The Perfect Gift

According to Consumer Reports this is not it.

“Our survey has the lowdown on best gifts, hot shopping spots, and gift cards that don’t give.

Believe it or not, there’s a worse gift than a mashed-potato-scented candle. One unfortunate Consumer Reports survey respondent received such a present last holiday season. But consider this: Giving a gift card can be a bigger waste of money. That’s one of the findings in our recent Holiday Shopping poll. The Consumer Reports National Research Center surveyed 1,000 adults about holiday shopping habits. Here are our major findings:

  • Unused gift cards are the new billion-dollar business. According to our survey, the second-most-popular gift for 2006, favored by 60 percent of shoppers, is gift cards. (Clothing came in first at 73 percent.) While gift cards seem like a fail-proof present, they may be as useful as an animatronic singing trophy fish. About 23.3 million Americans have unused gift cards from last year’s holidays–that’s at least $972 million in unredeemed cards. Indeed, 54 percent of respondents received gift cards for the 2005 holidays. Nearly a year later, 19 percent of the gift-card recipients have not used one or more of the cards received.”

I am one of those people who has a card or two lying around. But, that is not because I am unhappy with these gifts. The reason is that I am being very particular about how I spend it. I am quite appreciative of this, but there is no reason just to spend the money to spend it.

I have my eye on a couple of things. Just biding my time and then I’ll go ahead and snap it up.

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4 Comments

  1. Jack's Shack November 5, 2006 at 4:47 am

    PT,

    I usually hold on to the cards until I am absolutely certain about what I want.

    Sweet,

    Yes they are.

    MBM,

    Book stores are great.

    Gooch,

    You are absolutely correct. I too am sure that they must be nickel and diming themselves into millions.

  2. Gooch November 4, 2006 at 11:30 pm

    Here’s where I bet these guys make a ton of money – Many stores (Best Buy is a known perpetrator) won’t give you cash if you have money left over on a gift card purchase (i.e. if you have a $25 gift card and spend $23.25, you end up with a gift card with $1.75 on it). Since the likelihood of every actually going to best buy to spend the additional buck or two is unlikely, multiplied by the number of gift cards given out each year, these guys much be making a fortune.

  3. marallyn ben moshe November 4, 2006 at 4:57 pm

    the only gift cards i ever give are to a book store…the rest it’s either presents or money…and if i like you a whole lot it’s a nice present…oh and btw…you can put that gift card into a nice fancy envelope and pass it on and look like a hero…oy did i say that??? stay safe

  4. Sweettooth120 November 4, 2006 at 2:35 am

    I agree with you. I also seem to hold off using mine – so I can used it on a worthwhile purchase.

    I often thought about how many ppl actually use their gift cards, but they are such an easy choice when you just don’t want to bother shopping.

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