Your toes are sore as well as your bags feel weighed down with bricks, however, you can’t go home because you’ve only ticked off half the Christmas list. Suddenly, the gift card section morphs from the “no go zone” into a “one size fits all” solution.
It appears there’s no stopping the booming interest in visa gift card code generator. They’re convenient, there’s a huge range of brands (Netflix, Bonds and Domino’s Pizza, to mention a few), and you can even personalise them.
But you have to be careful, because you may ultimately be throwing free money with the retailer. A new survey exclusively distributed to us by NSW Fair Trading showed 89 percent of 300 respondents enjoyed a problem redeeming a gift card.
The most significant problem they encountered was the card had expired. Some tried to talk to store staff and managers, others lodged a complaint. Overall, 69 percent said the retailer still refused to simply accept the card.
Let’s focus on the money. The gift card industry is worth around $2.5 billion each and every year. Two-thirds in the survey respondents couldn’t redeem their cards. Also, a 2014 Choice survey found 35 % of respondents had used none of the importance of one or more gift card in the earlier 36 months.
The figures are rough, the science isn’t perfect, but we could guess a massive amount of money is being wasted each year.
I can count myself lucky. When I was cleaning I discovered a $50 gift card to get a book store that expired 3 years ago. As an alternative to throwing it inside the bin, I had a chat with one of the workers (I avoided mentioning my job) and he kindly allow me to redeem the full amount. I went home with three new books.
This is not an anti-gift card piece. I wish to encourage anyone to think again and offer some pointers which means your Christmas present will probably be used and never forgotten. Here are the problems:
Shops go bust: Since we saw earlier this season Dic-k Smith collapsed and 1000s of gift card holders, including one woman who possessed $3600 worth, were left with virtually nothing. Remember Macquarie has predicted more retail collapses, and cites Fast Future Brands (Valley Girl and TEMT) and Pepkor (Harris Scarfe and greatest & Less) as being unprofitable.
Gift certificates for several brands can easily be bought at places including supermarkets and the post office.
Gift cards for many brands are readily available at places including supermarkets as well as the post office. Photo: Danielle Smith
Fees: Thankfully the vast majority of gift certificates inside the Australian market have zero fees because they’re “closed loop”. Though Westfield’s gift card takes a $2.95 “service charge”. I believe the worst deals will be the “open loop” Visa and Mastercard-branded gift certificates, which can be used wherever they’re accepted but include a multitude of fees.
Use the Australia Post Visa Prepaid gift card for example. You have to fork out $6 to purchase the credit card, $4 to talk with someone relating to your balance or transaction history, and $4 to get support on the telephone. I would mention you can examine your balance via text for 25 cents or online for free.
Expiry dates: Most cards are valid for 12 months or 24 months. Reconsider cards with three or six month expiry, for example the one for Ella Bache beauty salons. Should be noted, some retailers do offer a grace period. Consumer group Options are calling to the minimum expiry period to get five years.
Advance loan fees: It’s possible that when you use your charge card to acquire a present card, it will be treated being a cash loan. Check with your provider. Advisable to use cash or input it on a debit card instead.
Below are great tips:
Offer flexibility: Until you know they’d love a Sportsgirl or Smiggle gift card, it’s far better to select a retailer that provides a multitude of products. You could also buy a card to get a shopping centre or a group of stores, say for example a Coles Group & Myer Gift Card. Mary Steffel, a psychologist at Northeastern University in the united states, said the more specific a great gift card is, the unlikely it is to be redeemed. “If you’re uncertain what your recipient wants, give them the gift of flexibility,” she told the New York Times.
Subtly ask: Let the recipient to use the card sooner, as an alternative to later. Consumer advocate Christopher Zinn suggests asking the one you love several months on the track as to what they ended up buying using the card.
Make it visible: Be sure the card is at their wallet. If the issue and expiry dates aren’t written in the card, get a permanent marker and write the data entirely on it. You may also want to keep your receipts and jot down details for example the card number.
If something goes wrong, lodge a complaint with NSW Fair Trading. Happy shopping.