Giving a loved one a gift card may feel like the lazy option. It may seem uncreative and effortless. But as a recent survey shows, almost half of the respondents said that they actually prefer gift cards as a present. It is versatile as they can have anything they want in the store. And if they wanted to buy stuff at a store other than what is written in the gift cards they have got, they can always opt to sell gift cards that they were given.
Gift card experiences have not always been fun. Most people has at least one bad experience in receiving a gift card. It is a fact that a lot of people end up not using them due to gift cards having a relatively short usage window before it expires. The christmas season is notorious for this. Because of the number of gifts people often receive during this season, they would sometimes forget they even had it in the first place.
But, in reality, there are far worse gifts that you can give, other than gift cards. The possible drawback from giving someone a gift card is far too shallow than for giving someone the wrong gift. You might not have picked the right color, or the right size. Of course, a gift card cannot emulate a grand gesture as much as a specific gift can give(Well, unless if that gift card was worth a $1 million dollars). But all things considered, giving a gift card is probably the safest bet, and you should not feel bad about giving one.
So where exactly should you buy a gift card? Even with the option to sell gift cards, there is, at the minimum, the requirement to know which store the gift receiver wants to shop. You cannot for instance, gift a Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon to a teenager. Or a fuel gift card to someone who does not own a car.
Choosing the Gift card
There are a few things to factor in when buying a gift card. First is popularity. A big part of any gift card is the branding. A coffee lover would go nuts over seeing the Starbuck siren after opening a thin envelope. Knowing which stores are hip can be worked into your advantage. Even a kid would recognize a Toys R Us logo and will definitely appreciate it.
Second is the discount you are getting. Gift cards, often times, sell gift cards at a discounted rate to enhance sales. They can after all, recoup the expense through unused cards and knowing that the card will used to back at the store. This is a common tactic so you must be totally aware of how much you are actually saving in buying these.
You must pay attention to the possibility that your receiver may decide to sell the gift card you gave him/her. If this does happen, have a general sense on how much the card can sell for. There are many establishments that you can sell gift cards to. Each of them have varying prices depending on which card you have. A big resale value is a positive for that gift card and you should take that into consideration.
Knowing that the gift receiver is going to have to go to the store at some point, you should also consider his/her comfort. Will the store be accessible to him/her? Will he/she enjoy going to the store. The experience she will go through in redeeming his/her gift is part of the experience and should always be kept in mind.
Should you be giving the card to someone in a different location, you should consider the cost of delivering that card to him/her. These cards are virtually weightless and should not cost much to deliver. In fact, a lot of these cards are now free to ship. So when buying cards, especially online, be wary of extra costs that pop up which could significantly increase the overall price of the gift card.
What is Hot Right Now
When deciding which gift card to get, you ultimately want to side with what is trendy right now. Using the gift card qualities mentioned earlier, here is the top four list of the best cards that you can buy today.
- Sephora is a famous multinational glamour store based in France, Paris. They define themselves as a beauty and a personal care store. They own chains across the world. Their display includes products to care for your skin, hair and nails, bath products, fragrance products such as colognes and perfumes, and, for which they are most famous for, cosmetics. As a store that targets generally the female population with ages from teen and up, this is a perfect gift for your friends and relatives who fit the category. Sephora is also well renowned and, with chains all over, is accessible from any of the major cities.
- Fandango. If you are giving a gift to someone that loves movies then he/she will love this. Part of the frustration in buying movie tickets are the fluctuating prices. But with a gift card, you are sure that you are going to get a theatre seat. Given that the gift cards are usually given on a per movie basis, you can actually save on the gift if the movie was going to be expensive anyway.
- Chipotle. Mexican food at its finest. Definitely not authentic, but as far as filling up an appetite for Burritos and Tacos, it is one of the best. They offer pretty solid deals on their gift cards and have a strong resale value as well. They own lots of stores across the US too so getting to one of them should not be a problem.
- Amazon. The behemoth in online retail is probably the most versatile gift card out there. Logistics will not be a problem because the gift card is virtual. This is a perfect gift to give someone if he/she lives far away from you. With the vast number of choices that Amazon can offer, you can almost never go wrong with giving an Amazon gift card.