For those of you who are struggling to figure out what to get your loved ones this holiday season, avoid gift certificates. While it may seem like an easy gift that’s sure to please anyone, statistically they have become a passé way of expressing your appreciation for your loved ones. There are many more effective ways to show someone you care about them this holiday season that doesn’t involve giving a dull gift that completely lacks creativity. To add insult to injury most cards offer a 1 to 1 ratio & refuse to let you trade for cash. This makes gift cards one of the best marketing schemes ever invented. Even though a gift card is usually better than nothing there are still a number of reasons to avoid them. For this reason we came up with this list of reasons why gift cards don’t make good gifts. Your family & friends will appreciate it, you can thank us later.
Reason #1: Gift Certificates Are Less Useful Than Money – While money can be used everywhere, gift cards can only be used in specific stores. This forces the recipient to shop in a limited area & doesn’t give them the range of choice that they deserve. For most people it’s almost a hidden insult, it’s like you are insinuating that they couldn’t handle the responsibility of real cash. If you are really that concerned that they would spend your gift money on drugs & hookers you shouldn’t have bothered giving them a gift in the first place.
Reason #2: Gift Cards Make You Spend More Money – According to a recent study, over 65% of gift card users spend more money than what’s available on the card. While this is fantastic news for retailers, it really isn’t helping the person using it. Most of the time the item that your loved one really needs exceeds the amount on the card, making them spend more money to attain it. Having a discount on something you want is nice, but when you have a gift card you are unfairly obligated to making the purchase.
Reason #3: Gift Certificates Showcase Lack of Creativity – When you are giving someone a gift card you are expressing your lack commitment. Instead of doing some research & buying something that you know they will love, you took the easy route & gave them a glorified coupon. This shows that you either don’t know them well enough to give them an adequate gift or you just didn’t care enough to make time to find out what they really wanted.
Reason #4: Gift Cards Don’t Always Get Used – A shocking CRNRC survey revealed that over 25% of consumers have at least one gift card from last year that they never used. 40% of them said that the main reason they didn’t use their gift card was because they couldn’t find anything worth buying. Avoid this pitfall by at least giving cash so it could be used in any situation to help make someone’s life easier.
Reason #5: Gift Cards Steadily Lose Value – Most people think of gift cards as an even trade off, when this couldn’t be further from the truth. A shocking amount of gift cards come with hidden fees & expiration dates that kick in if the card isn’t used in a specific amount of time. Many companies will forget to mention this inconvenience & you will have to do your own research to figure out how much time the gift card is good for. Even if you get lucky & find a company with no fees or expiration dates, inflation will make the card depreciate by 3% each year.