The Holiday gift giving season is upon us. Over the coming months you can expect to see an increase in the coverage of gift card related topics such as: gift card tips, gift card laws, gift card pitfalls, gift card sales figures and more. Here at ScripSmart we'll be taking part in sharing our thoughts on gift cards throughout the holiday season. This post is in response to a common piece of advice I see given nearly every time the pitfalls of gift cards are discussed.
Just Give Cash: Solid Advice Or Missing The Boat?
Yesterday I read an excerpt from an article found in the December 2010 edition of Consumer Reports Magazine which discussed gift card gotchas. The article does a nice job pointing out some of the downsides associated with gift cards. However, the article's solution for avoiding gift card gotchas is for consumers to give cash or check instead. While heeding to this advice will certainly avoid gift card gotchas, it's hardly gift card advice.
First off, I love receiving cash gifts. Second, I believe giving cash instead of a gift card can be a great decision. However, suggesting consumers simply give cash instead of gift cards is a bit like advising consumers to walk instead of drive for an article titled "How To Avoid Car Accidents". In other words, it solves the problem but misses the boat and is hardly helpful to most consumers looking to avoid a car accident.
While it may befuddle most consumer advocates, the fact remains: cash is not always a viable alternative to a gift card. For example, if you're looking to give your child's school teacher a gift, you might consider a gift card; in this situation, giving cash instead of a gift card is not a reasonable alternative because it's taboo to slip your child's teacher a cash gift. Teacher gifts is just one of many examples of why cash is stigmatized. As a result, millions of people will give and receive gift cards this holiday season. Furthermore, consumers actually like receiving gift cards and it's a trend which has been increasing.
ScripSmart Offers Solutions
At ScripSmart we're not satisfied with simply pointing out problems and we're obviously not satisfied with "just give cash, not gift cards" as a solution to the pitfalls of gift cards. We want to bring great solutions to the table. In fact, ScripSmart was created because there is an opportunity to make gift cards easier, simpler and all around better for everyone. Below are a few common downsides to gift cards followed by our solution to each one:
Problem: Gift Cards Have Gotchas
ScripSmart's Solution: Gift Card Score®, our patent pending scoring system for evaluating the quality of a gift card. It's designed to help consumers easily spot hidden gotchas and identify the best gift cards. ScripSmart has already researched and reviewed hundreds of gift cards. While researching, we collect several data points and run our findings through a scoring algorithm which produces a Gift Card Score between 0-100. Each gift card review has a handy summary of the features we like and another listing the features we think could be improved.
Problem: Companies Go Bankrupt And Gift Cards Become Worthless
ScripSmart's Solution: ScripSmart Bankruptcy Alerts will send you an alert if we catch wind of a company headed towards bankruptcy for a gift card registered in your ScripSmart Account. We live and breath gift cards and because we're already monitoring the gift card industry we do this free of charge.
Also, on each company's gift card we deem in bad financial condition, e.g. in or near bankruptcy, we place a warning suggesting the gift card not be gifted. For example, take a look at the Blockbuster Gift Card or the Borders Gift Card.
Problem: People Forget To Redeem Gift Cards
ScripSmart's Solution: ScripSmart Nag-me Alerts. Consumers can enable both types of communication in their ScipSmart Account. Nag-me alerts send emails emails for a set period of time reminding the gift card holder to redeem a gift card.
We also provide handy Monthly Summaries via email. They're great at providing an overview of the gift cards one currently owns. It's also a great way to be reminded of the total value tied up in gift cards.
ScripSmart Accounts are FREE, sign up now.