A friend of mine has sworn off gift cards. She doesn’t want to receive any this Christmas and she won’t be giving any. What happened?
She got burned. Badly.
My friend had received more than $100 of gift cards last Christmas for her favorite spa. She decided to string them out so she could pamper herself with mani-pedis every few months, starting with one in March.
But when she called the spa to make an appointment she discovered they had closed in January. Ouch!
To avoid getting into her situation, here’s what to look for if you are buying a gift card.
- Store is busy when you visit
- Store is well stocked with goods (indicates good cash flow)
- Store is part of a national chain (not that this makes it a sure-thing!)
- A rival store just went out of business (strengthens survivor)
- Store has cut back employees (indicates poor cash flow)
- Store had cut back hours (see above)
- There have been news reports about the store struggling
- The employees/owners say business is bad
What do you look for to decide if a store is safe to buy a gift card from?
Get a $5 gift card at TGI Friday’s when you buy one for $25 (WalletPop)
Why do you hoard gift cards? (BargainBabe)
Did you know it’s better to buy a gift card from the issuer than from a grocery store? (Get Rich Slowly)
Site to buy and sell gift cards (BargainBabe)
Gift card bonuses and perks (WalletPop)