Biggest Profit Maker For Retailers

CNN reported today that retailers make almost $4 billion dollars from gift cards and that this form of gift giving is the biggest loss for consumers.  Why? The $4 billion dollars is not from items purchased using  gift cards, it  is the   value amount of unredeemed gift cards each year.

This is not to say that gift cards /certificates do no have their place.  However, with 25% of recipients failing to use these cards before the expiration date, recipients should take these measures to insure that they don’t lose  out:

  • Do not shelve these cards in a drawer.  Put them  immediately in your  wallet where  you keep your credit cards–same is true of your rewards  cards.
  • To get more bang for you gift card buck, use your cards immediately and take advantage of retailers  After Christmas Sales when sales and clearance are 70% off or more. Low inventory may pose a selection limitation right now ; but wait a couple of weeks and try again after shelves and racks have been restocked.
  • When using gift cards, consider buying something more extravagant that you have wished for–better to supplement gift card with cash, then to leave a forgettable balance, as 40% of gift.card buyers find out.

Remember, the longer you hold unto gift cards, the longer retailers  have to use your money interest free–and unless you are a stock owner can you afford to subsidize them?  Use it or lose it has particular meaning to this gift!

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