When it comes time to purchase gifts for your holiday gift list, the gift card decision will inevitably come up. Are they too impersonal or can they give the person exactly what they want by allowing them to pick it out themselves?
Some people think that gift cards are “lazy” and make it seem like a person doesn’t really want to take the time to pick out the perfect gift. While this could be the case for some, many people give them because they don’t want to pick out the wrong thing and cause someone to have to go through a return process.
75% of people use the gift cards they receive, and 42% say they use them “right away.”
Many people would prefer getting a gift card that allows them to have a personal shopping spree than to get yet another fleece blanket or pair of slippers they don’t need.
When choosing technology gifts especially, it’s hard to know what someone likes or needs. You might get them the latest pair of wireless earbuds, thinking it’s the perfect present, only to learn later they already have a pair that they love.
When Should You Avoid Emailing a Gift Card?
Problem Email User
If you have a friend or family member that never seems to get your emails or is always having some kind of problem with email, then this may not be the best gift for them.
If you send a gift card by email in this case, the person could easily overlook it, accidentally delete it, or just have issues trying to use it.
Close, Personal Relationships
In the case of a partner or other close personal relationship, an emailed gift card might not be the best option and be seen as you not caring enough to pick out an actual gift. This does of course depend on the recipient. Some people love gift cards, no matter what.
How to Make Your Gift Cards More Meaningful
Make the Gift Card Personal to Where They Shop
Gift cards don’t have to be impersonal. If you know what the person likes and where they normally shop, you can get them a gift card to match their preferences.
For example, if you know someone that loves camping and outdoors and often frequents Cabella’s, then instead of getting them a generic Visa gift card, get them a Cabella’s (or other sporting goods shop) gift card.
Likewise, if there is an Apple products user on your gift list, get them an Apple or iTunes gift card.
If you go the extra mile to choose a gift card you know they’ll use, it becomes a more personal gift.
Ask the Person How They Feel About Gift Cards
When you’re asking around the family for what people want for gifts, just come right out and float a question about gift cards. Someone that you thought would be offended at getting a gift card, might say they prefer them because they can get what they like.
Knowing up front can guide your gift card buying because you’ll already know who in the family is open to them.
Don’t Buy Gift Cards That Have Time Limits or Complicated Rules
It’s frustrating for a gift recipient to try to use their gift card and find out they waited too long, and it’s expired. They may not be sure whether they should say anything to you or just let it go.
Gift cards with complicated rules for where to purchase and percentage fees are also a big pain for the recipient. When purchasing gift cards, look for ones that do not have expiration dates and don’t charge any penalties.
You want the redemption process to be as easy as possible.
Buy Gift Cards from Reputable Retailers
There are many gift card phishing scams out there, and you could easily get swindled if you try to buy a gift card from the wrong place. Beware of offers for discounted gift cards that sound too good to be true, because they often are!
Stick to major retailers that you know and that the recipient would be familiar with. This helps avoid any problems when they go to redeem a scam gift card only to find out it was a fake.
Gift cards don’t have to be impersonal gifts if you put a little thought into them and know where the recipient likes to shop. If you’re unsure, you can always go with a gift card from a site like Amazon, that just about everyone has shopped at one time or another. You can also add a personal note to the card when it’s sent or given as well.
Need Help With Technology Gift Ideas?
Two River Computer works with Fair Haven residential and business clients to help them make the most of their technology. We can help with unique IT-related gift ideas that will fit many different recipients on your list.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Call 732-747-0020 or reach us online.