With street shoppers across the UK facing holiday shopping this weekend, many of us who can’t imagine a suitable gift are turning to gift cards.
According to the UK Gift Card and Bond Association (UKGCVA), the professional organization for a valuable industry, four out of five of us spend more on gift cards and gift cards than we do on actual gifts. around 6 billion euros per year.
Of course, buying a gift card is at least an idea to put some notes in an envelope, but that has a downside. The cards generally expire after two years and we play £ 300 million a year on outdated cards.
In addition to forgetting to issue the gift voucher or coupon, there is an additional risk. If the retailer we purchased a gift card from can take a break, all the money not spent on gift cards can be lost.
Despite these potential downsides, they are becoming increasingly popular. Spending on all types of gift cards increased by 6.6% in 2017, and digital cards and e-coupons now account for 9.4% of the total market.
In August, House of Fraser was the last name on the street, which has been associated with its businesses due to fierce competition on the Internet and rising rental costs.
Customers who purchased gift cards waited a few months after taking office and purchased Sports Direct from Mike Ashley.
Fraser’s House asked customers to send in their cards and said they would be replaced, but provided few details. Only in October were gift cardholders informed that they would receive electronic vouchers with the same amount that could be issued online.
It’s a family story: The collapse of department stores like Evans Cycles, Toys R Us, Maplin, and HMV in some cases made it difficult for shoppers to get refunds or accept their gift cards because they were worth nothing.
Sarah Pennells, the founder of Savvy Woman’s consumer finance website, said shoppers should think twice about buying them as a gift.
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You may feel comfortable and feel a little better than giving money, but the person who gives may leave an unnecessary gift if the store breaks.
We have sunk several large retailers in recent years and given the difficult conditions on Main Street, there will probably be more.
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One of the most persistent problems with cards is how long it takes to use them. Usually two years, but each store has its own rules for its cards or vouchers, and this is not always obvious.
Here, SNP Consumer Affairs spokeswoman Patricia Gibson campaigned for consumer protection for at least five years.
“For me, it’s just common sense. If the United States, the cradle of capitalism, can do it, there is no reason why we shouldn’t do it,” she said.
UKGCVA reports that 98.5% of gift cards are redeemed within one year and that 95.4% of customers know the card’s expiration date, but recommends that buyers verify the expiration date. Maturity and separate income. If you lose your card, you can request a refund.