If you’re looking to give gift cards to friends and relatives for a birthday or for the holiday season, listen up. It’s not as easy as you think. In fact, if you’re looking to make the right impression, you actually have your work cut out for you.
The problem with gift cards is that you are taking money that you can spend pretty much anywhere at anytime with anybody and reducing it into a form that can only be spent for certain items at certain places.
As you can well imagine, there’s a lot of limitations to using gift cards. In fact, not everybody appreciates them. Please understand that when you give somebody a gift card to an online store that they never really visit, your gift might actually come off as some sort of burden or chore.
Your gift card does not really fit their current lifestyle. Maybe they would use it because they like you. Maybe they would use it because they really like the dollar value of your gift. But by and large, if you really want people to be grateful or to truly appreciate your present, you have to do a little bit of advanced research in using gift cards correctly.
There’s a good chance that they would take your gift card and, if it’s freely transferable, just give it to somebody else. This happens quite a bit. Of course, the worst part is if you somehow, someway, hear about it. But usually, people don’t hear about it so nobody’s the wiser.
But to make sure that the gift cards that you are thinking of giving out not only makes people happy but saves you a tremendous amount of cash as well, keep the following tips in mind.
Do a little bit of advanced research on the person you’re going to be giving gift cards to
Pay close attention to the person you’re going to be sending a gift to. How well do you know them? What kind of things do they enjoy? What kind of things do they like to talk about? What is their overall lifestyle?
Are they a very active person? Are they very sedentary? Do they have certain hobbies? Once you get a fairly decent profile going, then you can make educated guesses as to the kind of gifts they would be interested in.
This would help you narrow down the kind of online stores that would have gift card programs that this person might be interested in. It’s all about audience knowledge. Think of yourself as a marketer and you’re trying to sell the right product to the right person to produce the right outcomes at the right time.
It’s not as easy as you think. It’s definitely not intuitive. You might think that you know your best friend like the back of your hand. But it turns out that they can throw you for a loop because they have some sort of weird interest.
So do yourself a big favor. It doesn’t hurt to ask. Be as direct as possible and really feel them out based on their answers. You should be able to put your finger on the general area of their interest and this can help you make better educated guesses.
Look for specialty stores that offer steep discounts
The great thing about gift cards is the fact that they can project a lot of value while costing you less. For example, if you know somebody who’s really big into hunting and likes to buy all sorts of gear, there are all sorts of hunting or outdoors supply stores.
These are not exactly hunting stores that sells only rifles and ammunition. Instead, they support the overall hunter lifestyle. Think along these lines. Don’t just zero in or narrow down the specific interest of the person you’re going to be giving a gift to.
Instead, think in broader terms regarding other areas that their interest is related to. By thinking this way, you can actually save quite a bit of money because the broader the coverage of your gift cards, the higher the chance that they would use it, value it and really appreciate it.
It also saves you quite a bit of money.
Sign up to as many promotional news letters as possible
When you’re holiday shopping online, I’m sure you have already thought about signing up for all sorts of news letters so you can get the best deals when they launch. Unfortunately, if you’re like most shoppers, you probably forget about this once the holidays are over. Soon enough, the holiday season comes again and you find yourself scrambling.
If you play the game this way, there’s a good chance that you’ll be spending too much money and you probably won’t be doing your homework as far as getting the very best gifts for your friends, loved ones and associates.
You can choose to do things the smart way by signing up for a wide range of online catalogues, online stores and online retailers. The more of these stores you have access to, the better. When the holiday season starts to roll around, they start sending you emails. That’s when you know which stores and which product categories offer the best gift card value.
That’s how you play the game because a little bit of advanced notice regarding up and coming sales can translate to not only massive savings for you, but to greater value for the people who are going to be receiving your gift cards.
You have to do a little bit of advanced planning. As the old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, what you’re really doing is you’re planning to fail.” Make no mistake. Giving gift cards is a big deal because it involves your hard earned dollars.
If you want to maximize the value of the money that you’ll be spending on gift cards, then you have to have a game plan involving the widest range of information sources so you can make a truly informed decision.