Presenting people with a voucher of their favorite shop and letting them buy whatever they wish in a particular budget seems to be a good idea at first glimpse but what if I tell you a bitter truth that last year families waste an amount total of £84m on Christmas gift cards which goes unspent. The main reason behind this is the expiry date of those cards. Many of the cards have very short expiry time and many of them expired even before the recipient gets the chance to spend it. People have much to do for Christmas celebrations and they simply don’t have time to go on a particular shop and make the purchases. One other thing which result in huge non spend amount is that if you are gifting a £30 gift card and the receiver make a purchase of £25 then the remaining £5 goes wasted and people don’t bother to make purchases against such a small amount when everything else in the store is not less than £10 or £15
The other big reason behind the waste of Christmas gift cards in UK is that many high street firms has collapsed just after Christmas and the vouchers and gift cards ending up with nothing more than a piece of paper or plastic with no worth at all. Although those cards and vouchers have some worth as they are also the creditor of the company but they comes in the last on the priority list and the value of a card goes in Pennies, that’s why no one bother to take it as a Christmas gift. Marin Lewis who is the founder of consumer website MoneySaverExpert.com says about gift cards, “They’re just a promise from a company, but if that company goes bust or changes hands you’ve no rights,” he said. “Remember too that one of the ways that companies make money from vouchers is that many remain unredeemed.”
Andrew Johnson of the UK Gift Card & Voucher Association said that if you are keenly interested in gifting a gift card as a present then you should buy it from the company which have a good credit history and it’s not supposed to collapsed soon and keep an eye on the expiry date of the card. Gift a card which has at least 2-3 month of expiry time. And if you are a card receiver then make the purchase in the January sale to avoid the card to go wasted. A research shows that people make 40% more purchases then the face value of the card. So the main motive of the companies is to bring more and more people to their shops rather than giving them the variety to choose the gift. If you are keenly interested in gifting someone’s on Christmas for their happiness then you should focus on what is the choice of the receiver and gift him/her a present which would be truly loved rather than bounding them by presenting a gift card to go on a particular shop and buy something out. One better idea in this regard would be presenting cash and let them enjoy it in any way they want.