The Gift Card: Get It Or Forget It?

SS Member Image By drodriguez 11.28.08
The Gift Card: Get It Or Forget It?
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Many of you may have received an email recently warning about the dangers of purchasing gift cards this holiday season.  The email includes a long list of popular stores that are said to be filing for bankruptcy soon.  According to reputable news sources, the email making its way from inbox to inbox contains a lot of false information.

While some stores included on the list have already closed like Bombay and Linens ?N Things, a lot of the other stores on the list are still in good shape and are not showing signs of financial struggle.

The email claims The Home Depot is closing stores due to hardships.  After ABC’s Boston affiliate contacted the store’s officials directly, they report that The Home Depot has “no plans to close additional stores” and will actually be opening a new location before Christmas.

Ann Taylor was also a store on the list of possible bankruptcies, citing that they would be closing down 117 stores.  Officials from Ann Taylor issued a statement calling the email “false and misleading”.  Though the company closed 117 stores a year ago due to underperformance, it continues to thrive almost 1,000 other locations.

The validity of the email has been disproved, but the message may still hold some importance. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune if you receive a gift card this year you should try to redeem it as soon as possible.  David Brennan of the Institute for Retail Excellence reported to the Star Tribune about mall leases.  He said that since most of the store leases begin February 1st or August 1st you probably have all of January to redeem those cards without taking a risk.  Though he warns of the possibility that December 31st could be the last day some restaurants and small businesses will be open.

Having said that, it is always a safer bet to give cash rather than gift cards.  There is always a chance the cardholder could lose it or even forget about it.  And with more stores feeling the pain from the economic downturn, there is the possibility that the store could go under and you would be left with nothing more than a worthless plastic card.

What do you think of the recent news coming out about the safety of purchasing gift cards?

Will you still be purchasing gift cards this holiday season?
 

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  • joy9281 By joy9281
    11.26.09  

    I LOVE RECIEVING AND GIVING GIFT CARDS. THEY ARE THE PERFECT WAY TO GIVE A LITTLE EXTRA CASH TO SOMEONE YOU LOVE WITHOUT GIVING THEM JUST CASH. IT ALLOWS YOU TO PICK A PLACE THAT THEY WOULD ENJOY SOMETHING FROM BUT NOT PICK THE ITEM FOR THEM.

  • pjhebert By pjhebert
    03.23.09  

    The business that sell these cards makes money. Some people misplace or never use andl they expire. Sometime people leave balances on them. Just think if 1000.00 people left $2.00 on their card that would be $2000.00. Wish I had that porfit.

  • swimmonkey2 By swimmonkey2
    01.08.09  

    Pac Sun is closing its stores at least in the South Florida area...be aware.

  • puglover27 By puglover27
    01.01.09  

    I love gift cards and I use them right away. I never understood people who held on to gift cards so long they ended up losing them.

  • KrystalKF By KrystalKF
    01.01.09  

    I love giving and receiving gift cards. But I'd be wary of giving gift cards to struggling businesses.

  • abigirl By abigirl
    12.22.08  

    Retailers have done a great job convincing people that gift cards are somehow a more thoughtful gift than cash. I only get gift cards when I am able to "purchase" them with points from my credit card rewards.

  • kaishonholloway By kaishonholloway
    12.21.08  

    Get it,

  • Cropperhopper By Cropperhopper
    12.19.08  

    I bought multiple gift cards for Waldenbooks and Wal-mart. I am not worried about these stores closing, and the recipients love the stores.

  • misseltoe By misseltoe
    12.13.08  

    I buy a lot of gift cards. I appreciate getting them, but I am not worried about the stores I purchase from. I don't like the mastercard giftcard because you can't go over the limit on the card which I find frustrating. I've gotten a couple and had a couple of dollars go to waste because of that restriction. Gift cards don't expire in California so I don't worry about time restrictions. I have a couple of movie gift cards I received two years ago that I still haven't used but will be able to because they don't expire.

  • chrissybear77 By chrissybear77
    12.12.08  

    I love buying gift cards. Sometimes it is easier then trying to figure out what someone wants for their birthday or christmas etc. Everyone wins.

  • ayesha16 By ayesha16
    12.12.08  

    I will buy macy gift card , since i dont know what present I should buy for the guests.

  • cefurman By cefurman
    12.11.08  

    I will be purchasing them. There is nothing I hate worse then spending money on a gift that someone doesn't really like. Thanks for the truth about that email--I was wondering about it.

  • petreebird By petreebird
    12.11.08  

    Gift cards are great! Of course I am impossible to shop for, so it's better for everyone that I do it myself. Getting a visa/mc gift card for me would be ideal because many places that I shop at do not offer cards, or my out-of-town friends/relatives cannot purchase them, if they are a small specialty store.

  • magsgarden By magsgarden
    12.10.08  

    I love getting these.. :) and always redeem them as soon as I can .. they will burn a hole in my purse, spend me .. spend me!!.. LOL

  • grovej1 By grovej1
    12.10.08  

    I giving gift cards as opposed to giving money. I had not considered that a company may go out of business before the gift card is used. I will continue to purchase gift cards and hope that the receiver uses them right away.

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