Gift cards?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by maril, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. maril

    maril New Member

    I bought a gift card to give as a birthday gift for a toddler in my family. I do enjoy buying and wrapping gifts for kiddos but thought it might be better to get a gift card instead this time; around Christmastime, the little one's mom told me that she didn't know where she was going to put all the gifts her kids received, so with that in mind, I thought maybe mom could use the birthday gift card to find something she needs (since her kids have so much). I feel kind of funny. It sounds like a big party, so I bet the little one will be getting lots of gifts to unwrap.

    Also on the subject of giving gift cards, we had some family members say "no" to gift cards as a possible gift to give for our annual Christmas grab bag for the grownups.

    I really don't mind receiving gift cards, but that's just me. Anyone else?
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  2. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I LIKE gift cards, but for me personally, it would depend on what kind of card it is. I live in such a rural area that I would have to drive a hundred miles to get to some of the stores that have gift cards.

    But I think a gift card for a baby or small child is an excellent idea for those occasions like birthdays or Christmas when they receive so many gifts, they are overwhelmed by them! The parents probably know what they need a lot more than you would. My son and I spent Christmas this year with my daughter, sister in law, and their 8 month old son - my first grandbaby! I did buy him several toys and several pairs of PJ's since they said he's outgrowing everything so fast. But I also got a gift card for Toys R Us/Babies R Us. My daughter was thrilled with it! We went the day after Christmas and she was able to get him enough winter clothes, many of them on sale, to get him though till spring - he was already outgrowing most of the things that he already had! They were really pleased. He needed the clothes a lot more than he needed more toys - he already had more toys than he could ever play with. And it helped them too to not have to buy him a whole second winter wardrobe right after Christmas!
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think Gift Cards are fine if they are for a store you know is local or that you know they love. For kids, walmart or toysrus are great. I would rather get walmart because I dont have a local toysrus but thats just me! I could use it online though.

    Now if you are giving a gift card to a specialty place, do make sure the person is computer My hubby would love one to somewhere like Gander Mountain or Bass Pro Shop even though we dont have one locally. He could go online and order something.
  4. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    The big thing with my family and our eclectic collection of interests, is gift cards.

    They can of course get books, but they can also find nearly anything else you could imagine.

    My nephew has a Kindle and a fifty dollar gift card buys a LOT of e-books.
  5. maril

    maril New Member

    Thanks to all for your thoughts. :D It's interesting to see what others think and helpful to have the input.

    I bought a ToysRus card and figure that if mom and dad don't want to buy her any more toys, there's clothing, etc., to choose from.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  6. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Another good things about gift cards for the little ones is that it prevents getting duplicates of something they may already have or something that someone else already got them. The parents can use it to get something they would really like or something they needed but didn't get.

    I'm sure other places do it too, but Toys R Us has an online registry or 'wish list', kind of like wedding gift registries. My daughter picked out all kinds of things in different price ranges, things they knew would be age appropriate, that he would like and would play with. It's just suggestions. Then when something from the list is purchased online or in the store, they mark it, so you can look online to see what they already have and pick something that's not a duplicate.
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I don't know about the toddler set - they probably won't even know what it is all about, but the older crowd kids LOVE gift cards. They LOVE the idea that they get to go shopping.

    I would give the card to the mom - no need to present it during the party. If the party is going to be large, no one will even notice who did not present a gift. Everyone is more interested in how their gift will be received.

    I had a hard time bringing myself to give a gift card. I still take the stand that Christmas is about giving so a real gift is in order and the receiver is to be grateful with what the giver wanted to give. I will give a gift card in addition to the real gift but it is not the focus of the gift or I may give a resturaunt or grocery store gift card with something small "to open".

    I am starting to rethink birthdays. Birthdays can be about getting what you want and sometimes gift cards are the only way of doing so. And I watch the kids open up their gift card and are just as excited about it as any other gift (especially if there is a toy they really were looking forward to getting).

    The acceptance of gift cards are growing in several areas. I am still having a hard time giving them because they don't feel like a real gift, but I think I am coming around. I try to make the presentation special to make the card make sense - like a small food basket with a larger gift card to the grocery store - a wine and cheese basket with a card to a fancier resturaunt, ect. LOL! :)

    Oh, and for the older kids, I-Tune gift cards are very acceptable at any time if they have an I-Pod.
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I used gift cards for stocking stuffers but I am very careful which gift cards I buy. Also I keep all the receipts for the gift cards in case they are lost or stolen. That came in handy last year when difficult child lost her purse and I had to request replacements. Make sure you record all numbers from the cards.

    I requested gift cards from walmart for mine, husband's and easy child's gift in our family gift exchange and we gave them to easy child for groceries since she was moving to NC to student teach. That helped her and it helped us.

    Be careful that the cards do not expire and that there is no service charge deducted from them monthly if not used. And of course stick to cards from stores that you are sure will not go out of business before they are used. Last year several businesses shut down shortly after the holidays and the cards were worthless.

  9. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    For birthdays for my grown kids (son, daughter, sister in law) I've started giving them gift cards too. It works much better than trying to guess and pick out things they would like. My (out of state) daughter and sister in law's birthdays are within a few days of each other and when they first bought their house, I gave them gift cards to Lowe's because they had several projects going on. They loved it! Now for their birthdays I give all three of them pre-paid Visa cards that I buy at the bank and they can get what they want. They only cost $5 over the amount of the card and they don't lose value or ever expire (not that they would go that long without spending them!). I give my son the pre-paid Visas too, and since he lives near where I do, I usually get him a few things to open up and sometimes dinner and/or a movie. It's so much easier when your 'kids' aren't kids any more!

    I AM very careful which cards I buy! A lot of people got ripped off when they bought gift cards to stores that went out of business before the cards could be used!
  10. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Yes, gift cards are perfect stocking stuffers! :)

    Also, our diva puppy gave each kid a gift card because her picture was on it! :) (We usually try to find small gifts representing the bichon friese to give from the puppy)

    It is fun to find the right picture on a gift card.
  11. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I know that Target has a gift registry that a person can go and scan things from the store that would be helpful. I did this with my daughter as she is in the mode of needing things to set up a life. All you have to do is press a button on a kiosk and they'll bring you up a scanner or print out what the receiving person needs. So, if you feel inclined to send a physical gift, the list is there.

    Personally, I LOVE gift cards!!

  12. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I wonder if part of the issue with gift cards is that you can sometimes find a suitable gift for ten bucks, but if you give a gift card for that small amount it looks like you are being cheap.

    I am Amazon all the way (and yes, I get them through the site)
  13. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    I think gift cards are a really nice gift and they're usually easily found; our local grocery chain sells quite a few different ones. Plus, as someone else mentioned you can get them online, too.

    There's room for creativity - if you want to individualize the gift, such as a coffee shop card put into a lovely mug. Or perhaps a loaf of homemade bread, along with a grocery store gc. Maybe even a first aide kit to go with a gift card to a drugstore. If you know someone who enjoys crafting, a gift card to Joann Fabrics would be welcome.

    Another thing to remember, no matter how mundane the gift card may be, is that the recipient can use it to purchase a present for someone else; which comes in especially handy in a struggling economy.
  14. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I love gift cards. Target is a big one around here, since everyone in the family goes there. Miss KT got a Bath & Body card from Buddy this Christmas, and almost immediately went out to replenish her Black Amethyst soap/lotion/whatever.

    I think that's a great idea, either the mom can use it at a later time, or they can go get what the child wanted, but possibly didn't get as a gift.