42 thoughts on “December 3, 2015

  1. I want to tell some customers that the recipient is probably going to take less time deciding what to buy than they’re taking just picking out the gift card design.

    • Frankly I LIKE getting gift cards. If you aren’t sure what to get for me why not give me a gift card that I can use to get something I like. I would rather get the gift card than a gift that’s a bad fit for me which happens too.

      • Gift cards themselves are fine. But if it’s for spouse/partner, one would think a bit more thought would be put into the gift. Otherwise what makes it different from any other gift?

  2. I don’t get what everyone has against gift cards. Unless it’s from a store you know they’ll never shop in, they’re an excellent idea. The recipient gets exactly what they want in the right size, colour, etc. They have also likely cut back considerably on post-Christmas returns, everybody wins.
    And to be fair, he could looking at one of those ‘gift card walls’, with cards from dozens of different merchants. Sears, Shoppers Drug Mart, pretty well everyone has them now. Real time savers.

    • >> I don’t get what everyone has against gift cards… The recipient gets exactly what they want in the right size, colour, etc.

      For me, gift cards are the ultimate in the commercialization of Christmas. “It’s not the thought that counts, it’s the gift!”

      There are places for gift cards. Primarily when you know nothing about the recipient (say, employers providing “bonuses”), or when there are logistical issues in getting actual gifts to them (family living overseas, kids about to fly away to school).

      But if you’re worried that they already have what you would give them, get them something consumable so it doesn’t matter. If you’re worried that they will return it because they won’t like it… they’re the ones with the problem, not you.

      • I used to kind of agree with this and think gift cards seemed kind of lazy and thoughtless, but personally I’ve found as I’ve gotten older I actually sort of started preferring to receive gift cards. Not even because people get me ‘the wrong thing’ – more because I have absolutely no clue what I want. A gift card gives me the freedom to figure it out later, or to just do the usual ‘I want that now’ impulse purchase thing at stores I like.

        • One of my favorite types of gift cards to get are gas station cards, especially to use in the winter. My car isn’t too expensive to fill.up, especially when Gas or E85 is under $2.00 a gallon, but my old SUV has a larger tank and tends to be thirstier, plus usually gets driven during the winter when my store’s sales tend to be slower, so not having to worry about coming up with money to fill that is nice………….particularly when prices were above $4.00/gal, it could cost upwards of $60/week to top it off!

        • I agree, Manyara … my wife weaves and I don’t – I wouldn’t presume to know what particular yarn/piece of new hardware she might need in the near future. And she wouldn’t presume to know which new or old science fiction book I might be interested in at some point.

          But we each know what the other likes to spend our “fun money” on, so saying “here’s some fun money, enjoy it” is being thoughtful.

    • Same here. Stuff like shipping is expensive, shopping is a major hassle for my family, and it’s a trip back to the store if something is too big, too small, they already have one. My mother is over 70, I’m not going to ask her to brave the angry wilds of Christmas retail.

      Also, my company gets gift cards for its employees (last year, they even gave gift cards to the trainees who had been employed all of TWO DAYS).

      For me, a card means “I didn’t kill myself at the store, but i wanted to get you something because I do care.” And I appreciate them whenever I get them.

    • Agreed, why do we perpetuate this ridiculous cycle? Christmas gift giving should be just for children, I don’t know why self sufficient adults need to participate. But as long as at least some people buy in to this, others will feel obligated to reciprocate, whether they agree with it or not.

      • I don’t buy gifts for friends/coworkers/bosses/etc.il I don’t understand that. I do still buy for my parents, siblings, and significant other. I don’t have children and none of my siblings do either so until there are some kids in our family we buy for each other.

        • It gets bad when there are kids involved AND the parents still expect gifts. My wife and I have no children but there are 5 spread over 3 couples in our immediate family (siblings) plus 3 parents to buy for.

          • My parents don’t expect anything, they’re veritable Scrooges about the holidays, but in the past few years I’ve given them a brand new TV, sound system, and kitchen set (pots, pans, utensils, and small appliances) because they tried their hardest to make Christmas good for us kids growing up, even though they didn’t have much, and I want to give back to them.

            I also love wrapping presents. My ex mother-in-law, who I am still very close with, taught me how to make beautiful bows. And my best friend taught me how to wrap presents. So wrapping gifts brings back wonderful memories of two special people in my life. Not to mention I love to give to the people I love. I probably get more joy out of giving them a gift than they get out of receiving them, but it’s something that makes me happy.

        • We only buy gifts for those under 18. Everyone else is happy that shopping is at a minimum. Gift cards make it easy to keep things at a minimum for the adults. The ones away at college whose needs change so often a gift card really comes in handy for them.

          The teenaged kids, well I don’t know what the hottest video game is, or what singer/band they like so gift cards for them.

          The little ones are easy to shop for toys and clothes. And depending on what my siblings get me for my birthday which is in December and before Christmas, determines how much noise the toy makes. I’m easy to buy for I have an Amazon wish list where everything is under $20, it’s mostly books for my Kindle.

  3. I like gift cards. If I get one from my favorite store, it shows you at least pay enough attention to know that detail. And if its just a prepaid Visa card that can be used anywhere, I’ll take that too. Groceries won’t buy themselves.

    • Not a thing, that’s how I bought the tires for my car this spring and will probably be paying for at least part of my car insurance this January.

      • Actually this here, the using of gift money on bills or necessities seems to be the major hang up with just giving cash. Even when I’ve gotten cash lately it tends to come with a “I hope you get yourself something nice an don’t just use it for grocery money.” A lot of people want the gift to be an extra nice thing you are likely to cherish not like a bonus on your paycheck allowing you to pay off the bills easier.

        • Oh, trust me, for the car that got new tires, the factory tires were not onlt wore out, but they were pretty lousy tires for the amount of power the car has, they were just as much of an upgrade as they were maintenence……..plus I got road hazard for the tires and an alignment with that money too!

  4. I’d rather receive gift cards than gifts as long as it’s for a store I shop at. A gift can be wrong on many levels and if I shop for it myself I know I’ll like it.

  5. Gift cards are also good if you know the recipient’s desires are above what you can pay. More than once a gift card from a family member tripped “can’t afford” over to “can afford”
    As we age, our toys get more expensive.

  6. And then there’s the DVD you’ll love so much that you bought it when it came out – worse, you bought it on blu…..
    It’s the thought. And I don’t regift the DVD. I might need a spare one day

  7. Sometimes the wrong gift card can be bought. Had a kid in our store wanting to return a video game store gift card he got as a birthday present because he doesn’t like video games, but we cannot return them, I felt bad for him…

  8. Is there really so much less thought put in to a gift card than the oh so common “What do you want for Christmas?” gifts? If they have to ask, not only is the recipient still choosing their own gift, but they’ve also lost the surprise of receiving it.

    • Yes. For one, it’s not a surprise to receive a gift on a holiday that’s known for gift-giving. Second, you don’t necessarily have to ask them exactly what they want. You can inquire about different things to throw them off. It’s not hard, unless the person is too lazy to put thought into it.

  9. My teenage daughter and her friends practically compete over who gets the most money in gift cards to Starbuck and iTunes. It’s pretty much all any of them ask for.

  10. Do they make a gift card gift card? You know, so you can use it to buy the gift card you want? Oh wait, that’s called cash…

  11. I’m all up for giftcards during the holiday times or cash .
    I actually, get why it would take some time to find the just right giftcard. You don’t want to pick a store the person doesn’t like or a restaurant or they can’t visit that easily because of location. Also, if you can’t put too little or too much on the card .

  12. I’m basically at this point with my family and friends (More family than anything). Don’t get me wrong I like giving gifts, however trying to figure out what they want is like trying to break a diamond using a wet piece of paper.

  13. I have no idea on what my family wants for Christmas, and plus, they won’t tell me. So rather than kill myself in frustration trying to find out what the hell they want, I buy them a gift card instead. I provided the financing. They can now buy whatever the hell they want which they refuse to tell me about. I say, You get a gift card or you don’t get SQUAT. Your choice.

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