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Friday, December 24, 2010

Shopping as Gift Part 2: Gift Cards or Cash Encore?

For the last few days, my inbox has been filled with offers of gift cards. Physical gift cards arrive quickly. E-giftcards are, of course, instantaneous.

I wrote yesterday about how pre-holiday shopping excursions could be part of the gift. Mulling over earrings and perfumes with Miss Em is a lot of fun. Returning later to buy something I know she will like is also fun. Stress-free gifting! A great concept.

It occurred to me that gift cards and cash, which many find inappropriate at worst or unimaginative at best, could be factored into the shopping as gift concept (should I trademark???).

For instance, why not put $$$ into an envelope with a note: Let's go shopping on XX and you can pick out a gift?

Or, if you know where your recipient likes to shop, why not include a gift card with a similar note?

You could even do this across the miles. I wrote a little while ago about getting a new toaster oven with an Amazon card I was gifted. THANKS AGAIN, DEAR GIVER.

An un-anticipated advantage of this tactic is that your money can go farther. The recipient can choose a full-price item or can take advantage of the post-holiday sales.

So, if you want to buy me a gift card, I always appreciate Amazon, Garnet Hill, or LL Bean. THANKS IN ADVANCE. You know I'm kidding, Dear Readers. You presence is a gift in itself.


Duchesse said...

For the local person, why not give a card, non-monetary, with the invitation to go shopping? If you are accompanying the person, specifying the dollar amount you will spend is about as gracious as saying, "I would like to invite you to lunch, that is, if it costs $20."

The point of giving a gift is not to enable someone to hit a sale or to give the most you can for the dollar; it is to celebrate, honour, or acknowledge the recipient.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse--True, but it would be a great gift for me, as I would love it.