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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-22-2006, 04:08 PM   #21
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Re: Gift Cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
They seem to give every spare penny to their church... This year we bought them a Sears GC.
Hey Sheryl, they'll probably buy a sump-pump for the church basement.
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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-22-2006, 05:53 PM   #22
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Re: Gift Cards

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Originally Posted by Bob_Smith
Hey Sheryl, they'll probably buy a sump-pump for the church basement.
There's only so much you can do.
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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-22-2006, 05:54 PM   #23
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Re: Gift Cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Hey! What's wrong with that? It's a simple variation of the honorable wish list.

I was going to take this one step further with a web site (I never launched) a few years ago. It basically went like this: you buy your own gift, and I'll pay you back.
Yeah, to each his own, I guess. I just like giving and receiving suprises - from people who know me well enough, anyway.
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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-22-2006, 06:12 PM   #24
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Re: Gift Cards

Something that bothers me about gift receiving is the waste of money if you get (or give)something will never be used. OTOH, it's fun when someone gives you something that shows that they gave a lot of thought to the process, and that you really like (and never would have thought of getting yourself).

I posted this a few years ago: In 1997 I had everyone in my family fill out a "Gift Information Sheet" telling what kinds of things they like, don't like, and sizes. That continues to be useful today. Here it is:

Gift Information Sheet


Name
Date
Hat Size
Shirt or Blouse Size
Dress Size
Pants Size
Waist
Glove Size
Ears Pierced?
Shoe Size
General Gift Preferences



Color Preferences:

Please Avoid...


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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-22-2006, 06:12 PM   #25
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Re: Gift Cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
I was going to take this one step further with a web site (I never launched) a few years ago. It basically went like this: you buy your own gift, and I'll pay you back.
We get together with DWs parents, siblings, sib-in-laws every year. It is a lot of fun, but the gift buying/giving has turned into a major logistical undertaking. Last year someone called for a cease-fire in the gift exchange, some folks were in favor of this, but were shouted down by the others favoring a continuation of the practice.

I proposed a compromise: Everyone buy 10 gifts for themself, any price that they want. The gifts go on a shelf. All the attendes get to "shop" from the shelf, pick out the gift they want to give, and wrap it. This was a great plan! Everyone only spends what they want, gets things they want, and everyone still gets to shop and wrap. For some inexplicable reason the idea was hooted down.

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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-23-2006, 08:13 AM   #26
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Re: Gift Cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
I just hate the idea that gift giving has turned into a black hole of people throwing money at each other.
I agree with this personally, but not everybody's the same. Plenty of people prefer money to a gift.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
The other thing I hate is "I'll buy you this, and you buy me that, and we'll call it Christmas, but we won't bother wrapping a gift, or putting it under the tree, and while you're at it why don't you just pick it out, since you know what you want...
I don't hate that--I love it! My hsuband and I always do this--neither of us is a talented gift-giver, and we both hate receiving stuff we don't like or use. We outgrew "gift excitement" when we reached adulthood--it's just not our thing. We also only do the Chrsitmas tree business when the kids come home for Christmas (every other year--and then I do buy a few additional books and DVDs or CDs, maybe a calendar for them in addition to the agreed-upon gifts). Also, adults in my family don't exchange gifts except with one's own parents, so I no longer buy Christmas presents except for my children (and son-in-law), my mother (always a service like concert tix or facials), some friends (usually I just do a lot of Christmas baking), and whatever DH and I agree on for each other/ourselves--often one gift for the two of us like something for the house or a shared hobby. We got a camera this year.

I let the kids know my budget for their gifts and ask what they want. Sometimes it's one gift for both birthday and Christmas, like the year I got a TV for my son and a computer for my daughter. My kids are 30 and 27, and we all prefer it this way. In my ex's family, everyone gives everyone else a pile of mostly useless knickknakcs, perhaps amusing when first opened, but then just junk that always made me feel guilty to get rid of.

Yup, CHristmas in the xNTP family (Myers-Briggs)--short on excitement, long on satisfaction My kids still have, use, and really enjoy everything I've given them for Christmas since age 22 at least.
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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-23-2006, 08:37 AM   #27
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Re: Gift Cards

When we cleared out our house and got rid of most of our stuff it was really amazing how many Xmas gifts were never opened, never used. What a waste - just added clutter.

This really opened my eyes, and we been on a campaign to encourage limiting the gift giving. My brother has been even more strident over this - he would get so disgusted over the frenzy of trying to come up with ideas for everyone.

Ssince moving in the motorhome we have used our small space as a great excuse to limit gifts. We tell family - red wine, dark chocolate, CDs or DVDs.

Our way extended family finally got wise and instead of doing the dreaded "gift exchange" where you pull a name out of a hat and try to come one with an inexpensive gift for someone you probably barely know, they decided to collect cash and donate to a charity on behalf of the entire family.

I like gift cards/certificates. We've always put those to good use. Family knows where we like to buy stuff - simple as that!

Audrey
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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-23-2006, 10:04 AM   #28
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Re: Gift Cards

We created gift cards for sale in our motorocycle dealerships.

From the customers' perspective, it is an easy gift when you know the person has a specific interest, but you're just not sure what they want. So the recipient can have a nice time cruising a favorite store (like a Harley-Davidson store), and buying exactly what they want without being out of pocket.

From our retailer's perspective, it locks in a future sale, at our stores. We also get the opportunity to help the recipient find a few more things they would like, and we have a chance to build a relationship with them as a new customer.

Frankly, if you do some investigation, you'll also find a certain percentage of these gift cards are not redeemed. It is not our goal to sell cards that are not redeemed, but it is a reality ... much like rebates, though rebates have a much lower redemption rate.

Note I've never seen a case where this somehow cheats the customers ... if you buy a card for $100, it has at least $100 in value, just like cash.

The accounting hassle of keeping track of the cards (which are effectively a retailer's liability to perform up to the card's limit) are the reason why there are fees to address dormancy. Our best case is when the recipient comes in relatively quickly to redeem their card. It begins to create issues when there are cards out there that just never come back in. Note that some states, such as CA, have laws against dormancy fees as I recall. [There are also escheat laws, which are interesting to folks who have never worked with them ... states take the position that if you never claim your personal property, then your property reverts to the states ... so, if you never redeem your gift cards, NJ (for example) may tell the retailer to pay the unredeemed amount into the state coffers.]


To each his own. For myself, I agree there is little practical difference between the etiquette of giving cash or gift cards ... I accept either.
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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-23-2006, 09:00 PM   #29
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Re: Gift Cards

I do like gift cards, but do understand the limitation of them - had that issue this year with a bookstore that wasn't local (until recently) - had to carry the card and wait until I was near that store.

As for lists...I'm all fo rthat - used to do that as a kid and it has saved me and my husband embarassment at times - I remember my first Christmas with my ex - he didn't go shopping until late Christmas Eve and it showed.....the next year I wrote a list.

As for gifts for other people, I knit and fairly well, so most are overjoyed to get a gift from me that I've knit - also, as I travel I try to pick up useful gifts of quality - example: dish towels made of jacquard cotton from France, Italian or Polish ceramic spoon rests for the kitchen, chocolate from Switzerland, nice soaps from Czech Republic, etc. These are eminently cheaper over there when I'm there and useful and nice. In fact, I usually buy in bulk and then give over the year. Lastly, if someone has a baby, I knit or crochet an afghan. Funny, I don't give GC :-) If they don't like it, I guess they can regift - doesn't hurt me at all as I have been known to do that (just don't regift to the person who gave it to you!)

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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-24-2006, 11:57 AM   #30
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Re: Gift Cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by deserat
I do like gift cards, but do understand the limitation of them - had that issue this year with a bookstore that wasn't local (until recently) - had to carry the card and wait until I was near that store.
Our kid carried a Krispy Kreme "free dozen glazed doughnuts" gift card for three years before we went to their Maui store.

She enjoyed one, didn't understand what all the fuss was about, didn't want to have to haul them home on the plane, and handed the rest of them out during the tae kwon do tournament. She was pretty popular when people saw the box headed their way...
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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-25-2006, 12:37 PM   #31
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Re: Gift Cards

Here's my INTJ analysis

The reception of the gift is at least as important as the giving of the gift. Going the extra mile to "ooh and ahh" over the gifts you get, maybe feigning a bit more excitement than you actually have, is actually a good idea. After all, the main payoff for a gift giver is the idea that the gift receiver will be appreciative. As the receiver you have the ability to increase this payoff to the giver simply by showing the full depths of your appreciation for the thoughtfulness of the gift.

Unfortunately cash falls down short in this department... even though it is clearly more useful as a gift, it makes it much harder for the receiver to gush about how thoughtful it is.

This is why gift cards are effective... they allow the gushing "Oh my favorite store... I'm so excited because there are so many things I want at [insert store name here]".

Okay, that's my logical analysis of a wonderfully illogical tradition!

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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-25-2006, 01:07 PM   #32
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Re: Gift Cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by free4now
Here's my INTJ analysis

......This is why gift cards are effective... they allow the gushing "Oh my favorite store... I'm so excited because................
Hey, I'll gush like Ol' Faithful over CA$H!!! Matters not whether it's $10 bill....$20 bill...a $50 or $100 bill......heck, I'll gush for a bag o' nickels!!!

I'll put that cash together with my spare change collection, and get that new camera I've been wanting but was to cheap to buy, 'cause I really didn't "need" it. And I'll buy it where ever I can get the absolute best deal!!! (which will probably be somewhere that doesn't have gift cards) Then I'll send those who gave me the cash, a nice "Thank You" card, telling them what 'they' bought me, along with a nice picture that their gift allowed me to take!!!
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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-25-2006, 04:29 PM   #33
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Re: Gift Cards

So far this year, 2 of my female friends got married and 1 male friend retired from his job down in California. It was easier to shop for gift for the gals because on the bridal shower invitations, there was a suggestion that said something to the effect that "gift cards from Target, Home Depot, Lowe's" would be appreciated. So, I purchased and sent gift cards from the suggested stores for the showers. For the weddings, I wrote a personal check.

It was more difficult to decide what to get for the guy friend. I called another mutual friend who knows him and asked for ideas. I decided on purchasing a gift card from P.F. Chang's restaurant (dinner for two) and mailed it to him as I know there is one about a half a mile from where he lives in Southern California and the mutual friend recalled that he liked that place. I could've had the gift card sent directly from the restaurant but decided to purchase it at the restaurant locally here in the Seattle area because I wanted to write a personal letter with the card congratulating him.

I think gift cards are fine. They make it easy on the giver who hates shopping, and I'm sure the recipient appreciates it for the flexibility/latitude they provide. And it makes me feel better to know that the recipient can actually get what he or she wants without having to stand in line to exchange it for something else at the store.

Like last year, I am going to give gift cards from Best Buy for relatives and friends who are "techies".

The giving of cash can be taken to laughable extremes, though. My brother-in-law told me that one of his coworkers gets together with his (the coworker's) family each year at Christmas. Everyone writes out a check for everyone else, and they all exchange checks right there at whose ever home they are having dinner at. Kinda crazy, but maybe not. Could be just a way for this family to "go thorough the motion" of "giving" at Christmas without all the hassles and crowds of the shopping malls.
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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-26-2006, 10:57 AM   #34
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Re: Gift Cards

I have not received either cash or a gift card in a while, however in the past when I received cash I just deposited it in my checking account and forgot about it. As far as I know you can't deposit a gift card into your checking account so I see this as a real drawback.
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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-26-2006, 02:21 PM   #35
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Re: Gift Cards

My thoughts on gifts are probably strongly influenced by my mother's Christmas obsession. She went beyond all reasonable limits, and seemed to spend more than half the year on shopping. I used to struggle with not even knowing where to put half the stuff and be extremely frustrated with the waste. But I realized at some point she had very little focus in her life, and buying us stuff seemed to make her happier than anything else.

So I learned to be gateful for everything she gave, as the previous poster said, that's part of the joy for the giver. Living 2,500 mi away, it was easy enough to find appropriate charities to give the excess stuff to.

Now that Mom's gone, Christmas is not the same, but I do still have at least a 5 year backlog of socks and underwear.
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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-26-2006, 06:14 PM   #36
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Re: Gift Cards

I love gift cards. If I am given cash, I use if for something practical.

If I get a gift card, I buy something I wouldn't normally buy.
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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-27-2006, 09:57 AM   #37
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Re: Gift Cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Callie
If I get a gift card, I buy something I wouldn't normally buy.
It's a vicious spiral.

If I fix something for a relative or a neighbor and get paid with a Home Depot gift card, I usually buy a power tool (or a specialty tool) that enables me to fix even more things at a relative's/neighbor's.

I'm not complaining. But I can't help point out the element of self-interest from both the relative/neighbor and from Home Depot.

Overall I'd prefer to be compensated in baked goods... or chocolate. I wouldn't normally buy those for myself either!
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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-30-2006, 05:42 AM   #38
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Re: Gift Cards

WARNING to people who buy gift cards:

"FYI - What will they think of next?

Be an informed shopper this holiday season. Just a little warning before traditional gift giving time.
Well, the crooks have found a way to rob you of your gift card balance. If you buy Gift Cards from a display rack that has various store cards, you may become a victim of theft. Crooks are now jotting down the card numbers in the store, and then wait a few days and call to see how much of a balance THEY have on the card. Once they find the card is "activated", they then go online and start shopping.

You may want to purchase your card from a customer service person, where they do not have the Gift Cards viewable to the public. Please share this with all your family and friends."

(One of my friends just sent this to me in an e-mail today.)
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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-30-2006, 02:44 PM   #39
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Re: Gift Cards

Got this message in an email today. Is it true?

">> Well the crooks have found a way to rob you of your gift card balance.
>>If you buy Gift Cards from a display rack that has various store cards
>>you may become a victim of theft. Crooks are now jotting down the card
>>numbers in the store and then wait a few days and call to see how much
>>of a balance THEY have on the card. Once they find the card is
>>"activated", and then they go online and start shopping. You may want to
>>purchase your card from a customer service person, where they do not
>>have the Gift Cards viewable to the public. Please share this with all
>>your family and friends..."

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Re: Gift Cards
Old 11-30-2006, 03:39 PM   #40
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Re: Gift Cards

Quote:
Got this message in an email today. Is it true?
What has truth has to do with it? This is the Internet. All should be considered true until found out otherwise.

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