By Darcy Oordt
Gift Cards often get the bad rap. They are often considered impersonal gifts that are only given by people who are lazy or don’t care to buy a “real” gift. And sure, people will often talk about the gift card they got and have never used. But let’s be real, we have all gotten a gift that we never used. At least if it’s a gift card it won’t be taking up valuable space in your attic or basement.
Here are 10 reasons you should consider giving a gift card as a gift for the holidays or any time of the year.
1. It ensures the person gets exactly what they want. Think back. Have you ever been disappointed to get a gift card? “A gift card? Oh no, I have to go shopping at my favorite store and spend someone else’s money. How horrible!” said no one ever. You may also consider giving them a gift card for a necessity like groceries, pet store or gasoline. That way, the money they don’t have to spend at the grocery store they can use to spend on other items they want.
2. You can make them personal. Sure, you can’t go wrong with a Visa or Amazon Gift Card, but you can make the gift personal by finding the right gift card for that person. Almost every store and restaurant sells gift cards. It may be a card for someplace they rarely get to go or a place they go every day.
3. They can be paired up with a small gift. For the people saying, “if I give a gift card, they won’t have anything on Christmas to enjoy.” Sure, if all they get is gift cards, but that probably won’t happen. But if you are really worried about this, then pair it with a small gift. A gift certificate for a wine store could be given with a pair of wine glasses. A gift certificate for a pet store could be given with a dog bone or bag of catnip. You get the idea.
4. They never have to be returned. Nothing is worse than getting a gift for Christmas that has to be returned. That means you either have to battle the crowds after Christmas or risk that the store will be out of the item by the time you get there.
5. They are easy to wrap. Did you know that people buy 4 million pounds of wrapping paper each year? That’s enough to fill almost 5 NFL football fields full or wrapping paper. What’s worse is that it is often lined with plastic so it can’t be recycled. That’s a lot of paper that could be saved by giving a gift card. The nice thing about gift cards is they can be given in small containers that can be reused.
6. It is more economical for you. Many stores give incentives during the holidays for gift card purchases. Some give smaller gift cards with a larger purchase. For example, Harrisburg Magazine sells discounted gift cards. You can give a $25 gift card for $18.75.
7. It is more economical for the other person. Everyone knows that stores have huge sales after Christmas. Well, by giving a gift card, you can help the person get more for the money because they might find it on sale. What if it’s sold out? Well, if you are concerned that could be the case then give them their gift a few days early.
8. They are easy to purchase. Many gift cards can be purchased online and be shipped to your door. Even better, you can purchase gift cards that are sent directly to the person. Saves you from having to battle the post office. Not to mention they are perfect last-minute gifts.
9. They can be great to have on hand for surprise gifts. Nothing is worse than getting a gift from someone and not having a gift for them. Sure, you can go with the old “Your gift is at my house” excuse, but no one will believe that. But if you keep a few gift cards on hand in your office or purse, you’ll be ready for this. They may not be as personal as you’d like, but it saves you from having to deal with the awkward situation. And if you don’t need them, you can always use them later for yourself.
10. Gift cards are great for re-gifting. Unless you get a gift certificate that expires, you can always regift them later. And if you don’t want to regift them, consider donating them to a local charity. They can either use them to purchase items they need or to purchase items for raffles. So if you get a gift card you don’t want, think about giving it away.
And speaking of gift cards, don’t forget you can purchase gift cards at a discount on the Harrisbur Magazine website at https://harrisburgmagazine.com/shop/. These cards are discounted (but don’t worry they don’t say that on the card itself), so stock up for the holidays! Quantities are limited so buy them before they sell out.