Author Topic: In defense of gift certificates  (Read 3826 times)

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Minmom3

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In defense of gift certificates
« on: December 27, 2012, 12:13:51 AM »
We're broke, and DH does not enjoy gift shopping at all.  If you want to go shopping at a store, rather than find out what you would like, he will hand you money or a gift certificate to that store, and tell you to have at it.  He's not stingy, but he hates shopping for much of anything beyond his own esoteric stuff.  In addition, I am Very Difficult to book shop for, and that's nearly my ultimate gift.

So.  He uses American Express, which gives points, which can be redeemed for Barns & Noble gift certificates.  I just had a fantastic time shopping (it would have been even more fun if I liked their web site more, I think it's Not The Best :P), I spent $3 more than my certificates of Guilt Free Book Money, and I have 15 books coming in the mail!  This is going to be SUCH a blast.  ;D ;D ;D (hopping up and down with glee)  ;D ;D ;D

Some of them are coming from the next county over, a few more are instate, and some are from the other side of the country.  They will be trickling in for a few weeks.  THIS is SO MUCH FUN for me!
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lady_disdain

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Re: In defense of gift certificates
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2012, 05:21:52 AM »
This is when gift certificates are good: when the shopping experience is an important part of the gift. I like them for teenagers who already have the ability to shop for themselves but not the money or for specialty shopping.

JennJenn68

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Re: In defense of gift certificates
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2012, 07:29:13 AM »
I love, love, LOVE gift cards!  I am the world's worst gift shopper, and generally I screw something up when I try to buy a particular item for someone else.  Mind you, I don't buy that many gifts at Christmas, anyway--just for the children, who are now all about the age where it's a big deal to get a gift card because it makes them feel "grown-up" to pick out stuff for themselves.  (Never quite understood why people have this compulsion to buy gifts for all and sundry at Christmas.  Then again, I used to work retail, and the stuff I saw there might just colour my opinion a tad... ::))

FoxPaws

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Re: In defense of gift certificates
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2012, 09:22:04 AM »
My 86 year old mother also loves gift cards. At this stage in her life, the last thing she needs is more random stuff, plus she's on a fixed income. Gift cards - even to the grocery store - allow her to treat herself to things that aren't in the everyday budget.

You wanna see an octogenarian get giddy - watch my Mom find something she wants on sale on Senior Discount Day and pay for it with a gift card.  ;)
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siamesecat2965

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Re: In defense of gift certificates
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2012, 09:33:03 AM »
I am also a fan. My fave is Amazon since I have a kindle, and use them to buy books i wouldn't normally buy, i.e. too pricy for me as i'm kind of cheap! last year i also got a vera bradley gc, and coupled with my birthday coupon, i was able to get a very nice bag, for less than half the cost. 

kherbert05

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Re: In defense of gift certificates
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2012, 09:46:10 AM »
My BIL loves reading. We don't share the same tastes, and he gives away books when finished so I can't sneak a look at his library. He gets B&N GC.


My sis loves to be pampered but they are on a strict budget since BIL just got a new job. She got a spa GC


Oldest niece is in her first apartment and at University. I heard her turn down an invite to a movie "because I have to pay rent" (person was getting pushy wanting her to get money from her Parents or grandmother. ) She got a GS to pay for a movie and dinner.
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learningtofly

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Re: In defense of gift certificates
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2012, 09:53:50 AM »
Love gift cards. When DB was in school I would get them for a coffee place or the grocery store. Little things that let him treat himself or get the essentials.

Cz. Burrito

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Re: In defense of gift certificates
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2012, 10:01:45 AM »
This is when gift certificates are good: when the shopping experience is an important part of the gift. I like them for teenagers who already have the ability to shop for themselves but not the money or for specialty shopping.

Agreed.  Or when you know somebody wants something from a particular store, but can't afford to buy it all.  I gave my sister and BIL a gift card that would cover part of the AppleTV they want to buy.

I personally love gift cards. It's a license to go shopping and buy something that strikes your fancy, guilt-free.

CakeBeret

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Re: In defense of gift certificates
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2012, 11:43:36 AM »
I enjoy getting gift cards. If I'm given money, I'll probably spend it on something practical. My family often misses the mark on gifts, too. But gift cards, I can spend on what I want with no guilt.

Best example is Amazon gift cards. I rarely buy kindle books for myself because I can't justify the cost. But my workplace gave me an Amazon GC in lieu of a Christmas bonus this year, and I was actually thrilled with that. Now I can buy books, books, and more books! I've already bought two. ;) I tend to meter out my book purchases, so the GC will probably last me several months.
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snowdragon

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Re: In defense of gift certificates
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2012, 11:49:58 AM »
I also adore gift cards. I use Joann's gift cards to take classes all year long.  Amazon cards I  use for books. same with Barnes and Nobles.

gramma dishes

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Re: In defense of gift certificates
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2012, 12:00:05 PM »
Another reason for Gift Cards, at least at Christmastime, is the fact that many times people have to travel great distances to get to the Christmas celebration location and back home and this may involve air travel.  Gift cards are marvelously small and lightweight and can be taken on a plane at any time without issues.

Winterlight

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Re: In defense of gift certificates
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2012, 12:03:35 PM »
I think they can be great when they're picked with the recipient in mind. You can buy just about anything off Amazon, but if you know the person loves H&M or whatever, it's a little more personalized to buy that. Plus you can often email them- that's what I did at Christmas.
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Re: In defense of gift certificates
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2012, 02:11:37 PM »
I don't know why gift cards get a bad rap.

Think about all the threads on this forum that have to do with gift drama - what to give to who, how much to spend, wrapping, regifting, stuff doesn't fit, you don't like it, you can't use it, gift is too cheap, gift is too expensive, you already have it, someone doesn't appreciate the effort, shopping for certain people is too much effort, etc. etc. ::)

My neighbors gave me a gift card that said "to help with your project" - they know I am redecorating my house. With their help I have been able to buy beautiful things that I wouldn't have been able to justify splurging on otherwise because of my budget. I wouldn't have felt right accepting cash from them but somehow a gift card is guilt free! I love my neighbors! ;D

If I know someone loves to read, instead of trying to find a book for them, I just give them an Amazon or B&N card - they can shop the sales and get what they want at the price they want and everyone's happy.

Gift cards are awesome. :)
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Morrigan

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Re: In defense of gift certificates
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2012, 02:17:00 PM »
My grandmother got me a GC to a local butcher.  Sounds weird, right?  But she knows that they have awesome cuts of meat that I won't buy because they're too expensive (I shop there for our meat every other week, but only buy the basics - roasts and such, forgoing the steaks because of the price).  So she got me a GC for it and the look on my face was  ;D because I was so excited.

So I was able to get a couple steak and a ham.  Now my mouth is watering over the ham and I can't make it for a few more days!    :'(

magicdomino

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Re: In defense of gift certificates
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2012, 02:30:13 PM »
My only problem with gift cards is that I want to save them for something special.  For instance, I spend lots and lots of money at Home Depot (the curse of a 50 year old house), but I don't want to spend my gift card on light switches, or screws, or herbicide, or a board, etc.  I want to spend it on something good.   :)

Even the ones for stores that aren't my thing aren't total losses.  Last year, I got a substantial gift card for Bath and Body Works.  I'm allergic to perfumes, so I never go in that store.  The gift card let me buy a selection of products.  Most were just meh, but I love the 100% shea butter, and will buy it again.  I would never have found it without the card.

I will say that if you are just exchanging the same cards for the same stores over and over, it does make the whole gift giving thing rather pointless.