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Gift cards: Jumping the shark?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by BYH, Dec 24, 2006.

  1. audreyld

    audreyld Guest

    My family is proposing a Dirty Santa next year in which we all bring $25 gift cards.

    This perplexes me, to be honest. Why don't we all just not spend any money, then? Or everyone bring that amount and we go to a nice place for dinner. The exchanging of the exact same amount of symbolic money makes no sense to me.
  2. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    I tell you, I would have rather had a gift card today.

    My mother got me a gift from a store that she loves but that I despise. Store is not exactly age-appropriate for me.

    I go to return the merchandise and am told I can only get store credit. Bah. Will be saving it up until her birthday.
  3. Trouser_Buddah

    Trouser_Buddah Active Member

    Wisconsin lawmaker makes a leap of logic in proposing that the STATE should get funds from unused gift cards, NOT businesses. Wha? ???

    Why not have unused gift cards benefit state?
    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A lawmaker says the value of gift cards that go unused should wind up in the state treasury, not back with the retailers who sold the cards in the first place.
    State Rep. Fred Kessler, D-Milwaukee, said Tuesday he would include a provision to that effect in a bill he plans to introduce in the Legislature.
    He cited Consumer Reports figures indicating that 19 percent of gift cards go unused because they expire or are lost. Once the cards are expired, the values go back on the merchants’ books.
    Kessler said his proposed change could help the state government support health care, schools or roads.
    His proposal will provide that, after a one-year expiration date on all gift cards, 80 percent of the value would go to the state treasury and the rest would go to the retailers to pay for processing, he said.
    “I’d rather have people spend the money and use the gift card, but if they aren’t, I’d rather the state get the money,” he said.
  4. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Well-Known Member

    Seems like that would trip over the Fourth Amendment once it got to the courts.
  5. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Just bumping this up. Article in today's NYT on "The Gift Card Economy" by the authors of "Freak0nomics"

    "....for the merchant, at least, the gift card is a godsend. Just think of it: In the weeks leading up to Christmas, millions of people visit your store or Web site and hand you billions of dollars in exchange for nothing more than a plastic I.O.U. that may never even be redeemed. Best Buy, for instance, earned $16 million last year in gift-card “breakage,” which is the industry’s term for card value that was bought but never redeemed. Then there’s what retailers call “upspending”: most customers who do use their gift cards spend some of their own money to buy merchandise that is more expensive than the value of the card."
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