Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Four Tips for Avoiding a Gift-Card Fiasco

Between DD and FMF (from Free Money Finance), I almost never miss a good article from Yahoo Finance. DD is always sending me articles that I should read, they have great articles, by some great writers.

The latest article from David Bach, author of The Automatic Millionaire (which I am reading right now) is entitled Four Tips for Avoiding a Gift-Card Fiasco. This is a very timely article for me since I just received a bunch of gift-cards for Christmas and I have a bunch sitting around with small balances left on them as well. Here is what happens with gift-cards most of the time with me:
  • I get a gift card for let's say $100 at Best Buy.
  • I go there to buy something that I wouldn't normally buy myself because I don't really need it. So I use my "free" money to get a XBOX game, a DVD, and a CD for ~$90.
  • I won't buy another DVD, because then I will have to pay with money out of my pocket and I am trying to save money, so $10 sits on the gift card.
  • This $10 will sit on there until I either get another gift card, actually need something form the store, or until it disappears because of hidden fees or expiration dates.
Bach suggests the following tips:
  1. When You Get the Card, Photocopy It
  2. Check the Expiration Date
  3. Don't Lose the Change
  4. Read the Fine Print
As I mentioned, I get killed on numbers 2 and 3. Expiration dates are just ridiculous for gift-cards. Someone paid cash for these, they should not expire. What I have had happen is that after a year, they start taking some amount of money off of the remaining balance until it is depleted or used.

Retail stores must love me since I usually end up with a small balance that doesn't get used. I basically give them free money. The article states that 18%-20% of people who get gift-cards do not use them (I hope that they mean that they don't use all of the balance, I would hate to think that many people do not use them at all). This is why I would suggest to anyone to give cash rather than gift cards.

Check out the article at Free Money Finance for a full summary and his thoughts.

2 Comments:

Blogger SL said...

RS you could give ME your "spare change" on your gift cards!

1/03/2006 3:05 PM  
Blogger longge said...

A final test is the bezel- the circlet around the face of the Breitling Bentley that rotates. On the Chrono Superocean Bentley, it is, again, very sturdy and difficult to move. If the bezel spins effortlessly, you're holding a Superocean . Overall, just keep in mind what a precise, large, masculine watch the Chronomat B01 really is, and don't be deceived into buying something that is messy or too delicate.
Go out and observe the flash of resentment in people's eyes as you walk past with this unbelievable pair ofChristian Louboutin Sale on your feet. The vast variety of shoes is certainly mind-boggling. Look at this wonderful pair the Christian Louboutin Pumps . These Christian Louboutin Boots are made of the unsurpassed and finest of suede that looks so very beautiful in Christian Louboutin Sandals .
Of course, when you get higher quality Coach Wallets you are buying at a higher cost. This can be a little stressful for those who may want to buy Coach Hamptons and accessories. Also, these Coach Ergo may not be found everywhere. Usually you have to go to a crowded mall to find a Coach Wristlet store, but this usually doesn't include strip malls.

7/20/2010 2:07 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Listed on BlogShares pfblogs.org logo Performancing