt and the card number. Some companies may accept other proof of purchase. The gift card recipient would need to have all these papers to obtain a replacement. No wonder a significant percentage of gift cards have gone unredeemed. buy itunes gift card That said, when buying a gift card, look carefully at the pre-purchase disclosures of terms and conditions on line site and the packaging in the store. If terms are not given or appear too cryptic to be complete don’t buy.
So whenever a recipient receives a shop issued gift card from a shop they don’t like obviously the card just sits in a dresser drawer until it’s long after dark expiration date? Are merchants pocketing the cash as the gift card purchasers just dispose of money? That was when the case. But companies like Sears announced it’s eliminating expiration dates from all gift cards issued beginning December 17, 2003. Other card issuers have now been quickly following suit.
Along with less expiration date worries there are now a handful of companies specialized in redeeming major retail gift cards for recipients of unwanted, unredeemed gift cards. One site, thegiftassistant.com, offers gift card ordering, redemption programs along with gift card exchanges. Many of these companies offer services for such card issuers as Best Buy Starbucks and Outback SteakHouse. Still with all the recent changes in favor of the recipient losing the impersonal commercial stigma associated with gift cards has been a challenge.
Still with all the work to personalize a gift card they still appear to need help to stand out in the crowd of greeting cards and gift bags. In the end a gift card is four times smaller a simple greeting card and weighs only a few ounces. Does this show that gifts card don’t have what it requires to stand out among large presents? Some issuers compensate for this by upping the monetary value of gifts cards. Some cards values far outweigh any large dominating boxed gift. From $200 to $300 or more. With the advent of prepaid debit gift cards from VISA, MasterCard, American Express and DiscoverCard folks can offer a gift card valued at $500 to as much as $3000 dollars with respect to the provider. Perhaps big things do come in small packages.