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5 Reasons Gift Cards Are Simply The Worst

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posted on Aug, 19 2019 @ 08:25 PM
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 negative way.

2.They sap more money from the public pocket

According to Marketwatch, between 2007 and 2014, the sales of gift cards rose from $80 billion to $124 billion.

Unspent Balances
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:

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.

3.They tighten the monopoly market grip

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 $700,000 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

posted on Aug, 19 2019 @ 08:28 PM
I hope my son doesn't find out.
His gifts to dad are Steam gift cards.

posted on Aug, 19 2019 @ 08:54 PM
a reply to: ADAMandEVIL

I can't remember the last time I recieved a well-thought out gift, or something that actually surprised me. Gift cards are boring!

Gift cards tend to come from people who otherwise wouldn't get you a gift.

posted on Aug, 19 2019 @ 09:06 PM
I love gift cards.
They always fit, are never the wrong color and I end up with something I actually want.

Now I do agree on one of your points.
Well thought out gifts.
Those are a rare thing today with people being so disconnected.
I take pride in my gift buying.
Finding a gift that someone didn't even know they wanted if fun.
Sometimes gift cards are a well thought out gift too. I got one for my future sister in law to an art supply store. She loves to paint but I wouldn't know what to buy her.

posted on Aug, 19 2019 @ 09:12 PM
a reply to: underwerks

Yup, I'm good with a gift card.

But I'm not picky, if the phone rings and it's someone who just called to see how I'm doing im blown away.

I live deep in the woods, far from most of the family so its rare I get visitors.

posted on Aug, 19 2019 @ 09:16 PM
I’d rather get a gift card than something I don’t want.

posted on Aug, 19 2019 @ 09:28 PM
There are certain things I do want gift cards for.

I prefer to receive gift cards for clothing because I prefer to shop for myself. There are some basic items that are universal like sweats, tees, sports apparel, but for something like office wear, I want to select it personally and a gift card helps me do that.

When filling in a movie series or book collection, it's easier sometimes to simply ask for a gift card to a source than it is to list out what I have and what I don't. That way those shopping know they aren't duplicating and I will get what I need rather than receiving something I already have.

Steam cards are always good.

Gift cards to starbucks or the local coffee shop are also useful to fuel my caffeine addiction. I know I'll always be getting coffee, and those make a nice stocking stuff to be gifted a cup or two. Similarly, we usually by hardware store gift cards for dad and bro-in-law because it's always good to have some for the inevitable projects.

Now, for most gifts, we select specific and/or make items, but there are just a few places where a gift card simply makes sense.

posted on Aug, 19 2019 @ 10:11 PM
a reply to: ADAMandEVIL

Practically useless? What kind of gift cards have you been getting?

Because every year at Christmas, I get piles of gift cards from my students, and they ALWAYS work. I get gift cards to Starbucks, Amazon gift cards, and my favorite- Visa gift cards, which I can use anywhere Visa is accepted. I've NEVER had one expire, sometimes using them after YEARS of them being tucked away somewhere where I forgot about them. The only gift card that has ever not worked was a Visa gift card that wouldn't work in Mexico. But I used every last unexpired penny of it back home just fine.

The most thoughtful gift card is one that can be used anywhere. That way you can get yourself whatever you want, instead of being forced to spend it at Starbucks, for instance. But even those are great; my students see me with a Starbucks coffee and figure buying me some future cups of coffee is a nice thing to give me, and it is .

posted on Aug, 19 2019 @ 10:19 PM
Gift cards are a great idea.

Especially when you can get them for $.50 on the dollar and never leave your barstool .

posted on Aug, 19 2019 @ 10:27 PM
a reply to: Fallingdown
This so much.

There are third party markets for them, where you can buy them for cash for less than their sticker price. Seems to me like a win.

posted on Aug, 19 2019 @ 10:43 PM
a reply to: Secretrooster

My cousins got me a green knit sweater for like 3 or 4 Christmas in a row.

I must have five green turtlenecks here too.

posted on Aug, 19 2019 @ 10:54 PM
a reply to: dubiousatworst

I have heard about those.

The only problem would be that you have to get up off your barstool .

I’m joking around about it because although I’ve seen many gift cards change hands. I never would buy one because I knew they were illegally obtained .

The boosters would go out and steal things from Lowe’s and Home Depot .( two biggest targets by my count )

Then take them back without a receipt . When they return the merchandise they couldn’t get money without a receipt but they could get a gift card.

When they got the card if they didn’t have a particular person in mind to sell it to.

They would stop at a bar where there were trucks with ladders on top .

And sell it for $.50 on the dollar .

edit on 19-8-2019 by Fallingdown because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 19 2019 @ 11:43 PM
I only give gift cards if someone hints at them quite obviously, or in the case of my kids last Christmas, I want them to do their own Build-A-Bear fun and learn how to budget a reasonable amount they have to spend. That went over extremely well last year, they're hoping for another this year, which is fine.

I got my husband a Steam gift code last year, he was thrilled with it -- got a game he'd really been wanting badly (Elder Scrolls Online)

My older kid is a coffee fiend and has requested a Biggby or Starbucks card this year for her birthday or Christmas. I might just oblige, and might get hubby one too, for dad/daughter coffee excursions.

There's a salon nearby I could stand to get a real haircut done at instead of DIY cuts at home, if hubby can't come up with anything to surprise me with for Christmas. They have gift cards, I'd appreciate that. I'm not a particularly materialistic person, I strongly dislike having s# just to have it. I don't buy a whole bunch of stuff I can't use regularly. I'd appreciate a card to a store I go to often or prefer to get my clothes from and so forth over a random item more, or for a service I'd like to indulge in (like a haircut)

posted on Aug, 19 2019 @ 11:55 PM
Eh, disagree. I have a hard time deciding what I want gift wise when someone asks, so a gift card is perfect. Either that or game time for World of Warcraft. My daughter has gotten me 6 month subs twice now which is awesome.

I'd rather pick out my own gift based on whatever whim I'm feeling at the moment when it comes to books, movies, etc.

Clothing, I don't want anyone buying me anything except maybe t-shirts/hoodies. It's too hard to find stuff that fits properly.

I'm a huge Transformers collector, but those figures are expensive and trying to explain to someone which one I'd want would be difficult as there are just too many varying designs of each mech out there. I'd rather buy my own with a gift card, then I wouldn't have to explain the difference between G1 Soundwave and the Siege of Cybertron version and those you have to buy from Japan.

posted on Aug, 20 2019 @ 03:45 AM
I hear ya...but id take a gift card over an electronic birthday card anyday. Thats the ultimate in face slapping.

posted on Aug, 20 2019 @ 04:26 AM
I get fuel points for my purchases at Kroger. Sometimes I get 4X’s fuel points for gift cards. $100 in gift cards gets me $0.40 off a gallon of gas (up to 35 gallons, no more than $1.00 off at a time). So if I’m doing a project and need to go to the hardware store I may as well get a gift card for the purchase and get my fuel points.

posted on Aug, 20 2019 @ 07:12 AM

originally posted by: underwerks
a reply to: ADAMandEVIL

I can't remember the last time I recieved a well-thought out gift, or something that actually surprised me. Gift cards are boring!

Gift cards tend to come from people who otherwise wouldn't get you a gift.

OR.....we live in a world where most everyone buys what they want when they want it, so it's really hard to know what's left to get them. Many people feel it's safer to just get a gift card.

posted on Aug, 20 2019 @ 07:43 AM
I am on Team Gift Card.

I've never had any of the issues you mention above. If they were that big of a hassle, they wouldn't be as popular as they are.

posted on Aug, 20 2019 @ 08:08 AM
I'm all for gift cards, they allow you to give somebody something they can use for what they want. Sure I could sit around and try and think of the perfect gift, but there is also a chance that the person you get a gift for would've liked something else.

posted on Aug, 20 2019 @ 10:19 AM

originally posted by: Nyiah

I only give gift cards if someone hints at them quite obviously...

I really wish someone would get me a gift card for for my birthday in a few months. I'd really like to get some things from that site. For my birthday. In a few months. Xmas isn't long after that either.

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