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Old 11-15-2007, 12:22 AM   #1
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Your Thoughts on Gift Cards/Certificates

Another thread got me to thinking about this. What are your thoughts about giving and receiving gift cards/certificates?

I have always enjoyed receiving them, but I would not want to get only them. If someone doesn't know my tastes a gift certificate is certainly a welcome gift. When we were married we got gift cards from a few people. Then we were able to put them together to get something we wanted but would have been too much for one person to buy.

As far as close family, I have always preferred picking out the "perfect" gift. However, with our financial situation being so strained, if we have a set amount to spend on, for instance, our grandkids, we have decided that it is better to send a gift certificate for $20 than to only be able to spend a portion of that on a gift and part on shipping charges.

Barbara

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Old 11-15-2007, 02:56 AM   #2
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I only give gift cards to people I'm not that close to or if it happens to be family, it is a last resort or they have asked me for it. While I don't really like them, I would rather receive a gift card than a gift I have no need for cos I wouldn't want to cause offense by returning it to the store or whatever, so I end up keeping it forever, just in case they mention it again. It becomes junk effectively then just because it is not required, which is a big shame.

I will sometimes take the person shopping for a present instead as then they get to choose something they really want, or in the case of clothes, something that suits and fits them. This is especially good when giving to my (extremely fussy and spoilt) nieces and they get a big kick out of spending someone else's money on whatever they want without having mum or dad say no.

I try to stay well away from generic gifts like gift baskets, etc. One of my fall-back presents is a plant as most people like them, even if they are only to sit on a desk at work or by the front door.

It is difficult with people far away. My brother has moved around a fair bit during his career and my mum and I have often had to think in those situations as sending any present is impractical in the extreme. Where the kids have been concerned, my mum and I have banded our funds together and sent the money to my brother for him to buy the kids gifts, as well as for himself and his wife. They have then done similar with us. Works well for us as a whole but may not work in all family situations.
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:30 AM   #3
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I like the ideas of gift cards when you don't know exactly what someone likes. We give them for anniversaries, birthdays and even for Christmas. Our grandkids love Target cards so they can do their own shopping. For the grownups we give Home Depot (if they go there) or Lowes (if they go there) or restaurant cards. Everyone seems to enjoy choosing what they like. Also, no returns and size and color are always right. It's easier for them than cash, and not easily mixed up with pocket money like cash may be.The main thing is to make sure the card doesn't have a fee or lose value quickly.
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:50 AM   #4
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I`m a little unusual (no Comments!) in that I love Book Tokens, even from people that are close to me, this way I can choose what I want, rather than someone spending the cash on something I won`t use or read.

I don`t find them insulting or objectionable in Anyway, in fact when asked what I would like I reply with "just get me a book token".
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:34 AM   #5
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I think gift cards are a good idea if you you do not know the person very well or have no idea what they want. Oh heck, I do like gift cards - giving and receiving!
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:43 AM   #6
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I've never received one, not given one. But, I do agree they can be a good idea. If I can't figure out what to give someone, chances are they don't get anything.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:44 AM   #7
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I generally agree that a gift card is a good alternative. One "negative" aspect is this. Someone gives you a gift card for a restaurant you may or may not care for. The gift card is for $25. That means you must add your own cash to it to pay for a meal - something you wouldn't do if choosing a restaurant on yur own.
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:33 AM   #8
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If you are mailing stuff, I vote gift cards. I just mailed a couple of squishy envelopes to Africa and it cost me nearly $60 to send some tea and magazines!! Sheesh. They wouldn't be able to use gift cards there though dang it all.
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:43 AM   #9
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I much prefer to get them, even from my family. But I tell them which cards to get.

My mother hates this. She works at Macy's and loves to shop. But gift cards have prevented her from buying me another bathrobe and/or bathroom towels in colors that don't match.
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
I much prefer to get them, even from my family. But I tell them which cards to get.

My mother hates this. She works at Macy's and loves to shop. But gift cards have prevented her from buying me another bathrobe and/or bathroom towels in colors that don't match.
Oh my goodness. I feel your pain. I got lamps once that were peach coloured for my "ocean themed" bedroom. Ouch.
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