Thursday, November 15, 2007

Gift Cards

I am not a talented gift giver. I actually spend time trying to come up with thoughtful gifts, but often they tend to be opened and set to the side -- permanently. The last several years I'd been under the impression that gift cards were a good option for some of the people on my list but now we know that $8 billion a year is just wasted by the recipients. Seth Godin has a great post about this:

"we bought the story that giving someone a hundred dollar bill as a gift ("go buy what you want") is callous, insensitive, a crass shortcut. Buying them a $100 Best Buy card, on the other hand, is thoughtful. Even if they spend $92 and have to waste the rest."

...but say I had given someone a $100 gift card where they'd used $92 and left $8 unused; wouldn't that be better than giving them a $100 gift that was appreciated initially but never actually used? I don't have an answer, but here we go with another shopping season.


Smudgemo said...

I thought a Benjamin was a gift card, a gift card to anywhere.

MRMacrum said...

Maybe you ought to join Jehovah's Witnesses so you could conveniently forget without guilt about giving gifts for Christams or birthdays.

As a retail bike shop owner, I can testify to the wasted gift certificat/card. I have been carrying some Gift Certificates for over 8 years. The total of all un-redeemed GC's is not chump change.

I do not like having that many still out there. They are still good, no matter how old they are.