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Gift Cards / Certificates?

Christmas is coming!

7:21 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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joined:May 29, 2003
votes: 0

The holiday season will be here soon, which means a great chance to sell gift certificates. From my reading, there tend to be some great benefits of gift certificates -- some are never redeemed at all, meaning pure profit for you, and the ones that are redeemed usually see a purchase amount greater than the gift certificate, meaning more profit for you.

I'd really like to be able to offer branded "stored-value" gift cards (think "Home Depot" or "Best Buy") but as far as I can tell, those are available for in-person transactions only -- you have to swipe the magnetic stripe in order to use them.

Prepaid Visa cards are another idea, but typically can't be restricted to use only on my web site.

I looked briefly into PayPals "Gift Certificate" offering but decided it was a waste of time for several reasons -- first, they keep the money and release it to you as the gift certificate is redeemed, and of course, the user has to have a PayPal account in order to redeem. So that's not going to work.

So instead, I'm thinking of having some plastic "gift cards" printed up with my logo and a unique serial number on each. I record the serial number and gift certificate amount and can track the redemption later on - the user enters the serial number during checkout and I know how much credit they have. I use a home-grown cart system so I can easily modify it.

Wondering what methods you use for handling gift certificates on your e-commerce sites?

7:26 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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joined:Sept 16, 2003
votes: 0

We allow customers to purchase Gift Certificates right from our site. They have the option of having it emailed immediately to the intended recipient or having it sent via mail.

For email certificates, we don't do anything special. For printed, we have a Gift Certificate template that we enter the recipient information, the certificate amount, and the codes they need in order to use it online.

I looked briefly at getting cards printed it, but it was going to be far more hassle than it was worth.


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