Nothing but a shameless method of generating revenue?
Yes, but they're also far more damaging than just that.
1. They are hugely invasive and degrading the industries they invade
I can't remember the last time I recieved a well-thought out gift, or something that actually surprised me. Gift cards are boring! Still:
#1 Most Requested gift item in the US for over 10 straight years
According to National Retail Federation Gift Card Spending Survey (2015), the percentage of US people either purchase or receive a gift
card in 2015 had reached 93%, and a large number of people among those asked said they even bought or receive annually 7 gift cards.
What does this do to the holiday/birthday dynamic?
We used to make memories by firelight while sharing stories and food.
Now it's a piece of plastic in the mail that can't be used anywhere.
People are choosing not to think or make any effort anymore and this has noticeably affected special occasions and celebrations for everyone in a very
2.They sap more money from the public pocket
Marketwatch, between 2007
and 2014, the sales of gift cards rose from $80 billion to $124 billion.
We've all left a few cents remaining on a gift card, or lost one before.
How much does it all add up to?
Another study conducted by CEB TowerGroup as reported by
Marketwatch claims that
of the more than $130 billion currently spent on gift cards, roughly $1 billion goes unspent.
To be fair, this remaining balance doesn't translate to revenue for the parent companies, it actually becomes liability for them.
When gift cards are sold, they are counted as a liability until spent. Only when they are spent does that money count as revenue.
However, this still maintains a slow bleed on the purchasing power of the public to the tune of a billion per year in the US alone:
3.They tighten the monopoly market grip
Since 2005, some $45.7 billion has been floating around in unused gift card balances. For cards that are lost or accidentally thrown away, that
money may never be used.
Holidays and festivities aside, what about other markets?
Amazon, Walmart, Apple, gift cards exist under every brand and label- except those who can't afford to make it into the club, that is.
This drains business from smaller companies and 'mom and pop' shops, furthering the imbalance of economy and making the most powerful, rich and
influential players even more powerful, influential and rich.
4. Gift cards are useless 99% of the time!
Gift cards have a severe limit on when, where and how they can be used.
Many types, such as preloaded credit cards, online points cards or phone cards have expirations, or come with an activation or usage fee.
They are prone to damage and magnetism and can stop working.
Awful, just awful.
5.They generate huge industries of fraud and crime
Scams surrounding card fraud and fraudulent cards
My city has about 1 million residents, and we've lost over
to gift card scams this year
With 1/3 the year to go, PLUS Halloween and holidays, one can easily imagine that number doubling if not more by the end of the year.
Imagine the total from all cities everywhere, it's incredible.
So there's 5 reasons gift cards suck. These things are simply another hand in the pocket, a sneaky tool of our corporate overlords desigmed to leech
as many pennies as they can without getting bit. And they're poisoning many aspects of our lives without providing much value in return.
Less headache at the returns desk? What a joke
edit on 19-8-2019 by ADAMandEVIL because: ETA fixes