Gift Cards and Gift Certificates - When to give them and when not to !

Gift Certificates and Gift Cards are popping up everywhere. Well, yes we have them on our site too. What used to be the ultimate in lazy gift-giving has become this year's consumer's top choice, according to a recent survey.

According to a Discover Card survey of just over a thousand US adults, 58% stated they would be very happy to receive a gift card. Another 26% said they would “touched” by the thought behind the gift. Only 9% stated that they would be disappointed.
Other key findings:

- 76% would consider giving a gift card so that the receiver can get what they like
- 65% would purchase a gift coupon for the sake of convenience
- Giving a gift card is a far more popular option than sending cash

Retailers do not count a gift card as a sale when it is purchased-instead, they wait until the gift card is redeemed and merchandise is exchanged. As a result, some of the $24.81 billion spent on gift cards this holiday may not show up in "holiday" sales, but instead as sales in January or February, when the gift card is redeemed.

Read more of the DiscoverCard gift voucher survey results.

The cards appear to create a win-win situation for both consumers and businesses. Consumers are drawn to the versatility and ease of use of gift cards, and businesses benefit from the low labor involved in such transactions.

Reasons To Give Gift Cards or Gift Certificates

Gift certificates are a safe choice when you don't know the person very well. At the same time, gift certificates don't have to be impersonal. Since there are so many gift certificates available, you can find the perfect one for anyone's interests.

Gift certificates are also great for people you know are picky or for the person who seems to have everything. If you're going to include a gift receipt with the item anyway because you know they're going to return it, why not save everyone the hassle and just give a gift certificate?

Gift certificates are especially useful when you have to give a large number of gifts at once, like during the holidays. Save valuable time by choosing gift certificates for everyone on your list. Similarly, they are great options when you are buying gifts for many members of a group; if you want to thank your coworkers for helping on a particularly arduous project, you can give each of them a gift certificate.

Also, remember that the person receiving the gift card can buy stuff when they are ready and when the things they want go on sale !

But gift cards like Starbucks, Target, iTunes are very popular amongst teenagers. Great also for spouses who are stuck on ideas for a wedding anniversary, birthday or any special occasion.

When giving gift cards is NOT a good idea !

But I would not advice the gift card or gift certificate for people who love the whole aspect of opening a present. It is the experience of opening the gift and seeing what's inside that's a pleasure for both the giver and the receiver that will be missed.

The downside to gift certificates is that if you are actually close to the recipient, they might feel hurt that you didn't buy them a more personalized gift.

So its up to you and the recipient. Choose what is best for
  • the occasion
  • the person
  • time on your hands
  • and the experience you want the person to have !